Thank you for visiting our blog and for being a part of our adventure!

After ten years of monastic training in the depths of the Ventana Wilderness, far far away from some of the luxuries of the modern world (like indoor plumbing, sleeping in and cloud computing), we find ourselves emerging into the vast world to reflect on our life of ceremony, practice and renunciation. Many of the questions that led us to the monastery in the first place are still fully alive: What is it to wake up? Who am I? What is it to engage in experience and not turn away?  And new questions have surfaced as well: How has ten years of monastic life changed my life? Who am I apart from all the forms and tradition and position and projection? What is my inmost request NOW? What’s next?

What ‘s next indeed?

Our intention is to share our stories, photos, and practice with you over the course of our travels through India and Southeast Asia over the next year. We value your feedback and hope to be able to post frequently. Our trip begins on September 23rd when we drive out from Tassajara to the airport and fly from San Francisco to Bangkok, and then to India and beyond.

There is much for us to do between now and then (like figuring out how to run a blog, without being able to do any of it from Tassajara!) Please be patient with us as we muddle our way through unfamiliar technologies. Any support we receive in this incredible transition would be highly appreciated!

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About Unzan Doshin, Mako Voelkel

I am a Soto Zen priest who has lived, worked and practiced at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center for the past ten years.This fall my partner and I have decided to return to the modern world, hopefully with gift-bestowing hands. Our intention is to do some traveling in India and SE Asia for the next year as a way to reenter society, be of service, extend our practice, and gain some perspective. After being cloistered for the entire last decade (both physically and electronically), my hope is that this blog will function as a means to reconnect and share with the wider world.

10 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Thank you Mako and Grajham for sharing your current and upcoming journey. Your blog is very encourging and inspirational and i look forward to reading about your travels. I’m sorry i won’t be at Tass next month to personally wish you two a safe journey accompanied with hugs … still, know virtual hugs are being sent your way. It has been wonderful working and practicing (they’re different ??) with you.

  2. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

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