The Zen Writer Meets the Zen Teacher


Yesterday, Rick McDaniel, an old Zen hand and author of Zen Masters of China, who is now compiling interviews for a projected book on Zen teachers in North America drove with his wife to Providence, for a quick visit. After the interviews he writes up brief eight hundred word (or so) accounts for a travel blog. If you’re interested…

The small sitting group I host in Fredericton meets at the Shambhala Center—which has been generous in allowing us to use their space. It is, however, located on Serenity Lane, and every time I have to give people directions, I cringe just a little bit.

Today we are in the city of Providence (Rhode Island) and at the corner of Benefit and Benevolent Streets—the location of the First Unitarian Church of Providence. (Unitarians, I am informed, prefer the term “Meeting House”—but the sign out front designates it as a church.) The minister is James Ishmael Ford, who is a Unitarian Minister as well as a leading figure in American Zen. I can’t resist asking if he doesn’t blush just a little when giving the address of the church. “Just a little bit,” he admits with a laugh. “But I do love it.”

For the rest of the story, go here…

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