Posted inDharma, Gateless Gate, General News & Announcements, Koans, Other Teachings, Videos

Barriers, Shana Smith (Video)

January 28, 2023

Guest Sanbo Zen teacher Shana Smith comes to us from her home in Florida. She acknowledges the many challenges of our world (hurricanes, pandemic, politics, Ukraine) and that our practice has never been more important. Zen lives, breathes and informs our life inside these challenges.

Shana points to the barrier Islands around Florida which were never meant to be developed because they shift and move with the ocean. These islands are living masses meant to form and reform based on the environmental conditions. The islands are like us, impacted and ever changing based on conditions. Shana explores how we create imaginary barriers to fortify and protect ourselves which denies our actual here and now reality.

Shana looks at Case 47, Tou-shuai’s Three Barriers from the Gateless Gate koan collection, as a way to illustrate the how barriers separate us from our true nature and from other beings or, from what Valerie calls, our Intrinsic Belonging. Thank you Shana for sharing your wisdom with us through this meaningful teisho. Gassho.

Shana Smith is an Assistant Teacher with Sanbo Zen International, and the facilitator of Florida Sanbo Zen in Gainesville, Florida. Her root teacher is Valerie Forstman Roshi of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also studies with Henry Shukman Roshi, Ruben Habito Roshi, and Sanbo Zen Abbott Yamada Koun Roshi. Shana’s journey to Zen was launched when she began a committed yoga practice in 1990. 

After several years of ardent practice and study, she started to teach yoga and lead kirtan at her local studio and Yoga Temple.  Shana became interested in the sensations and insights she experienced in Savasana, which led her to a regular daily meditation practice in 2004. In 2007, she took refuge in the Sanbo Zen Lineage with Valerie Forstman Roshi. Over the years, she has found a tremendous synergy between Yoga and Zen, and integrates the two in her daily, committed practice. Zen consistently informs, sustains, and inspires her life as a parent, writer, musician, teacher, and lifelong student.

Photo by Alexandra Nicolae on Unsplash

footer support banner image

Support Mountain Cloud

You can show your gratitude for Mountain Cloud events, retreats, podcasts and other teachings by making a one-time gift, or by becoming a supporting member.

Donate to Mountain Cloud Become a Member