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…

Zen’s Long Slow Humbling Healing Process of the Heart.

In Zen, much of the focus is on doing Tanden energy work.  Please see my article on Tanden to learn about it.  The Tanden work is huge and never ending, but with time and experience, it becomes apparent that we are also doing heart energy work, the long healing process of working out our emotional…

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…

Walking in the Woods

  Desperate to find a way to interact with life, catching glimpses in sports when movement and space seemed to bend, seemed tactile and plastic.  Not knowing my place or how I’d find my way, I longed for something real with which to commit my awareness.  Knowing somehow and yet isolated, I ventured through high…

Zhan Zhuang: Qi Flow and Emotional Molting

If you have not read my previous post about Zhan Zhuang, I recommend it before reading this one. This post further describes how to engage with Zhan Zhuang. When doing Zhan Zhuang (ZZ), after we have warmed up and done Wuji for five minutes, we put our hands in a certain position, like for instance…

Removing the Barrier Between Self and Other

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains,…

Receiving

“Receive.” “Receive”.  “We become like a great mountain”  Over and over the Roshi would tell us this. Many people want to know how to have ease in their bodies. Many of my friends, clients, zen friends.  Someone tells them to put their pelvis in this position and that does not feel good. And so they…