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…

Internal Process Incomplete Recommended Reading List

I’ve been teaching these Internal Process classes for the last few months.  I put together a very incomplete reading list for the people joining the class and in the group on Facebook.  These books have been helpful to me in my internal process work.  I’ll add to it over time.  Please suggest books in the…

Deeper Dimensions of Non-Directed Body Movement

  I have written about Non-Directed Body Movement before.  As I have been teaching more classes lately online, and we’ve been doing it together, I’d like to give a bit more detail of how it helped me and still helps me to go deeper into my process.  I hope it gives some of you permission…

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…

Zen Embodiment’s 5 Most Popular Blog Posts

Thank you for reading my blog!  Below are the all time most popular posts. Breathing from the Belly: Tanden, a Great Rolling Ball Describing Traditional Rinzai Koan Training A great love affair Just standing around Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Tree Breaking Through: Sublime and Natural These are not necessarily my favorite. I will do…

Guidance of the Great Vow

Sentient beings are numberless I vow to liberate them The Head monk walked into the zendo on day six of Osesshin and announced that two planes had just crashed into the World Trade Center. This was on Whidbey Island. On the the right of me was one of my best friends, Chris, who I had…

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…

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…