Lee Allen found PZI’s Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center not too long after moving to Santa Rosa from Los Angeles. She’s a painter and a recent convert to  how helpful a koan and meditation practice can be in the creative life.

I’ve been a member almost three weeks now!  I walked into the zendo in Santa Rosa on a Sunday morning and was welcomed lovingly by John and Rachel and the group. I left feeling I had found “my people” and come home. I thought, “Oh, this won’t last, this feeling.” But it did, and each week it grows stronger and more real.

My first experience with a koan — “A coin lost  in the river is found in the river” — stayed with me as I walked around Spring Lake in Santa Rosa that week.  An ultra-blue art-nouveau dragonfly hovered by my side for a while then swooped away down the path. I felt a light go on–subtle, deep, buried light.

I love seeing the world with fresh eyes. I feel loving support from the PZI community on my journey. Joie de vivre returns!

The koans are echoing through my personal work and through my dreams.

Meditating together, conversation, tea and cake;  I look forward all week to Sunday mornings and Monday evenings at the zendo in Santa Rosa.   I read every email and notice eagerly — stay up late reading Zenosaurus online — look forward to day-long retreats, half-day retreats, trying to get up the courage to do a week-long retreat — my new/renewed life is opening up right in front of me!

I am jumping in with both feet, my heart, and my head!  And (I hope) the worlds in ten directions will be my complete body.

Thank you…..




Read more member stories here.

Lee Allen is an artist and painter, meditation and koans help with that. This piece is called “Agave’s Dream”

You can see some more of Lee’s art in our online magazine, Uncertainty Club.