My name is Robert Hess and I live in Pennsylvania. In 1999 I attended a Zen retreat in Vermont led by Thich Nhat Hanh. That retreat changed my life. They (teacher as his followers call him) told us that all of our ideas about the world, God, after-life, ourselves and everything else are only ideas and all of them are a potential source of suffering. They are not reality. Reality is reality and can only be experienced directly not through ideas in our mind. I left that retreat and began my practice which led me on the path of cultivation and illumination. I found the works of Master Sheng Yen to be very helpful and books on Chan (Chinese for Zen). Red Pine’s translations of the Platform Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, and the Heart Sutra have been extremely helpful. I am so grateful that I have been led to the Dharma.
With Loving Kindness,