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."

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 never […]

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 […]

The Five Buddha Families – Study

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 […]

The Five Buddha Families – Livelihood

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 Families are a way of thinking about our lives, and we can use them to assess our […]

The Five Buddha Families – Spirituality

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 […]

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 out and hire the people they need to assist with the implementation. But it […]

Finding Your Passion: My Story – Part 3

We were hooked on the charter school project. It took three years (eventually we did get theplanning grant), and we eventually got our first charter. We opened our first school in 2009 with 75 students in incubation space provided by New York City.  We now have three schools with almost 1000 students, one more in […]

Finding Your Passion: My Story – Part Two

My thirty-five year career in mental health administration began while I was still in the doctoral program. Through that process, I was mentored by many people, most notably Mike Marvald at Brookdale and Linda Breslin at South Beach, but the influences that remain most impactful were Owen, Bill, and Alan and of course my parents, […]