A man called Zen

shamisen I am called Zen, my wife is Lady Zen, our yacht is called s/v Zen. Why? well that is a bit complex the short version is this. I am a disciple of the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu linage. Shaolin is the birth place of Ch’an Buddhism which is a mix of Taoist & Buddhist Philosophy. “Ch’an is called Zen in Japanese”. Kung fu is more than a fighting style is it way of life, a philosophy, and outlook, which I live.

I am a 36th generation Northern Shaolin Temple Sifu, from the Grandmaster Wong Jac Man lineage. I am also 9th generation Tai Chi Mantis Instructor from Grandmaster Chi Chuk Kai lineage. The first “Nubian Heritage” Tai Chi Mantis Sifu on record. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the USA Chuk Kai Tai Chi mantis Federation.

I am certified to teach Northern Shaolin, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Kali/Arnis, Praying Mantis ( 7 star and Tai Chi Mantis).

Further certified in Feng Shui ( Master Sang & Master Yu), Reflexology, Jin Shin Do (accupressure), & ASA sailing.

Other studies have included, TM, Yoga, Zen, herbology, Kyudo.

All of this does not really mean much in the scope of the world, or the big picture of life…other than I’m really weird for a “black” kid that grew up mostly in West Philly that turned Hippie…

… the Zen handle fits doesn’t 🙂

s/v Zen : My first yacht was named Kuan Yin, she is the goddess of mercy and compassion. Often seen riding on a sea dragon. She was a person in Chinese mythology who once enlighten instead of passing-on to the next level stayed behind to help others reach enlightenment. I figured on my first boat I needed all the mercy and compassion I could get. The next boat I have learned alot, but I am still learning. I am onthe path of enlightenment, but I need more practice or (Zazen) meditation to reach full enlightenment. In a sense enlightenment ( Nirvana ) is being able to sail to Japan. This ship, method, path (Zen) will take me there to Nirvana.

This is my new blog site for 2007. I started out on Blogger and still have the sailing site there. This one is more of a combo site:

Kung Fu, Music, Blasian life, Zen, Japan, Photography, whatever musing.

The sailing stuff will remain Zensekai II

Maybe a book one day…”From Philly to Japan a Nubian Odyssey” At the least my kids and grandkids will know what their crazy parent – grandparent is/was up to.

I’m liking the features here on WordPress. I’ve meet some interesting folks on Blogger, perhaps there will come over here plus some new ones. I’m still setting things up here so it is in birth mode.

I live in the Beautiful S.F. Bay area!! I sail an Iroquois Catamaran. I am a Graphic Designer, Musician, Artist, Healer, Tai Chi/Kung Fu teacher, Potter/Ceramic, Herbalist, Photographer. I guess you can see I have a lot of interests, but really all just expressions of the same. I like to travel and have friends from many places. I speak some, Spanish, Chinese, & Japanese I plan to sail to Japan one day with my made in Japan wife. I am currently outfitting myself and my boat s/v Zen II to make the trip. That will be our big adventure! This blog will track our adventures and what not up to and including our relocation.

************************* *******************************

I am a terrible speller ( I forget there is a spell check ) and sometimes… ok most times edit poorly and redo that later. Life is short so deal with it. Feel free to add your 2 yen worth, so I do not feel I’m just typing to the void. It gives me warm fuzzies to get comments. Live long and prosper…

” Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others reqires force; Mastering the self needs strength”

…Lao Tsu

“Give peace a chance”

… John Lennon

“We are the world”

Fuu seal

33 responses

28 02 2007
Rick Matz

I glad to have stumbled across your blog. It looks interesting, and I’ll certainly be back.

Best Regards,


28 02 2007

Thanks for dropping by. I checked your site as well, interesting stuff, I linked ya.

26 06 2007
Coco Buddha

woah, I found another black buddhist! great site 🙂 found ya while surfing around for blasian links, etc. will be back.

14 12 2007

What a lucky day…!!!

I found you. The flow is wise…

Lucky day for the world, too.

It needs more people like you.

Kindest regards, Zen.

22 01 2009

i am chinese .. i can play Tai Chi Chuan . and i aole like the Zen .

Many foreigners like the Chinese kung fu ??

22 01 2009
22 01 2009

Zhixin, shixiong, Yes I have noticed that many people (foreigners) outside the USA like Kung Fu 🙂

Xiexie ni

24 01 2009
Paul Andre

What a great site!Thank you


31 01 2009

Nice to know you ….

18 02 2009
White Lion

Excellent Blog, you put a lot into it.


22 06 2009

Hello! I love your blog, and always look forward to your Tweets! I linked your blog to my blog. Peace! -Restita (@seattlewushu)

17 07 2009
Sista in Tokyo

Hi Zen! How have you been?

Great blog!!! I’ll put in on my list :).

Take care,


27 07 2009

Im glad to know your site! and I’ll list it!

Best regards,


17 11 2009

wow! you’re terrific.

glad i added you on twitter.

deadturkeytweet on twitter

anniegoose elsewhere

be well


17 11 2009

had to add another comment so i get responses at my email address.

be well.

tell sensei and shoyo-san that i said hello.

nice to ‘meet’ you.

a goose again

17 11 2009

Thanks for dropping by & hooking up Annie. I’ll look forward to some future chats.



24 02 2010
Kevin Uehara

Thank you for visiting my site! I’ll be back to read up on your thoughts.

– Kevin

19 05 2010

Just thought I would say hello after reading some of your blog. Somehow it seems impolite not to, but then I’m not too familiar to the blog world! I was poking around looking for tales from the international kyudo seminar/taikai and yours, complete with photos, had just the viewpoint I was hoping for. Sorry I couldn’t make it (we were having our shinsa up here at the same time), but perhaps we’ll cross paths eventually. I’m also studying kyudo, in Hokkaido. If you find yourselves back in Japan sometime, come up for a visit and some practice!


19 05 2010

Thanks for the note Tim-san. I always thought it proper to leave even some small note when reading someone’s blog. Thank you!

I have not been to Hokkaido, but would like to some day, when it is not cold !
We will be back in Nihon for good in 2012, perhaps visit the 2013 Seminar/Taikai to reconnect with friends.

21 05 2010

Ah yes, the cold… We mostly hibernate through that. In winter the dojo has a temporary wall with windows that goes up at the front of the shajo, and the “Hokkaido Hassetsu” has two extra moves: flip the window down before you start, then flip it back up when you’re finished. It’s actually quite warm unless the snow blows in while you’re shooting, but I kind of like that.

Once you get back to Japan (will you sail over?) I’m sure we’ll catch up at some point. Oh, and congratulations on your performance in Tokyo!

21 05 2010

Sounds good, I saw a picture of a dojo in Germany I think it was, where they shot through holes in the wall to the targets. (^_^)

The plan is to sail to Japan. However we will fly in first a few months ahead of boat to get things setup for our landfall.

Thanks for the congrats!

16 07 2010

I really enjoyed the blog and all the images! Thank you so much for all the work it took to get here.

~ Looking forward to the next serving : )


11 10 2010
Master Melvin Conley

Its a small world after all!!! Greetings from Master Melvin Conley http://www.internalenergycenter.com seeing is believing, although action speaks louder than words!!

9 08 2011

Wow, this is really interesting. Your story itself is interesting — and the fact that I stumbled upon it is also interesting because we have some intriguing similarities. You seem to have been on your journey for much longer than I have been on mine (just a few weeks now), but in my humble opinion, my path so far resembles yours:

I have recently become very interested in Zen Buddhism and blogging (one of my new favorite things is actually zenhabits.net). I am also non-Asian, but I can write in Kanji, I speak decent Japanese, and I am actually planning to move to Japan in a few months after I graduate. As an aside, I happen to also be very interested in music and graphic design, although I probably will not pursue either interest in a professional way.

It was a lovely experience to stumble upon your blog, and I look forward to following your journey and hopefully deriving inspiration and skills to pursue my own.

^_^Y アリ

9 02 2012
Dwayne Newton

Zen, I ran into you at Blue Pelican. It’s me, “ZenDen.” Although our interaction was brief, I began to wonder about your name, and your planned passage to Japan. Not only did you have presence at Blue Pelican, you have a remarkable web presence. I’m inspired by your words and path. I’ll be in touch. Stay safe.

9 02 2012

Thanks for dropping by the site and the kind words. Perhaps we’ll meet again at the Blu Pel.

13 11 2012
Zacky Chan

Great site! I’m practicing kyudo in Japan and eager to read about others’ experiences. Looking forward to future posts.

8 12 2012

Zen, I knew you when … blogs did not exist! I am lost here … is a PM possible? Throw me a line? Rho

24 06 2013
Daniel Mesa

Dear, do you own a sailboat KUAN YIN in 1965 was helped by a submarine in Acapulco? Best regards.

24 06 2013

I had a sailboat many years ago, but have never been to Acapulco.

7 01 2015

Hello Zen! Are you Cybil’s relative or cousin? Have we met at a meditation retreat about 2 years ago in Happy Valley, California? ^_^

7 01 2015

Greetings shijie. Seems like it was more than two years. If you recall me from my cousin, it must be so. Very nice to connect with you again. _/|\_

8 01 2015

Yes, greetings, shixuong, I’m very pleased! Hope all is well! _/|\_

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