Author Archives: Alan

About Alan

I've been an active meditator for over 10 years with Heart Circle Sangha, a warm and supportive Zen practice center in suburban New Jersey. Led by our teacher, Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, the Sangha offers a place to start a meditation practice and then to deepen that practice over the years.

Two by Tansui

Ferns The ferns are on their way out now; yellow, brown, a few green holdouts. This ancient plant: somewhere in its DNA, dinosaurs roam. Now I see these ferns lushly green in summertime; tall, too, waist-high on me. That which … Continue reading

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Zendo closed tonight (12/27/10) due to blizzard

Due to today’s blizzard and New Jersey’s state of emergency, the Zendo will be closed tonight (12/27/10). We will also be closed on the morning of Wednesday, 12/29/10. That closing was planned in advance due to the teacher’s and instructors’ … Continue reading

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One bite at a time

Last Sunday I presented a talk for the Sangha on the topic of mindful eating. Just as we can find satisfaction in each moment, when eating we can be happy with each mouthful, with each chew. One bite at a … Continue reading

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New listing on

To help spread the word about our “Zen gem” here in the suburbs of New Jersey, I’ve created a listing at ( is a “hyperlocal” news source that has strong coverage here in North Jersey.) Please check out the … Continue reading

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No one really knows what electricity is

Ed Flynn, a columnist for Bergen County’s “Town Journal” and other local papers, wrote on November 4 of his difficulty in explaining electricity to his two great-grandsons: You just switch it on and wondrous things happen. The truth, of, course, … Continue reading

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Enjoy the walk

After a day of intense computer work, I decided to stop on my way home at the Celery Farm Nature Preserve in Allendale, NJ, as a break from human stress and concerns. When I approached the little dirt parking lot … Continue reading

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This is all there is

One night last week I woke up anxious about a task I’d left undone at work, something that might cause problems for other people. Full of tension, I was unable to stop thinking about the problem I’d created. Then I … Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Stress reduction | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Shuso Hossen Ceremony

Today was the ceremony that marked the completion of  my year of training to become a senior Zen student at Heart Circle Sangha in Ridgewood, NJ. In attendance were about a dozen people who braved the aftermath of a dramatic … Continue reading

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