Mondo Zen | Hollow Bones | Friends of Zen

March, 2013

March Madness

This month brings some landmarks in the Hollow Bones/Mondo Zen order.  There are five retreats being held in March with a total of about 110 people attending at all locations.

  • Jun Po Roshi and Taiso Roshi in Amsterdam leading a Mondo Zen Sesshin at Venwoude International.
  • Doyo and Daji in Treehaven Center, Wisconsin
  • Daju, Kevala, Reishin, Vicara, and Ma Dhyana at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center
  • Vimala Roshi in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Doshin Roshi at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania, leading a Mondo Zen sesshin

Gratitude and gassho to Jun Po Kando Denis Kelly and all who are carrying the torch.

Time for a Spring Tune-Up?  Try Mondo in Motion

by Daji Corrina Peterson

Zen practice in the midst of activity is a million times superior to that pursued in silence.
                                                       ~ Master Ta Hui

You can stay awake and present on the cushion – Can you do it in motion? Find out in this facilitated experience based on an exciting fusion of the Mondo Zen protocol and equine experiential learning.

Equine Mondo Part I: Listening in Motion – Take your practice off the mat and experience Part I of the Mondo process. Through facilitated interaction with the horse, experience listening without an opinion, feel what you are like at this depth of consciousness, witness the flow of coming and going. Practice functioning from this depth of consciousness – all in a compassionate, supportive environment, with the unique advantage of immediate bio-feedback from a horse.

Equine Mondo Part II: Exploring Your Emotional Koan – Bring the koan you’ve identified, or see what comes up this day. Through facilitated interaction with the horse, watch as your habitual negative reaction arises (it is guaranteed to happen here!), then choose and practice a new, compassionate response and experience the remarkable difference in the results.

Sessions are held at a private, indoor facility just west of Neenah, WI, and conducted by a facilitator trained and skilled in Mondo protocol and equine experiential learning.

Contact to schedule your individual session or for more information.

Prerequisite: Participants must have experienced the Mondo process prior to an equine session, either individually with a facilitator or during a Mondo Zen retreat.

Fees: A donation (Dana*) for a session is gratefully accepted. Typical rates for sessions of this nature range from $60-$90. No one is ever turned away due to the inability to pay a fee.

*Dana, or generosity, is a beautiful practice in Buddhism that allows students the opportunity to express their appreciation for Buddhist teachings by supporting the Sangha and teachers. A gift of Dana comes from our heart and is appropriate to the circumstances. Every gift is appreciated and every practitioner treasured.

Who's Been Talking to My Wife?

by Agustín Gurulé

No one could guess what great things can happen, having a Mondo group, sitting out in the open air by the outhouse.

When we began the 11th koan, I panicked. My mind went blank. I am not a violent man. I seldom react violently at all. However, I wanted to come up with something big and impressive.

But the only thing that came up was, “ It pisses me off that every time I open our computer, it opens up in my wife Judy’s side rather than mine. When I finish using the computer, I always make sure I change it to her side so that it will be there for her when she opens it up. Why can’t she do the same for me?”

I felt embarrassed that I could not come up with something better. What good could come from this pithy example? But a lot has.

“Agustín, have you ever thought of accepting your wife’s expressión of love in the way she offers it, rather than expecting her to express it the way you would?” 

Wow! What a novel idea.

When I got home, I was on alert. How does she express her love? But life  is back to normal. Nag, nag, nag. “Gus, did you sign us up to get propane delivered? Tomorrow is delivery day you know?”

I felt the irritation rising. Within myself I thought, I know tomorrow is Monday. Yes, I did forget, as I always forget. But do you always have to n___?

I stopped and dropped into clear deep heart mind, into my silencio eterno, my eternal silence.

This is one way she always expresses her love for me. I always get things done on time even though I always forget. I get things done on time because she always keeps in mind what I have to do, and she reminds me to do them.

So I stopped, dropped into my eternal silence, took a deep breath, dared myself to be vulnerable, and instead 

(cont. next column)


March 14-17, 2013 - 3-Day Silent Retreat at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center  in California led by Hollow Bones women priests.

March 23-29, 2013- 6-day Mondo Zen Sesshin at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania led by Doshin Roshi.

May 11-18, 2013 - 7-day Mondo Zen Sesshin led by Jun Po Roshi at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.

June 15-22, 2013 - 7-day specially designed Mondo Zen Sesshin at Dai Bosatsu in New York State led by Jun Po Roshi.  This retreat is full.  Contact Kevala at to be placed on the waiting list.

July 15-21, 2013 - 6-Day Mondo Zen Sesshin led by Jun Po Roshi in Griswold, Iowa.

September 14-20 - 6-Day Silent Sesshin led by Jun Po Roshi at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center in California.

November 9-16 - 7-Day Mondo Zen Teacher Training in Loveland, Colorado, led by Doshin Roshi. 
Pre-requisite:  You are required to have attended a regular Mondo retreat. See the website regarding exceptions.

December 1-7 - 6-day Rohatsu silent sesshin at Norbertine Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin, led by Jun Po Roshi.

January 18-24, 2014 - 6-Day Mondo Zen Sesshin at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center led by Junpo Roshi in Sonoma, California.

Visit the Retreat Calendar on the website for more information.

The Junpo Roku 

Authored by Daju Suzanne Friedman, The Junpo Roku is a record of the early teachings of Roshi Junpo Denis Kelly.

This roku, or official record, addresses such topics as Zen meditation, the nature of mind, the ego, koan practice, form and ritual, sutras, everyday dharma, and the Zen Buddhist approach to thoughts and emotions.

The roku is available now through CreateSpace and also for Kindle.

Jun Po's Biography

A Heart Blown Open: The Life & Practice of Zen Master Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi by Keith Martin-Smith is available on Amazon.   

My Wife (...cont.)

of reacting with my usual irritation, I responded and said, “Thank you for reminding me, Love. I know you do that because you love me.”  

With a smile she said, “You’re welcome,” but I noticed there were tears in her eyes.

And this scene has been repeated more than once. A couple of weeks later she asked me what I thought of the idea of replacing our two reclining chairs, separated by a small chest of drawers in our small living room, with a loveseat. Wow!
Oh, and by the way,  now, whenever I open my computer, it is always on my side not hers. That’s odd.

Has anyone been talking to my wife?

Like a Dream

Blending with the wind,
Snow falls;
Blending with the snow,
The wind blows.

By the hearth
I stretch out my legs,
Idling my time away
Confined in this hut.

Counting the days,
I find that February, too,
Has come and gone
Like a dream.

~ Ryokan

Mondo Zen's Mission from our Sutra Book

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