Roshi Ken (ICS President Ken Byalin) says: "I’m not a typical Zen teacher. My Zen practice manifests as social action. Integration Charter Schools is a manifestation of the practice."

The Three Tenets: Bearing Witness

In the mid-’90s, I was part of a small group that worked with Roshi Bernie in giving shape to the three tenets of the Zen Peacemaker Order: Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, Loving Action. All these years later, I am aware of my anxiety in writing about them. I know there are others in our community […]

The Three Tenets: Not Knowing

  In the mid-’90s, I was part of a small group that worked with Roshi Bernie in giving shape to the three tenets of the Zen Peacemaker Order: Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, Loving Action. All these years later, I am aware of my anxiety in writing about them. I know there are others in our […]

We are Bernie’s Legacy

My remembrance, presented at a Memorial Service for Roshi Bernie Glassman, at the Greyston Foundation, Yonkers, New York, February 17, 2019.   I am Ken Byalin. I am going to read in order to stay within five minutes. I am honored to speak about Bernie’s impact on my life, and I am thrilled to be […]

Artwork of someone being unprepared

Be Unprepared

We train our teachers to be prepared. In Evelyn Finn’s words, “To fail to plan is to plan to fail.” Yes. This is true. But perhaps in the process, we have underemphasized the counter theme — “It’s not going to happen the way you planned it.” The teacher’s delusion — we used to hear it […]

My Other Teachers III — Roshi Robert Kennedy

In many spiritual traditions, students are discouraged by their teachers from exploring other teachers or alternative teachings. Many Zen teachers discourage or even forbid their students attending sesshins (retreats) led by other teachers. There are some good reasons for this. It is easy for students, particularly early on their path, to get confused and then […]

My Other Teachers II — Jishu

In many spiritual traditions, students are discouraged by their teachers from exploring other teachers or alternative teachings. Many Zen teachers discourage or even forbid their students attending sesshins (retreats) led by other teachers. There are some good reasons for this. It is easy for students, particularly early on their path, to get confused and then […]

My Other Teacher I — Kyudo Roshi

  In many spiritual traditions, students are discouraged by their teachers from exploring any other teachers or alternative teachings. In fact, many Zen teachers discourage or even forbid their students from attending sesshins (retreats) led by other teachers. There are some good reasons for this. It’s easy for students, particularly early on their path, to […]

It’s All About the People

  People create the opportunities for us. They provide the energy. They invent the solutions. There may actually be entrepreneurs who figure it all out for themselves, come up with this brilliant idea and plan it all out and then go and hire the people they need to assist with the implementation. But it was […]

The Five Buddha Families – Social Action

I was first introduced to the Five Buddha Families by my teacher Roshi Bernie Glassman: Buddha (Spirituality), Vajra (Study), Ratna (Livelihood), Padma (Community), and Karma (Social Action). Together, they constitute the Mandala [1] of our lives. The five Buddha are a way of thinking about our lives, and we can use them to assess our […]

The Five Buddha Families – Community

 I was first introduced to the Five Buddha Families by my teacher Roshi Bernie Glassman: Buddha (Spirituality), Vajra (Study), Ratna (Livelihood), Padma (Community), and Karma (Social Action). Together, they constitute the Mandala[1] of our lives. The five Buddha are a way of thinking about our lives, and we can use them to assess our individual […]