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."

There Are Too Many Meetings

Attention! Master Jizo asked Hogen, “Where have you come from?”  “I pilgrimage aimlessly,” replied Hogen.  “What is the matter of your pilgrimage?” asked Jizo.  “I don’t know,” replied Hogen.  “Not knowing is the most intimate,” remarked Jizo.  At that, Hogen experienced great enlightenment.  — Case 20, from the Shōyō Roku (The Book of Equanimity). Good […]

Our Hedgehog (Again)

Last year, in one of the first blogs, I wrote about Our Hedgehog. Waiting for my daughter, Jamie, to finish something she was writing at Barnes and Noble, I stumbled upon Jim Collins’ Good to Great. His Hedgehog concept helped us crystallize the core of our success. Collins explained that the Hedgehog resides at the […]

Monastery of the Mind

When I was in my junior or senior year of high school, I read an article about Carleton College, probably sent to me by Carleton, in Look (a now-defunct competitor and alternative to Life, which is pretty much defunct now too.) It described the college as a co-ed monastery. I was intrigued by the image […]

Succession

When I had only just begun to study with Bernie, even before he had formally agreed to be my teacher, I asked him how to infuse my Zen practice into my practice of psychotherapy. He thought for a moment, suggested a book I might read, but then added, “But really, just do your Zen practice; […]

The Three Tenets: Loving Action

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: 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 […]