Almost twenty years ago, I sat on the front porch of a rustic A-frame perched on a ridge overlooking the campus of Zen Mountain Monastery. It was nearing midnight. Inside, my housemates, also in Zen Training at ZMM, were asleep.
Over the course of the past six months, it had become increasingly clear that the rigid, hard-driving, and unabashedly authoritarian nature of the Roshi's Eight Gates of Zen Residential Training didn't ring true to me. For sure, I was grateful to have experienced some openings at ZMM and made some new friends. Yet, to be honest, the community culture at Zen Mountain Monastery wasn't all that different than the outside world. It seemed like the same old story. Business as usual in a capitalist society.
I wasn't. And, as best I can tell, neither are you!