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…

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…

Describing Traditional Rinzai Koan Training

I spent my twenties in Monasteries in Japan and The United States. Being a Zen monk is kind of like being a primordial energy wizard. Imagine spending twenty-four hours a day focusing on something that most of the world does not know exists. Zazen (Zen Meditation) is a way to tap into this great life energy,…

Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Tree

One practice that really helped me in the beginning to go deeper into my zazen, and continues to keep me healthy in my life every day, is a type of Chi Kung first introduced to me in the monastery by a fellow training person.  It is Zhan Zhuang, “Standing Like a Tree” and it involves…

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…