Hopes for Zen in the West

  When Teresa and I first went to Tahoma One Drop and experienced Zen we were so shocked by how good it felt there.  And how unmistakably cool the head monk was.  Teresa was coming directly from college and I was drifting around aimlessly.  I guess I kind of expected the head monk to be…

Unstructured Wuji in the Morning

Lately, I’ve been getting up before anyone in the house and spending an hour doing very unstructured wuji.  Giving that time to just feel what wants to come up as a way to frame my life and my day. It is a time to explore, to be honest, to see what is real.  To engage…

Moving from the Source: Riffs on True Embodimennt

  These days, my religion is just walking around.  The sutra I’m chanting is this form in space.  I’m not interested in yes or no or smart or dumb. I’m worshiping the light beneath my feet. What is it that is stepping?  Walking?  Standing?  Sitting?  Laying down?  What is it that is holding us up?…

Expressing Something True

It can be extremely helpful if someone acknowledges what we’ve been experiencing in our own internal process or we happen to read or hear someone talk about something which we’ve been experiencing, but no one else seems to understand. It can be a lifesaver. Or at least reading or hearing them talk about some of…

Getting Into the House: Kufu and Zazen

In our training, the Roshi asks us to go into the house.  He says, “Go Straight!” In our zazen, we must find a way in.  We all go up to the door and try to push it open.  It won’t budge.  But the Roshi told us to “Go Straight!”  So we push and push on…

The Most Intense Person in the Room

  For all of you folks out there who are always the most intense person in the room, or are waiting for everyone to notice the subtext, or can feel other people as yourself, or are a walking pressure cooker, or can’t get yourself going in one direction, or you feel like an exposed nerve, or…

The Importance of Feeling Qi in Qigong

  I’d like to occasionally share little snippets of what comes to mind while practicing in hopes that it might inspire others. When doing energetic practices such as Qigong, I want to emphasize how important it is to feel the Qi.  We must find our own way to engage with this energy.  It is not…

How Sanzen Shaped My Way of Doing Bodywork

  “If we open ourselves completely, consciously or unconsciously, we are ready to listen to the voiceless voice of the universe.” – Dainin Katagiri Recently someone asked me what my practice looks like now that I am not doing koan work intensively in the monastery.  This post is a bit of a response to that…

Zen Students Burning Process: Words of Encouragement

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of  Zhan Zhuang, and as I do it, memories of energetic insights, of struggles and specific leaps in practice have been coming back to me from my first couple of years in Zen training.  I think describing some of that feeling will be of value to some training people…