Zen means no separation.
Since about the mid-90’s I have been regularly turning to Zen Buddhist and Taoist teachings and practices in response to the frequent existential question marks that arise in my life and psyche. Occult, mystical Hermeticism offered the first glimpses into a more vast and robust view of life, and are often helpful or fun, but Zen and its direct Taoist antecedents are the most practical and impactful for me. It was a happy coincidence (or inevitability) that when shakuhachi entered my sphere in 2001, it just so happened to be of Zen origin.
It is the direct realization of your true Self or original Self that characterizes the heart of Zen. There is an emphasis on awakening, clarity, life, compassion, joy and inclusion. It is the deepest of wells, and I encourage each of you to dive in. I am slowly working (since 2014) towards an M. Div. in Zen Buddhist Ministry through Buddha Dharma University, through which I also teach a class on the Taoist rascal-sage Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi). Let me know if I can be a resource for your goals and remember: Zen is not what you think.
“As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space
an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble
a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning
view all created things like this.”
—The Diamond Sutra (trans. Red Pine)