Zen is truth experienced and testified to by each individual as the fundamental basis of one’s personality, after sincere and assiduous search and training.
—Zenkei Shibayma, Roshi
Gregory Hosho Abels began practicing Christian forms of meditation in 1973 and teaching them in 1977 before turning to Zen Buddhism in the early 1990s. He entered into intense training, study, and travel with his teacher, Robert Jinsen Kennedy, Roshi, and in 2006 was made Sensei in the White Plum lineage, which empowered him to teach and transmit the Dharma of the Buddha. His Dharma name, Hosho, given to him by his teacher, loosely translated means, Voice of the Dharma.
He is Co-Resident Teacher at Still Mind Zendo in Manhattan with his wife, Sensei Janet Jiryu Abels, who founded the zendo in 1994. Still Mind is a “shirt-sleeve” zendo where the Abels and the sangha (community of practitioners) strive in a no-frills manner to model a fully lay Zen practice outside monastery walls, thereby helping to nurture American/Western forms of Zen. There is some ritual at Still Mind, done wholeheartedly, but the emphasis is on sitting meditation and compassionate living.
Sensei Gregory’s work at Still Mind is to guide the sangha generally and his students in particular by giving Dharma talks, offering one-on-one teaching, and leading retreats at Still Mind’s New York City location and in rural settings. He is Vice President of the Board of Directors and helps oversee the not-for-profit corporation aspects of Still Mind Zendo, Inc.