- Tom Pitner
About Mondo Zen
We are a sacred order, bringing into being a harmonious and loving world through the practice of meditative, compassionate awareness and mindful stewardship.
- From Our Sutra Book
What is Mondo Zen?
Mondo Zen™ is based on Japanese and Chinese Zen, updated for the 21st Century. Mondo Zen™ transcends the hierarchical/authoritarian, gender-biased and constraining monastic aspects of traditional Zen in favor of practical, experiential “in the world” engagement. Relying only on direct personal experience - as taught by the Buddha himself - it does not allow mythic constructs to complicate its philosophical orientation. This includes ideas such as reincarnation, soul as personality, bardo realms, past lives, a creator deity, or other faith-based beliefs. It is important that in our practice of Mondo Zen™ we consciously choose to set aside all such ideas at least until we have experienced, tested and evaluated for ourselves a simpler and stronger way of knowing. Why is this important? Because those beliefs and concepts force our immediate experience into a container of pre-defined understanding, robbing us of the experience of deeper insight. By letting go of our attachment to our beliefs and mythologies, at least while we are actively doing this practice, we remove a barrier to insight caused by our attachment to those views. Leave old concepts at the door with your hat and shoes—you can always pick them up again on the way out, if they still fit!
Our Mondo Zen™ protocol is designed to accomplish the first step upon this ancient, updated and renewed path of awakening, a transmission of Correct Understanding. The Koan questions asked in our dialog can be confusing because they are designed to deconstruct your current philosophy, creating a new philosophical understanding and awakening you into Clear Deep Heart/Mind. With this two-fold understanding - experiential and philosophical - we will experience the openness and fearless stability within our ordinary mind. We will acquire new language: language that will allow us to recognize, realize, and maintain awareness of Clear Deep Heart/Mind.
At this point, it is important to recognize that the Mondo Zen™ process is a full heart-mind collaboration between “student” and “teacher.” In particular, the facilitator will first ensure that they are and remain deeply grounded and present in Clear Deep Heart/Mind. A vital function of the facilitator is to hold the integrity of the container, keep everyone from getting lost in chatter or concepts, and strongly on track. From deep heart mind, facilitators invite the participant to join them and remain in this state of clarity throughout the dialogue.
Our hope is that you will enjoy a profound, integrative experience that will change your life in ways you want, starting right now! Our primary intentions for this session are
- First, correct understanding of the nature of mind, putting you in control of your internal experience,
- Second, a taste of the actual liberating experience of no-self,
- An opportunity to practice with plenty of support and feedback as both belief and experience evolve, and finally,
- Suggestions to help you carry the practice back home, build it into your own life in ways that expand and enrich, and then share it with others.
Let us now take our first step together!