Mondo Zen: What Is It and Why Is It Unique?
Mondo Zen is a revolutionary methodology, a vehicle for transmitting and inducing Buddha Mind.
This extraordinary heightened awareness is known and revered in Buddhist, Hindu and Vedanta traditions as Shunyata or Emptiness. In the Christian tradition, it might be known as divine mystical union, in the manner where Jesus said, “wherever two or more are gathered, there am I.” In integral speak, we call it Witness Awareness, or even deeper, Nondual Awareness.
Why is this experience of Emptiness essential?
In a word, perspective. The Mondo Zen session gives you a sustained experience of enlightened mind, from where the ego, its composition and emotional triggers are examined.
From the perspective of Emptiness, a new view is possible — a less neurotic, less sabotaging or violent, more present, healthy, engaged and enlightened view. Along with the view come tools for implementing this new perspective to improve your life. It also usually feels quite fine and folks report immediate results and improvements in their lives.
How is Mondo Zen different from therapy or other Buddhist traditions?
Mondo Zen is not therapy — it’s more of a gentle intervention. It is a series of 13 questions, or koans, designed to bring you into a heightened state of awareness — Emptiness — from where you are asked to examine your ego and emotions, and come up with homework for working on a chosen challenge based on your new, more enlightened viewpoint at the end of the session.
It’s different from other traditions in its unique focus on emotions as messengers, and in transforming violent emotional reactions into wise, compassionate responses. Plus it works — people actually become happier, healthier, and more evolved. It is not a staid traditional religious paradigm.
Do I have to be Buddhist to participate in a ‘Mondo Zen’ intervention?
No. We only request that you be open to considering things in a new way, leaving preconceived ideas aside for the duration session. If you have very strong theological beliefs, or a very agitated mind that interferes with experiencing Emptiness fully, we may request to walk through the Mondo as a hypothetical experience.
Is there a Suggested Donation?
Donation suggested depends on facilitator. The author suggests a minimum donation of $150 for a session with a priest, which may last anywhere from ninety minutes to three hours. Each facilitator may have a different style. Discuss your situation with your facilitator, who may or may not be a priest.
How do I sign up?
Many of the priests listed on the “Our Community” page on the Hollow Bones Mondo Zen site are trained facilitators in the Mondo Zen process. To identify a priest or trained facilitator who is near you, visit the priest link and reach out to them.
Alternatively, you can contact the author, Fushin, who is available herself for Mondo in San Diego and via Skype worldwide, and who can reach out to other priests to find someone suitable for your request outside of the San Diego region.
Or, you may attend a Mondo Zen training retreat to experience the nuts and bolts of the process itself; for info on retreats, see the retreats link. Make sure you don’t choose a silent retreat, and that the words ‘Mondo Zen’ are included in the retreat title, if this is your primary interest.
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