One of the emerging voices in our blooming Zen conversation is Koun Franz, a young American guy who’s trained exclusively in Soto Zen in Japan and so offers quite a different perspective, especially in terms of what’s available online.
I’m delighted to see that Koun has just started a blog, Nyoho Zen, (here).
Here’s a little snippet of his recent post, “You’re Free to Stay:”
“Zen masters were met on American shores by members of a counterculture that valued freedom above all other things, and there was ample evidence that these little bald men were offering exactly that. That counterculture rejected ideas of rank and formality. It rejected the idea that there were any “shoulds” in spiritual practice. In fact, those bald men came representing a tradition of precision and conformity. Their training had been to do everything—from washing their faces in the morning to bowing to using the toilet—in a neatly prescribed way, the way their teachers had done it and their teachers had done it, for centuries. They were products of one of the most elegantly refined systems of vertical hierarchies the world has ever known. From any Western perspective, they had trained in a very, very tight box. If they had anything to teach, it was born of that training.”
Wholehearted welcome to Koun’s Nyoho Zen!