Walking Emotional Energy Fields

We are walking emotional energy fields. When I came back from Japan, and Teresa was pregnant with Rose, we were living on a little herb farm in a cottage.  Some friends from the monastery were visiting one evening, and we were talking about what was next in our lives.  For me, it was a moment…

Zen as Rebel Artist Training

  Let’s return to process in this post, as these posts seem quite helpful. The Zen folks I admired and respected in the beginning had a big rebelliousness about them, a wildness, like they’d found zen as a tool to channel their wild creative spirit to push themselves toward freedom. They were the ones who…

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…