Ishin Denshin (Heart to Heart, Mind to Mind)

    Ishin denshin means something like “Communication as if two people have the same mind.”  This concept is a big part of my life, and in this post, I’d like to try to explain a bit about it. How can we become what we are doing more intimately right now?  How can we remove…

Dojo Poems: A few scattered poems from a young monk’s life

Unbearable joy, profound loneliness and sadness.  Liberation!  Wild energy and self reflection.  Some short poems giving a window into what it was like to be a young monk in a Japanese Zen Monastery. bitter cold     winter full moon still erupts my heart — what a relief this state of mind      even suffering is…

Podcast Interview with My Brother on Hess’s Heroes

Here is a podcast interview with my brother. Topics include reasons for going to a Zen Monastery, How Bob Dylan relates to Zen, finding our own practice, how Zen makes us into artists. It was a great time hangin with my big bro. Listen Here! Thanks! Please share it if you like it!

Honesty: Facing Ourselves in Zazen

We can’t do zazen unless we are honest.  Zazen itself teaches us that.  Without honesty, zazen won’t happen. Nothing will move through us, we’ll go to sleep or feel stagnant or sit there lost in thought.   We’ve got to feel what is happening, feel what is coming up.  Actually feel where we are stuck in…

Internal Challenges: What is Really Happening?

Most of the inquiries I get are about energetic problems people are having.  Sometimes it shows up as headaches or anxiousness or energetic sensitivity or breathing problems.  Or it can present as stomach issues, shaking, abrupt temperature changes in the body,  insomnia, or a deep need to discover the meaning of life. The main thing…

Describing Traditional Rinzai Koan Training

I spent my twenties in Monasteries in Japan and The United States. Being a Zen monk is kind of like being a primordial energy wizard. Imagine spending twenty-four hours a day focusing on something that most of the world does not know exists. Zazen (Zen Meditation) is a way to tap into this great life energy,…

Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Tree

One practice that really helped me in the beginning to go deeper into my zazen, and continues to keep me healthy in my life every day, is a type of Chi Kung first introduced to me in the monastery by a fellow training person.  It is Zhan Zhuang, “Standing Like a Tree” and it involves…

Second Breath, Breath of Life: Craniosacral Therapy Meets Zen

“I can say that as the Breath of Life emerges from a depth of Stillness, one experiences heart-opening radiance and compassion, a sense of great spaciousness and peace, a depth of love and interconnection, and a perception of a Presence that seems to enfold, uphold and maintain life.”  Franklyn Sills In this post, I’d like…

Simple Tips: Finding Joy in Daily Practice

My hope is to inspire people to find a way to daily enjoy engaging with their unique inner process.  I’m talking about sitting down and feeling our bodies and being present.  Or maybe, for some, it could be standing still.  Or even with very simple movement. But to find a way to make it their…