My name is Roy. I am recently retired from 25 years as a university biostatistician (before that I did a variety of things) and for the past 5 years have been reclaiming my previously deep involvement in the arts as a photographer. I have been a zen practitioner for 15 years and my zen practice was instrumental in bringing me back to the arts. I am also interested in writing about the arts and have a paper being published this fall about Minor White, an important 20th century photographer who had some familiarity with zen. I am especially interested in how others integrate contemplative practice and art making. You can learn more about me at .


Sounds great, Roy. Zen helped me get into art-making, too. (For starters, puppetry! now I do audio documentary -the common link is storytelling.) What zen lineage/ form do you practice with?


Bowing in, I wish all a good morning from lush, green Vermont where early summer’s days of rain nourish my gardens and a small fire in the woodstove warms my home. I teach in a typically dysfunctional public high school where there’s plenty of talk about respect and kindness, but the culture is marked by speed, aggression and fear. Pairing my solo home practice to aspects of non-violent communication and success counseling as taught by Barnes Boffey helps me create a classroom that my classes of struggling and reluctant readers and writers rely on to be calm, supportive and collaborative. I am a supporter of Upaya Zen Center and grateful for the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.


My local sangha is part of the Diamond Sangha and our teacher is Nelson Foster.He is the resident teacher for the Ring of Bone Zendo in Northern California. Ring of Bone was started by the poet and essayist Gary Snyder who lives up the hill from the zendo. Gary has written a good bit about indigenous cultures and their commonalities with zen. I am very interested in that as well.


Hi Roy, I’m curious about this statement. Could you say a little bit more about how zen brought you back to art?