Dharmapalooza 2009 - Day 2

Stuart and Friend
Stuart Davis (with his man purse) and a friend

Dharmapalooza 2009 Day 2 started at a pretty sedate time of 9:30 AM. This gave me time to walk the mile to the space, getting a rare coffee along the way (zen sit + air travel + morning = double americano).

Today was an all day sit and instruction with Jun Po Roshi of Mondo Zen. Jun Po does things a little differently than other Zen teachers I’ve seen (though I don’t know that I’ve ever sat with a Rinzai teacher before). We did relatively short sitting periods of 20 minutes separated by 10 minutes of Qigong practice instead of Kinhin. He said that they have found that it loosens people up, gets their energy moving and helps with the meditation more than just doing walking meditation.

After a few initial sitting periods, we continued the discussion from the previous night in the “Mondo Zen” methods of working with “Emotional Koans” that Jun Po and others have developed. Effectively, this is a kind of dialogue work combined with meditation. During this process, Jun Po had three poor victims (I mean “volunteers”) come up front to demonstrate the process. We then broke up into pairs to work on the same methods with each other. This process continued throughout the day.

I found it interesting though I would really need much more time with it to evaluate it. The training manual that we were using can be found here and I plan to read it in the next week as time permits. I may attend the seven day sesshin that Jun Po is running in Sonoma some time next year if the times work out. For their sesshins, they spend much of the day doing the standard meditation work but also several hours of this emotional work and a couple of hours of body work (yoga, tai chi or other arts).

After spending the day with Jun Po, a number of us went out to dinner at a nearby pub (The Hungry Toad) that Stuart Davis recommended to us. We then travelled through the snow to his concert and spent a couple of hours listening to him play, rant, and tell amusing stories. All in all, it was a pretty interesting day and a fairly fun evening. I’m not typically one for folk music and I hadn’t heard Stu play before but I enjoyed his music and had a good time at the event.

I took a few videos during the Stuart Davis show. My microphone on my little camera got a little overloaded but, hey, if you want to know what he sounds like when playing, this is still ok. You can see it below or here in High Definition.


Day 3 will be a morning and early afternoon event. Originally, it was going to be a Buddhist Geeks panel but Vince had to go to Los Angeles on short notice so I believe that we will be doing more work with Jun Po instead. In the evening, I’m flying back to Oakland to return to my normal life with this Rocky Mountain adventure behind me.

Updated: Fixed bad html for a link that messed up post and added video of Stuart Davis.