Awareness Tidbits: Removing Ideas of Good or Bad

In Japan in the monastery I used to go out into the kyudo area behind the Hondo on the free days before the 6pm mandatory dinner. I wanted to take some time to address what was happening inside of me in an unstructured way. Try to allow it to sort out if I gave it…

Little Tidbits from Class: Non-Directed Explorations

Just now in class, at the end with the non-directed standing, I try to let go of my intentions. I try to let go of that “fix-it” head. I try to feel the actual present reality. What is happening?? And my head moves forward on my neck, bobbling over the edge. A little voice says,…

Zen Embodiment Bare Bones Conversations: Episode 2 Laura Cleveland

In this episode with Zen practitioner Laura Cleveland, we hear her story, what brought her to Zen, and about her time at Tassajara. In the second half we discuss topics such as: Why would a young person go to a monastery, feeling energy in zazen, accessing the tanden, as well as what drew her to…

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…

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…

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 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…

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…

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…

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…