Mondo Zen Blog

The Heart Of Zen

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Heart of Zen is the full, mature expression of Jun Po’s life work, beyond just the Mondo Process. In the pages of this book, Jun Po and Kogen (Keith Martin-Smith) explore in a lively Q &A how Mondo Zen came about, providing a background and complete context for the Mondo koans.

Part discussion and part experiential guide, The Heart of Zen does not pull any punches. True to Jun Po’s no-holds-barred style, it takes on all of the personal and institutional challenges that led to the creation of Mondo Zen. This includes discussing, for the first time, the reasons he resigned in protest as Vice Abbot of Dai Bosatsu in 1992 - and how that experience was a catalyst for Mondo itself. Read More

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Dai Bosatsu ... Coming Home

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Sisters and Brothers, 

I hope you will be able to join us next year and attend sesshin at our root monastery, Dai Bosatsu Zendo, deep within the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Read More

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A Recent Experience

Thursday, January 31, 2013

“Before the retreat, I had meditated a couple of times at a Buddhist temple but did not have an understanding of what I was doing. I came to the [Mondo Zen] retreat with the hope that I could break out of my current mode of existence: bored/sad/stuck in a cycle of shame. The retreat surpassed all of my expectations. I learned so much from the text and experiences.  Read More

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The Junpo Roku

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Authored by Daju Suzanne Friedman, The Junpo Roku is a record of the early teachings of Roshi Junpo Denis Kelly. This book captures Junpo Roshi's depth, humor, and wisdom while presenting his dharma talks and various lively Zen exchanges between him and his students.

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. Read More

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A Heart Blown Open

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Heart Blown Open:  The Life and Practice of Zen Master Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi  ~ A Spiritual Biography by Keith Martin-Smith

Emotional Freedom for the Modern Seeker
An Ancient Science of Mind Receives an Upgrade

“This is the story of our time... an absolute must-read for
anyone with even a passing interest in human evolution...”
— Ken Wilber, author of Integral Spirituality

"This is the legendary story of an inspiring teacher that
mirrors the journey of many contemporary Western seekers.”
— Alex Grey, artist and author of Transfigurations


Mondo Zen, an updated form of Rinzai Zen (the “Zen of the Samurai”), was developed by Denis Kelly, whose Dharma name (spiritual name) is Jun Po Roshi. This is the story of his life, and how he worked to integrate the hard-won wisdom of a life of playfulness, depravity, loss, and liberating insight, leading to the creation of what what has been called the single greatest innovation in Zen in the last 500 years. 

Go to Divine Arts

 Read More

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A Nondual View of the Emotional Body

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Contributors: Jun Po Kelly Roshi, Reverend Doshin Hannya, Daju Huihai Suzanne Friedman and Keith Martin-Smith

Therapy and emotional processing can provide new perspectives on cultural conditioning and promote a healthier ego. Spiritual practices such as Zazen and Dzogchen gradually awaken us to the illusion of permanent self. This raises an important question: What does our emotional body look like when viewed from shunyata, or Nondual Awareness? Join Jun Po and Doshin Roshi in this lively discussion on the emotional body as seen by the viewless view of Nondual Awareness. Read More

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A Letter from the Air Force Academy Buddhist Program Leader

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2010-2011 - A progress report

It’s 1900 on a Friday evening in Jack’s Valley.  It’s been a 90+ degree day. Cadets in Basic Training have been running the Assault Course, the Obstacle Course, and others, and they have had people in their faces, yelling, since very early morning. They are tired. Fifteen of them come walking up the dirt road to the tent that serves as the Buddhist Chapel in the camp. A tarp is spread over the concrete floor, and this evening there are just enough cushions for two leaders and the 15 cadets who take off their boots and packs at the entry. Several approach the altar to offer incense. Rays from the low sun stream the length of the tent, and suffuse the quiet that takes hold immediately. We sing refuge: “I take refuge in Awakening; I take refuge in the Way; I take refuge in my Companions.”

Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are present. After 20 minutes of meditation, with just a few words dropped into the silence, a leader introduces walking meditation: see what it’s like if you walk as one body. And they do.  There’s some time for discussion, and immediately the power of the meditation itself is spoken. One speaks of the sense that “everything belongs.” Another says he was suddenly keenly aware of connection: a sensation that he and everything else are connected. Someone expresses awe at the countless phenomena that appear in each moment---the largeness and largesse of each instant. One cadet speaks of the intimacy of sound during the meditation. One woman speaks of how hard it was not to have service last Sunday, when violent storms caused a cancellation.   Read More

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In Defense of Promiscuity

Monday, February 14, 2011

by Jun Po Kelly Roshi (published on Integral Life)

Should spiritual teachers sleep with their students?  It seems this is a question whose time has come. 

Every worldview has a very strong option on this.  Red says “Of course!”  Amber usually says “No!”, but on occasion “Yes!” if the mythology permits it.  Orange will say “yes,” but that decision is related to “status” (both the teacher’s and the student’s).  Green screams “NO” and points to the lack of a “level playing field,” lecturing about the (im)balance of power, especially if the teacher is a man (oppressor) and the student a woman (oppressed).  So what says the Integralist?

Let’s start with the act itself.  Sexuality is sacred. This is where the genders, the two faces, little god-man Adam and little god-woman Eve actually touch faces, and through that embrace reincarnate.  Magical thinking and mythic beliefs tell us that our egos will continue through the Law of Karma - good boys and girls get to be reborn as spiritually-aware people, bad boys and girls are forced into painful rebirths to burn and purge their sins.  Read More

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Moonlight in Sonoma

Monday, January 31, 2011

by Jim Hight

On the last night of the recent Hollow Bones sesshin, I hardly slept at all. Counting breaths, reciting mantras, even reading a novel brought sleep no closer.  At 3 AM, I resolved to try counting once more. By the time I reached 80 breaths, I had an insight worth much more than one sleepless night.  Read More

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A New Year

Friday, December 31, 2010

from Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi

Beloved Sangha of the Hollow Bones Order,

This past year has been wonderful. I stand in awe and full appreciation of that old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."  Read More

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