Brother Phap Vu

The last movie my wife and I went to see before the corona-virus outbreak was “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a movie which is less about Mr. Rogers than it is about the reporter who wrote a cover story about him for Esquire magazine. In the film, the reporter is portrayed as a fairlyContinue reading “Brother Phap Vu”

Zenshin Michael Haederle

Zen communities – sanghas – come in many forms. There are residential monastic communities such as Shugen Arnold’s Zen Mountain Monastery. There are groups who work with resident teachers in cities and towns, like Paul Cooper’s community in Holmesdale, or in isolated areas like Mitra Bishop’s Mountain Gate. And then there are groups of individualsContinue reading “Zenshin Michael Haederle”

David Loy

David Loy is a Dharma heir of Yamada Koun in the Sanbo Zen tradition. “According to Zen,” he tells me, “we are not fully awake. There is something we need to realize about ourselves and about the world, and the path is to help us wake up.” I ask what that “something” is. “There’s aContinue reading “David Loy”

Domyo Burk

Shortly before I was scheduled to interview her in December 2019, Domyo Burk – the Guiding Teacher of the Bright Way Zen Center in Portland, Oregon – was arrested and spent the night in jail. “I heard through my network of climate activist groups that something was going to go on and that if peopleContinue reading “Domyo Burk”

Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat

My hosts at Zen Mountain Monastery had told me that Dai Bosatsu was just on “the other side of the mountain.” But when I arrive, I feel like I’ve travelled much further. All things, of course, are relative. I had thought that the Morgan Bay Zendo in the Maine woods had been isolated, but toContinue reading “Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat”

Elaine MacInnes

Sister Elaine MacInnes – who was born in  Moncton, New Brunswick – begins her autobiography on the beach at Shediac, a place significant to my family. My wife spent her summers there as a child, and it was one of the places she was most eager to introduce me to after we’d met. When ourContinue reading “Elaine MacInnes”

Myo On Susan Linnell

Myo On Susan Linnell is a Zen priest in the Rinzai-ji order living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is also a studio artist. “I think of myself as a monk/artist,” she tells me. Her hair is cropped, and she is wearing meditation robes as we speak. “Studio artists are an isolated group of people. IContinue reading “Myo On Susan Linnell”

Bernie Glassman

If one gets off the Interstate and the Turnpike, rural Massachusetts is very picturesque. Small towns, lovely rivers, and trestle bridges. This is Johnny Appleseed country. There are either striking big green hills or small green mountains – perhaps part of the Berkshires – on the horizon. Montague is a village surrounded by farms, someContinue reading “Bernie Glassman”

Morgan Bay Zendo

One of my favorite zendos in the US is located 140 miles northeast of Portland, Maine, in the small coastal community of Surry. The Morgan Bay Zendo is well-hidden. There is a small parking area on the road, but one has to be alert to locate it. I find something pleasing about the idea ofContinue reading “Morgan Bay Zendo”