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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Breathing from the Belly: Tanden, a Great Rolling Ball

A friend recently asked me to help clarify the tanden, also known as lower Dantien. This is a big subject.  I have written about it before here. I will try to briefly convey a sense of what it is like to feel the tanden, develop the tanden in sitting and everyday life, and what it…

Letting the Body Fully Express

Doing internal energy work throughout the day can be really simple.  We can ask ourselves, “How is my body trying to fully express itself energetically right now?” Our bodies are like kinked hoses, and we are kinked where we are mentally and emotionally stuck.  Allowing the body to fully express this energy means learning to…

Zen Dad

Some folks have pointed out to me that I often write glowingly of my time in the Monastery, but they’d like to hear about my time now as a father and husband and householder. I am very grateful for the time living in the monastery in my twenties.  It was like having a huge blank…