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…

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…

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…

Excerpts from a Paper : The Koan of SourcePoint.

Originally posted on January 11, 2018 AT SOGENJI SERVING ZENZAI WITH SHODO HARADA ROSHI, C. 2005 Below are a few excerpts from a paper I am writing about how doing traditional Japanese monastic koan work relates to my current life doing SourcePoint Therapy.  I will publish the entire article once it is formally published in…