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…

Internal Alchemy: When It is Too Much

A couple of people in my classes have asked what to do when, while doing the Qigong or Zhan Zhuang, the energetic internal process is too much? This is a really good question, and for some people it will make complete sense, while others will have no clue what we are talking about, as we…

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…

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 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! And please leave a comment if you feel moved to! From Greg Soden: Episode #108 with my friend (and returning guest), Corey…

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…

Spiritual Pirates

There seems to be a feeling among some practitioners who have never lived in a monastery or Zen center, that it is some kind of cloistered, strange place, where socially awkward people go to be alone and get away from society. That society is one thing and the temple is separate. I thought this as…