Read updates from our administrators, special messages from our abbot, community features, and guest posts from sangha members. Have a story to share? Contact our communications director.
HBZ Beginnings: Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi
This is part of a series on the HBZ lineage. Read Part One & Part Two. On April 14, 1942,…
The Matrix of Silence: Serving as IT Staff
by Zenshin Susanne Fiege As I know it, Hollow Bones Zen started with in-person practice only, people simply meeting at…
A Painter’s Eye on the Sutra Book: The Work of Chelle Diederich
The Off the Cushion paintings feature the beautiful arrangement of jewel tones, which was a surprise to Chelle as she was creating them. “The paintings exemplify the questions and thoughts I was working through as I studied the book, and I initially envisioned these concepts being expressed with muted and somber tones, but that’s not what happened.”
Annual Update: January 2023
How do things look for HBZ as we head into 2023?
HBZ Beginnings: Gempo Yamamoto, Soen Nakagawa, Eido Shimano
A look at some of the modern founders of our tradition.
From the Abbot: End of Year Reflections
We all come together to make this possible: your presence in this practice is your most important contribution. In resonance with this Sangha, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of practicing together in Hollow Bones Zen.
HBZ Beginnings: Soyen Shaku, Nyogen Senzaki and D.T. Suzuki
Many synergistic steps, truly reflecting the interconnection, interpenetration, and interdependency we understand to be part of Zen took place to bring us HBZ today. These steps also included the faithful contributions of many others, including many women, who played a crucial role in facilitating the unfolding. This series of blogs will tell their story.
This Transparent & Collective Process
Money has the potential to be an extremely fraught topic for all sorts of reasons. Many of us carry shame or aversion or attachment or fear around it, for all sorts of reasons both practical and emotional. All of which, while excellent grist for the zen-practice mill, can make it difficult to have productive conversations about our organization’s finances and future.
Out of curiosity, I decided to see what was up on Instagram. (If it’s not painfully obvious, I don’t do much social media…) #Zen had 16.5 M posts. #ZenLife has 269k. #ZenAF has 91k. My overall takeaway is that what I think of as living zen just isn’t on the radar of mainstream social consciousness.
Ever So Much More Human – Embodying Community at Kintsugi Sangha
Kintsugi Sangha in Hartland, WI consistently focuses on being “ever so much more human” and authentically sharing the experiences and strength found within the collective group. Some sangha members come for a general mindfulness practice that benefits their bodies and minds. Others choose a deeper dive into an existential query and the exploration of spiritual life from a multi-faceted Zen perspective.
Zen Winds – Shiun Valerie Foote
Sangha member Shiun Valerie Foote writes about her experience at Dai Bosatsu.
Pledge to Support this Sangha in 2023
The level of activity and service that has defined Hollow Bones since COVID hit in 2020 will not be possible without a significant change in how we work together. Creating an online community, and supporting it through various free programs, timely communications, and staff-intensive events and online retreats, while also running more than 6 large-scale in-person events per year requires significant resources. We have remained committed to keeping our fees reasonable and offering extensive financial support to all who ask for it. We invite you to make a pledge to support our community in 2023
Stewardship in Action with Green Bay Zen Center
Following in the footsteps of their beloved leader Vimala Muni John Nemick, Roshi who departed earlier this year, Green Bay Zen Center continues his deep commitment, generosity, and joy within practice through community stewardship efforts.
Statement from the Board Regarding Our COVID Policies
Read a statement from our Board of Directors regarding Hollow Bones Zen’s Covid policies.
Sangha Reflections: The Mirrored Image
Mirrors are doorways, and they’ve always scared-but-enticed me. They’ve never shown my true face, so I’ve never trusted them, yet I always want to see how they reflect me… What is it about mirrors that Buddhists and Pagans agree upon? Mirrors. Self. Other. Not-Other. Here, This, Now, Ever, All, Unfolding, Self fractaling upon Self, seen only through the reflections of an Other
Sangha is an Oasis of Acceptance
As a priest, Liaoran’s understanding of what it means to come to practice from a place of complete desperation and disillusionment serves as “grist for the compassion mill,” and allows him to serve as a living example of coming to Zen through turmoil and hopelessness. “Life can be messy and unexpected, but the oasis of acceptance that this practice offers is available to everyone.”
Welcome to our New Executive Director
The Board of Directors wishes to keep you apprised of changes happening in the leadership of Hollow Bones Zen. Effective August 31, Ekai Joel Kreisberg is stepping down as Executive Director. Umi Dan Rotnem will begin a transition to the role of Executive Director on August 8.
Welcoming Three New Priests
On June 24th, 2022, Hollow Bones Zen proudly honored and ordained Jozen Engi Jonathon Fielder, Kenshin Chigi Cian Whalley, and Jimon Jizai Don Sorterup at Dai Bosatsu Monastery.
We are feeding everyone from children to elders, on many levels – Koto Washi Dallas Chief Eagle
Sitting “like a stone” is familiar territory for Koto Washi, as he has worked closely with children for years fostering concentration and mindfulness practices based on the ancestral creation stories of “Grandfather Rock” to improve self-awareness and management skills.
In Grateful Memory of Junpo Roshi
We remember our founder and roshi, Junpo Denis Kelly, on the first year after his passing, with a poem arranged by Vicara Roshi and lines written by sangha members.
Learnings from the Collaborative Way – Yoshin Dave Klaus
For the last seven weeks, the clergy of the order have been engaged with The Collaborative Way (TCW), which is “an intentional and designed way of working together that harnesses the collective intelligence, imagination and spirit” of a group.
Remembering Manju Bill Frackelton
William Hamilton Frackelton II passed away peacefully with family and friend at his side at age 78 on Sunday, March 6, 2022, from ALS.
You Have To Go Outside The Gates – Dazu Justin Park
However much black ink is poured out on white paper, the true nature of the love affair of wisdom and compassion can never be directly found within words.
No Mud, No Lotus
How one Cyber Sangha cohort continues to stay in touch after more than a year.
Happy New Year from the Abbot 2022
Happy New Year! As we enter 2022, there is much for which to be thankful. We have the privilege to practice together in the traditions of zen as transmitted to us through the teachings of Junpo and all those who kindled the lamp of enlightenment and thereby illuminated the way for us. We practice in a robust world-wide Sangha, and we have the support of this jewel as we engage the world in the Bodhisattva tradition of Mahayana Buddhism.
Learning to Trust the Wisdom – Shunya Lynn Hyer
Zazen practice has given me a steadiness, a stillness where I continue to feel the chaos, the need to control the outcome but allows me space to observe without judgement, breath deeply in compassion and summon the confidence to allow whatever is needed to flow.
A reflection, commitment and invitation – Message from the Abbot
From Abbot Taiso Roshi: We are gifted this Sangha, Hollow Bones, as a refuge together in our awakening practice – especially in Mondo. Let us support this together in practice, as the continuing legacy of Junpo, our beloved teacher and founder.
Obituary for Vimala Muni John Nemick Roshi
With great sadness Hollow Bones lost another leader just over a week ago. We send our condolences to his family and the Green Bay Zen Center Sangha. He will be missed. A memorial service will be announced shortly.
Junpo’s Obituary & Memorial Service – June 2021
“I am a man among men, dedicated to a life of meditative awareness…”
Moments of Newfound Flight – Yoshin Dave Klaus
I am like the caterpillar who enshrouds itself in a dark, suffocating and yet oddly comforting cocoon in order to undergo a dramatic and disorienting transformation… Born anew, I am then blessed to enjoy moments of newfound flight, effortless unfoldings of peace and calm.
We mustn’t stray too far from the Bodhi tree – Tozan John Verin
Among the aspects which I value most is that the fundamental teaching, in my words, is “Get to the source, and realize for yourself.” …It also requires that one be sincere, humble and resolute at realizing the promise of absolute liberation for oneself… My realizing the nature of being is up to me.
Dana – Generosity
Dāna, the first of the perfections, is translated as charity or generosity (pronounced like Donna). In the perfection of this practice is the realization of no-self through giving without the expectation of merit.
I Learn to Be Present in a Community – Umi no Nami Dan Rotnem
Buddhism has become an important part of my life as a framework and structure for understanding, transforming and transcending suffering into unreasonable joy and true freedom. Specifically, it is Zen that has the aesthetic and form which resonates.
The Lesson is Clear: Just Be – Meru Doug Szper
This Zen practice is important to me because it has transformed my life. The first several week-long Sesshins were painful and a tremendous physical challenge for me. After a while I found a place of pleasant stillness, within and without, that I look forward to.
There is True Dharma Here – Emyo N. Darlene Tataryn
We all seek the stability of deep peace in meeting a challenging existence in relation to all things.
History and Connection – Fudo Myoo Teja Bell Roshi
Every story is unique. The unfolding of each connection and experience is a journey of karma and synchronicity.
Live a Life of Wonder – Vicara Satya Mary Connelly Roshi
Let us continue to allow our practice to support us while we step into the unknown, over and over.
– Vicara Roshi
Being Home – Vimala Muni John Nemick Roshi
When we were alone, Jun Po asked a question I’d read about and I gave him a reply that I’d read was correct. He said; ‘That’s a good response but it’s not yours, come back later’. I was hooked.
– Vimala Roshi
Listening Generously – Lloyd Fickett Roshi
In The Collaborative Way our first practice is Listening Generously, and in Mondo the first Koan is “Listen”. Also the emotional koans where similar to The Collaborative Way in that they direct us towards practicing enlightenment in how we relate to one another.
The Path Taken: Kevala Deb Hoffmann
You might know her from the various roles in which she has served throughout the years in our organization – managing registrations for retreats, coordinating transportation/shared rides, communicating with sangha, handling donations, ordering retreat supplies, and many other tasks as registrar.