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! From Greg Soden: Episode #108 with my friend (and returning guest), Corey Ichigen Hess discusses the elusive Rinzai Zen koan practice! We…

Guidance of the Great Vow

Sentient beings are numberless I vow to liberate them The Head monk walked into the zendo on day six of Osesshin and announced that two planes had just crashed into the World Trade Center. This was on Whidbey Island. On the the right of me was one of my best friends, Chris, who I had…

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…