Hi! I'm Jan Hodgman. My "official" qualifications include ordination as a Soto Zen priest, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Master’s in East Asian Studies, with studies in Zen Buddhism to augment my eight monastic years in Japan, certification as a Focusing Trainer by Reva Bernstein, a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, serving as a hospital chaplain, working in hospice and completion of Peter Fenner's Nondual Teacher and Therapist training. More importantly, though, I really love being a part of a person’s journey toward self-awareness and recognition of our True Nature, and a full life.
The primary influences in my own journey have been my Zen monastic training under Harada Sekkei Roshi, my training in Focusing and participation in Peter Fenner's Nondual Teacher and Therapist training. In 1984, after several years as a professional musician and a volunteer and board member of a newly formed hospice in Oregon I took a trip to Japan to visit my sister and family. While there, I decided to check out the Zen scene. I had already been meditating for many years, and wanted to experience Zen in the land of its development. At Hosshinji Monastery I attended a week-long meditation retreat and upon meeting Harada Sekkei Roshi, the abbot, I knew I had to study with him. I had a powerful taste of my True Nature at my first Rohatsu sesshin there.
After ordaining as a Zen Buddhist priest, I spent a year at a Soto Zen nunnery in Niigata, Japan's Snow Country. I then returned to the men’s training monastery of Hosshinji for several years. I also spent a year at a temple in a mountain village in Fukui. Here’s a photo of me on my ordination day in 1986:
Upon returning to the U.S., in part to help care for my mother with Alzheimer’s, I took a course on Creativity with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow, and sat in on a Theory Construction course taught by Eugene Gendlin, Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. (This course later became “Thinking at the Edge".) Later my sister introduced me to Focusing, a dynamic process developed by Gendlin.
Focusing continues to amaze and nourish me personally, and I love sharing it
with others. I did my Focusing training with Reva Bernstein as my Coordinator,
and took workshops with Ann Weiser Cornell, Ph.D.
In 2009 I encountered the work of Peter Fenner, Ph.D., an Australian who had spent a significant amount of time as a Tibetan monk and later disrobed. His work integrates the heart of Buddhist and other wisdom teachings with a Western psychological approach. Here at last I found a way that seamlessly weaves profound spiritual inquiry with our Western lifestyle. I took his Nondual Teacher and Therapist training, completed in February, 2011, served as a nondual coach in his 9-month Radiant Mind training in Portland, OR and continue to work with people as a nondual coach. I'm also offering weekends of Introduction to Radiant Mind. I also served as Vice-President of the board of the non-profit Center for Nondual Awareness from its inception for 5 years.
While in graduate school in East Asian Studies at University of Illinois in 1995,
I met my husband-to-be at our Zen group. Married life offers daily challenges and opportunities to grow, and brings the importance of relationship to the foreground of my life. Bob and I enjoy hiking in the glorious Pacific Northwest, playing music like "Ashokan's Farewell" and Pernod's Waltz" together (Bob
on guitar, me on concertina, hammered dulcimer, flute or piano), growing
vegetables and flowers, and leading local groups in meditation and Luminous Awareness, my "flavor" of the Radiant Mind approach.
Another interest of mine is fabric dyeing, and using the fabric to make hangings, scarves and quilts. The one below is done with an old photographic process called cyanotype.Lately my art pursuits center on painting and drawing. Here's a look at my 365 pieces of mail art made and sent out in the entire course of 2017, one a day: https://www.mailart365.com/author/zenjan/
I've also had my work displayed at Hadrian Gallery in Edison, WA and the Anacortes City Hall Council chambers.
I've offered classes using Focusing to explore creativity and see the spontaneity of art-making in all its forms to be a direct expression of spirituality.
I am also a published author, with works in CALYX, Post Road, The Raven's Chronicles, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction and others. Most of my writing draws on my experience as a Zen monk in Japan. I have also had interviews published in the Focusing Institute's newsletter.
I love offering workshops incorporating Focusing into the process of writing and music. I also offer a 5-week course in Focusing and Meditation through Focusing Resources, and one on The Great Matter: Finding Our Way with Death, Dying and Grief.. I have led a group in Focusing and Nature at the North Cascades Institute.
Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island, where the ferries depart for the San Juan Islands in Washington. The weather is mild and the scenery is spectacular. I love listening to fog horns and the sounds of crows. Here's a lake about a 5 minute walk from where I live:
And please take a stroll in my garden.
Hollyhocks, artichokes, scarlet runner beans and lavatera with Irish Eyes rudbeckia have been known to gambol there.
"The person-centred approach is about trust. The discovery is that when one person truly listens to another, that person is set free to find their own way in life. In close listening, the listener does not lead, but follows."
Rob Foxcroft, Focusing trainer
"The unconditioned mind isn't something that is removed from our everyday life. It is the experience in which we discover total freedom in the midst of our conditioned existence."
Peter Fenner, Ph. D., author of Radiant Mind