James Ishmael Ford

James Ishmael Ford

James Ishmael Ford is a senior guiding teacher of Boundless Way Zen and the author of several books including Zen Master WHO? and If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break.


Recent Articles

Meet a Teacher: James Ishmael Ford

James Ishmael Ford gets personal with the Lion's Roar readership.

Hip-Hop Wisdom

Run the Jewels demands its listeners look outward as much as inward. Annaka Gale on this legendary hip-hop duo.

Cat resting.

When, if ever, is it okay for a Buddhist to euthanize a pet?

James Ishmael Ford on the toughest call a pet lover will have to make.

You and Me — It’s All One Thing

James Ishmael Ford finds that an ancient Zen story's wisdom speaks quite well to our confusion around questions of identity, sexuality, and gender.

Woman paying attention

Meditation: Sit Down, Shut Up, and Pay Attention

A peaceful mind begins, says James Ishmael Ford, when you sit down, shut up, and pay attention.

Buddhist wedding.

How to Have a (More) Buddhist Wedding

It's your special day. Why not bring dharma to the proceedings? James Ishmael Ford shares tips on how to do it — without weirding anyone out.

The Frontier Zen of Philip Kapleau and Rochester Zen Center

As Rochester Zen Center celebrates its 50th anniversary, Zen teacher James Ishmael Ford reflects on its unique importance.

Charlotte Joko Beck James Ford Zen

Zen as nothing special: Charlotte Joko Beck and the Ordinary Mind School of Zen

In this adaptation from his book, James Ishmael Ford concisely places the life and work of the late Charlotte Joko Beck into context.

Robert Aitken, Roshi

Who Was Robert Aitken Roshi?

James Ishmael Ford tells the story of the great teacher Robert Aitken — who died on August 5th at age 93.

Who’s in the Club?

James Ismeal Ford on his time volunteering with the American Zen Teachers Association membership committee and its criteria for entry.

A small goodbye to Leonard Cohen’s “Great Buddhist Hymn”

A guest post by James Ishmael Ford about retiring the great Buddhist hymn, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".