Ken Kushner

Kenneth Setsuzan Kushner is a priest and Zen Master in the Chozen-ji line of Rinzai Zen. He also holds the rank of Kyoshi in the Chozen-ji School of Kyudo (“Zen Archery”). Kushner Roshi founded the Wisconsin Betsuin in 1982 and is the principal instructor in the Madison Dojo. In addition, he teaches kyudo in both Madison and Spring Green, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Betsuin and the Institute for Zen Leadership.

Kushner Roshi holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. He is a professor at the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and practices at Wingra Family Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Madison. He is the author of One Arrow, One Life: Zen, Archery and Enlightenment and co-author of Zen Kyudo. In recent years, Kushner Roshi has been concentrating on hara development; he has a blog on that subject.


One Arrow One Life: Zen, Archery and Enlightenment

Several years after I had been a live-in student at Daihonzan Chozen-ji, Tanouye Roshi asked me to write a book about my understanding of Zen and Kyudo. The title, “One Arrow, One Life” immediately sprang to mind. In the book, I interweave my personal experiences as a Chozen-ji student with the relationship between Zen and the Japanese art of archery.

Zen Kyudo

I co-wrote this book with Jitsudo Tsuha Roshi, who was then Headmaster of the Chozen-ji School of Kyudo. In it, we examine in depth the Zen foundations of our lineage of Kyudo.

Hacking the Hara

This video was recorded at a presentation I gave to the Bay Area Consciousness Hacking Meetup Group in August, 2107.  In it, I describe the phenomenon of hara and its significance in Zen training. I also demonstrate a hara development exercise and the use of the HaraMeter®.

You Cannot Wash Off Blood With Blood

I wrote this article for the medical journal, Explore.  My main intent was to explain how principles of the Chozen-ji tradition of zazen (Zen meditation)—with its strong emphasis on physicality—can be applied to psychotherapy.  However, the article also serves as a general description of how I view the relationship of breathing, posture and concentration in Zen training.

Zen and Behavioral Health

This article is a chapter in the recent book, Handbook of Zen, Mindfulness, and Behavioral Health, edited by Masuda and O’Donohue and published by Springer. In it, I review the scientific literature on the effectiveness of zazen as an intervention in behavioral health

Hara Development Blog

Zen Calligraphy