Henry Shukman

Santa Fe architecture, even for private homes, largely adheres to a handful of local styles—Pueblo, Mission, and what they refer to as “Territorial.” The Mountain Cloud Zen Center on the Old Santa Fe Trail is in Pueblo style: thick adobe walls, flat roof, softly rounded corners, and projecting viga rafters. It was built by PhilipContinue reading “Henry Shukman”

Grover Genro Gauntt

Genro Gauntt is one of the co-founders of the Zen Peacemakers movement which grew out of Bernie Glassman’s street retreats where, instead of sitting on cushions in a zendo, participants lived for a week on the streets with the homeless. I ask Genro how that is Zen practice. “Zen isn’t about learning a Japanese form.Continue reading “Grover Genro Gauntt”

From My Correspondence with Albert Low

I recently came upon a file of email exchanges I had with Albert Low when I first began formal Zen practice, during an era prior to the advent of Skype or Zoom. These are some extracts from that correspondence: “Our practice is to follow the breath. While thoughts may present a great obstacle to doingContinue reading “From My Correspondence with Albert Low”

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”