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A few weeks ago I had a discussion with a local Rōshi.  In this discussion, he asked, among other things, if I had participated in any koan study. A pause, a brief moment of stillness, and I replied: “Well, not formally.  I've read through and studied koans on my own, but not yet within a formal setting.” Over the following days I began chewing on this great question, and how it had applied to my life without zen in the years from 2008 – 2013.  Then a quiet voice within me began to whisper: “You did the Genjōkōan with Daido online.”  I know it's been awhile since I've shared myself online, but this is how it began prior to Daido's death in 2009.  We worked together around the time Obama was elected in bringing this about, and we worked together in a way whereas I became intimately known to the senior monastics of his practice. The Faceless Face The Open Sky poem and the businesses that followed is what I'm best known for, and while this is not a writi...
The Beginning of the Beginning It should come to no surprise for many of you reading this that I have, once again, relocated to the Denver area.  For those of you that are new to my work, or for those of you joining us for the first time, my work began in Columbus, Ohio in 2007 and 2008 while leading to a relocation at the time to Boulder, in 2009.  Although I had never intended to leave my undergraduate degree incomplete I felt, at the time, that it would be as good a time as any to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder to finish a BFA in screenwriting. As fate would have it, and as job opportunities during the Great Recession diminished, I was forced back to Ohio due to financial constrains and the reality of not being ready to return to the healing work that John had gifted me.  Now, 11 years later, I have returned to a place where meditation is a centerpiece of my life, and while I can't say where this will lead, it is a necessary next step for me both personally,...
The Prophecy of Orpheus I know, I know, I left the previous post as it was, and incomplete.  I had actually intended to finish writing it all of the way through, but when I hit the half way point, I had to change directions.  This is one of the challenges of speaking through a one-sided conversation, and that is only half of the story is being told.  I decided to leave the lavender in place for my growing batch of hyacinth, and to serve as a reminder for the plant medicine that we'll be talking about.  And that's one of those things that you'll find with any type of spiritual power, and that is you're only able to claim what is already your own, and that's one reason why it's called power, it comes from within and doesn't rely upon external phenomena for its validity. As many of you have seen, and especially with today's internet, it's very easy to hide behind an anonymous identity, and often in an attempt to take another person's power aw...
As some of you know, and many of you won't, the backstory to what I do is mostly contained within the Matrix.  There is more that one matrix to consider, however, and it's important to realize that the one that I'm specifically referring to is the training matrix that's found at Zen Mountain Monastery, and reflects a lifelong effort of the late John Daido Loori, Roshi.  Although I can't speak on his or his organization's behalf, I'm being quietly reminded of his own call to serve and the founding of his monastic setting that began in the early 1980s. I'm being asked to consider alternate timelines when mirroring his own movement throughout space and time, and how his presence in Spirit continues to affect us to this very day. And for those of you wondering, and for however briefly we worked online, I also have the pleasure of connecting with the late Bernie Glassman, who remains in Spirit as well.  Although this could be taken as a counter-intuitiv...