Soryu Forall (Teal Scott)

As a child, I watched people destroying life on earth and I knew that “I must do something.” I wanted to face the problem directly, but I did not know how. As a teen, I left home to study selfishness and the end of selfishness. After visiting teachers for some time, I found a true Zen Master, Shodo Harada Roshi, with whom I was fortunate to train for several years, and under whom I was ordained in 1998 at Sogen Temple in Okayama, Japan. I also trained, and served as head monk at Sariputta Boudh Vihar, an Ambedkar Buddhist monastery in southern India, where I worked for the rights of those born into the lower castes and helped to raise thirty boys with the understanding that we are all inconceivably valuable, regardless of social position. I led peaceful protests and organized community efforts to overcome the injustice of the caste system. I further trained at Hemis Gompa, a Kagyud Tibetan monastery in the far north of India, where I maintained a rigorous meditation practice, and later at Xue Feng Si, an ancient Ch’an monastery in eastern China. Since returning to the United States, I have had the honor of participating in several Native American ceremonies, including the Sun Dance and a four-year cycle of Vision Quests.

I am currently living in Johnson, Vermont, at the Monastic Academy. Over the past 20 years, I have practiced formal meditation, sometimes joyful and sometimes painful but always exciting, for about 25,000 hours.

I teach meditation techniques at residential retreats around the US and internationally, one-on-one in Vermont, over the phone and the Internet and through text messages, and in local schools and youth centers. To bring mindfulness and selflessness to more people, I run a non-profit named the Center for Mindful Learning that maintains a full-time training program for 12 residents and provides an extremely easy and effective online mindfulness course for school teachers. It is a blessing for me to have the chance to provide meditation guidance as a full-time job and to have the chance to work with Shinzen Young on his Home Practice Program.

For more about Soryu Forall and his work, visit the Center for Mindful Learning.