For articles, media coverage, and presentations at the intersection of ecological crisis and spiritual response, please visit this page.


Joshu’s Mu
Mu is the first koan in the collection of koans called Mumonkan. This teisho lays out how Mu is the gateway to all subsequent koan work in our tradition. It also lays out the relationship between different kinds of koans and what are all of them eventually aiming at — “The whole elephant”! Listen to the teisho here.

“A Non-Buddhist Philosopher Questions the Buddha.”
This was Kanko’s first offering as a teisho (dharma talk) to her root sangha right before her teacher, Kurt Kangan Spellmeyer publicly gave her permission to teach independently in May 2013. Read the transcribed teisho here.

“Layman Pang’s beautiful snowflakes”
This talk touches upon koans that modern day dharma practitioner’s face in the wake of  our ongoing lack of socio-economic diversity in sanghas and planetary level ecological crises. It was Kanko’s offering during sesshin (intensive meditation retreat) at Choboji (Seattle) and is available as transcribed text within Choboji’s Summer 2017 Plum Mountain News (starting page 4 of this PDF file).

Short articles

Why do YOU want to meditate? Ask yourself what makes you curious about meditation? When our question is clear, answer follows much more easily!

Selfless self-compassion (along with guided metta meditation) – A student’s blog. Zen tradition usually doesn’t emphasize loving-kindness but we feel that self-care is crucial and can be selfless. What does it mean to fill our own cup before we start pouring nectar and healing for others?

Long articles

Ecodharma teachings

Three pillars of Eco-Dharma (sacred) activism:
What are the ingredients of spiritually-rooted activism? Why is working on our inner equanimity and our education not enough? What happens when we work on our inner healing and also help others in our community heal but not pay attention to strategic education about what ails our planet? Why does our effort to engage in spiritually-rooted activism get derailed?

Eco-dharma community: How are ecodharma friendships different?:
Many of us know what dharma communities look like. If we have meditated with a group before, we have seen at least one kind of dharma community! But how is an ecodharma community different? How does it mean to work for both inner “individual level” and outer “societal level” change?

One movement towards joy, health, harmony, kindness and justice:
We have only so much energy and resources. There are so many social-justice, economic, political and ecological problems. Which problem should I focus on? And how is one problem related to another problem? This article explores intersectionality between many different socio-political issues!

Ethics and transformation

The Zen circle and the human tangent. Why Zazen (in the times of scandals)?

Over the past few years, scandals surrounding several prominent Zen teachers have left a question mark in the mind of many aspiring meditators, and even advanced practitioners. If teacher after teacher has not gotten rid of his neurotic and manipulative tendencies after decades of practice, why should we have anything to do with Zen? When people with many decades of seated meditation practice seem not to have learned to face their dark shadows and can continue to engage in spiritual bypassing with dangerous impunity, why should we not throw Zen away from our lives? Read the entire article here.

*In our tradition, the speaker of a teisho/dharma talk uses koans to anchor the content anddoes not use any written notes. The teisho/talk is woven together at the time of delivery and the sentences are often not complete when the talk is delivered. To clarify the meaning, edits and additions are inserted after transcription.