Gentle Dragon – Intersectionality of Zen and Engaged Buddhism

About Gentle Dragon Laura Kennedy: Gentle Dragon (GD) studied Classical Ashtanga Yoga with Baba Hari Dass beginning in June 1996. She had a solitary sitting practice several years prior. In 2004, after circumambulating Mt. Kailash, she re-connected with Byakuren Roshi who she’s considered her Zen teacher since 1998. Byakuren Roshi worked with her on integrating the relative world and the absolute together in the expression of the Bodhisattva vow. In November 2012, GD was ordained by Byakuren Judith Ragir. In 2016 she was formally recognized by the Clouds community as a teacher in a shuso ceremony. Gentle Dragon has worked with abused children for over 22 years and currently works on developing policy on behalf of those who continue to work directly with abused children. She has a Masters of Counseling Psychology from the Adler Institute in Chicago, IL. GD has participated in Bearing Witness retreats in the Black Hills, Auschwitz/Birkenau, and in a street retreat in SF. Recently, she organized and was a lead teacher for a Bearing Witness retreat in St. Paul, MN. GD received transmission from Byakuren Judith Ragir, October, 2018.

Santikaro – Advice to Meditators: Embodied Properties Facilitate Mindful Breathing

In Advice to Rahula (MN 62), the Buddha advises his still young son to ground himself in basic realities of embodied life before settling in with breathing. Whether the breathing or something else is the primary locus of mindful presence, being well grounded in physical realities allows us to settle, be non-reactive, and cultivate insight into the flow of selfless experience.