The Zen of a Novice Beardsman – Brian Thompson

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we, the bearded,

each walk a different path,

for no two beards are the same.


knowing this immutable truth,

i shall free myself from comparison,

i will not think less of the hairs i do not have,

i will not be shamed for what has yet to grow.


i shall find peace in my present beard,

in this moment, right here and right now,

without wanting it to ever be more,

knowing that patience is its own reward,

and that a beard is grown

only one day at a time.


like the oils of jojoba,

kissed with the essence of almonds,

i shall feel gratitude wash over me

for all the whiskers i presently have;

no matter they be short or stubbly,

no matter they be long, wavy, epic curls.


and to all those beards who’ve come before me,

from the valiant Vikings of the North,

to the tribesmen in the South,

and to all the nomads who’ve wandered,

protected by the comforting hairs upon their face,

i vow to care for my beard

as nature would its own trees,

i shall butter and balm my beard,

with things only from the earth,

with the peel of a lemon and the leaf of a eucalyptus,

with frankincense and geranium, with peppermint and pine.


my strength comes from within,

but i wear it proudly upon my face.

for this is the boldness of the beard,

the path of the confident, yet humble man.


my beard bears the mark

that i’ve weathered the storm of my youth,

that i’ve earned the badge of man,

that i can now stand brave and firm

and toss away the blades

that once razed clean

my pink and fleshy cheeks.


we are each unique

as the follicles on our face,

but we are bearded together

by the bonds of our bristles.

and by the hairs on my chin,

i shall not cut, i shall not shave,

but only trim.


i shall be,

always bearded.


By Brian Thompson from Zen Thinking (; writer, podcaster, and author of the upcoming book, Sparks to Awaken.

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