Dang Nghiem [Huynh Thi Ngoc Huong]

At Blue Cliff Monastery outside Pine Bush, NY, Sister Dang Nghiem tells me people call her Sister D. She is Vietnamese by birth The Vietnamese language is tonal, and there is an element of that tonality in the way in which she speaks English. “My mother passed away by the time I was twelve, andContinue reading “Dang Nghiem [Huynh Thi Ngoc Huong]”

Sandra González

Driving along a county road in an agricultural region of New York State, I miss the side road to the Springwater Center on my first pass, come to a dead end, turn around, and watch more closely on the way back. Even when I pull onto the gravel road indicated, I’m not entirely sure I’mContinue reading “Sandra González”

Dosho Port

When I first met Dosho Port, he was still living and working outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, in a place called White Bear. It was not somewhere I was going to get to when I was doing my tour of centers in 2013, but, as chance has it, he was giving a workshop at theContinue reading “Dosho Port”

Taigen Henderson

The Toronto Zen Centre is on High Park Gardens in a well-to-do neighborhood on the west side of the city. I follow a stone path around the house to the back entrance passing carefully cultivated and maintained flower beds adorned with elegant Bodhisattva statues. Downstairs there is a Zendo (with about twenty-six places) and aContinue reading “Taigen Henderson”

Bodhin Kjolhede

There is a bumper sticker on Bodhin Kjolhede’s car that reads: “Ask me about my vow of silence.” We are driving to the Rochester Zen Center’s retreat house, located at Chapin Mill, forty minutes from the city. Bodhin’s hair is short, but not shaved off, and he is dressed in a navy blue short-sleeve shirtContinue reading “Bodhin Kjolhede”

AZTA Conference – July 8, 2021

[photo above with Genjo Marinello Roshi] [The American Zen Teachers’ Association invited me to give the keynote address opening their Annual Conference on July 8, 2021. This is the text of that speech.] I started writing because my leg broke. I’d been taking a medication for osteoporosis called Fosamax. You used to see a lotContinue reading “AZTA Conference – July 8, 2021”