Body as Bones in a Leather Bag of Water: Exploring Noguchi Taiso

There are countless techniques to control the body, to master the body, to shape it to our will in order to find health.  This post is about a type of exercise and opening to a way of being which looks at the body in a different way.  It emphasizes letting go of control, effortlessness, feeling…

The Classical Ideas Podcast Ep 108: Koans with Corey Ichigen Hess

I had a great time talking on the Classical Ideas Podcast again. This time, tackling the elusive, often misunderstood zen koan. Really fun! Please Share it if you like, and support Greg! Thanks! And please leave a comment if you feel moved to! From Greg Soden: Episode #108 with my friend (and returning guest), Corey…

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…

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…

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…

Standing the in the Dark, Giggling

“Always now – just now – come into being. Always now – just now – give yourself to death. Practicing this is Zen practice.”  Soko Morinaga Everyone wants to figure everything out.  Everyone wants to have the real true thought to explain our lives with meaning.  Most of us want some extreme, an absolute, to…