Trudy Boyle: I am currently semi-retired and living in Ottawa, where for the past five years my primary purpose has been to contribute to the care of my two precious Grandchildren. As those needs change, I am once again also offering workshops in my adaptation of Meaningful Life Therapy for cancer patients at Wellspring Calgary, where I was formerly the Program Director. I am a past president of the To Do Institute and have been working with this material for 25 years. In 1996 I did an intensive Naikan in Vermont and have helped organize two Naikan intensives on the west coast of Canada, along with Gregg Krech and Dr. Ishi from Japan. My personal interests include photography, poetry, cycling, music and lifelong learning. For me, one of the many invaluable gifts that Naikan offers is an opportunity to see the ripple effects of my actions more clearly and the nonstop help that I receive every single day. It ups my chances to respond a little more realistically, appropriately and kindly, a little more often, through this unique way of seeing.
Clark Chilson is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches on Asian religions, religion in East Asian cultures, and on Buddhism and Psychology. He is the author of Secrecy’s Power: Covert Shin Buddhists in Japan and Contradictions of Concealment (2014) and various academic articles on religion in Japan. He lived in Japan for 14 years. After guiding a graduate student in an independent study on Naikan, he decided to do a one-week Naikan retreat in Tokyo in 2011. This led to a powerful experience and a fascination with Naikan. He has subsequently done two more Naikan retreats (one for a week and the other for two weeks) and has helped facilitate two Naikan retreats in the US. He is currently doing research on Naikan as a contemplative practice.
Sue Cole: I was introduced to Naikan and experienced its benefits while practicing at the Denver Zen Center and joining the ToDo Institute. Before my Naikan experiences I attended the University of Colorado where I met and married my husband. Together we lived on a sailboat for two years and later created a family company developing and selling software for broadcasters world-wide. Today I live gratefully in Denver enjoying family, friends and a new passion for riding horses.
Ron Hogen Green is a zen student and teacher affiliated with Zen Mountain Monastery and the Mountains and Rivers Order in Mount Tremper, New York. He is the director of the Zen Center of New York. Hogen holds a BS of Pharmacy and is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Hogen was certified by David Reynolds in Constructive Living in 1991 and has participated in and helped organize and sponsor week-long Naikan retreats at the San Francisco Zen Center, the Denver Zen Center, the Pittsburgh Zen center and at ToDo Institute. He serves on the Board of Directors of The ToDo Institute and Zen Mountain Monastery. When not in New York City, Hogen lives with his wife Cindy in Danville, PA along with his son and daughter-in-law, 3 grandchildren, and a number of cows, chickens, cattle, dogs and cats.
Carmela Javellana: I’m a psychiatrist in private practice (Sanctuary for Healing & Integration, or SHIN) in Salt Lake City. I’m also pursuing formal ordination into the priesthood of the Jodo Shinshu tradition, specifically with Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto, thanks to the encouragement and guidance of my husband, also a Jodo Shinshu priest, Rev. Jerry Hirano (resident minister of the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple). My interest in Naikan lies in the need for a strong spiritual dimension inspired by the dharma in my work, not just for me but for my patients as well, and certainly for the community at large. I’m hoping to start a residential Naikan program here in Salt Lake, or maybe even in California, in addition to the day Naikan retreats twice a year that we have been doing at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple since 2009.
Gregg Krech: My initial period of Naikan training took place in Japan from 1989-1993. I trained at three different centers including Yoshimoto’s Naikan center. I assisted at another center and visited 5-10 others. I’ve been conducting Naikan retreats in the U.S. and Canada for the past 25 years. I’ve written a book on Naikan and have another that’s about 90% complete. I’ve been involved with Shin Buddhism for the past 30 years and in 2006 introduced Naikan to the U.S. Jodo Shinshu ministers at a national conference. It’s been a profound privilege to watch the transformative power of the Naikan reflective process for the past 25 years. I have great confidence in the process and its potential for moving the world in a positive direction.
William Masuda. I am a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist minister who served both the Buddhist Churches of America and the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii for a total of 44 years. I retired in 2012 but continued to participate in volunteer Dharma activities at local Bay Area temples. In 2015, I received an invitation to serve as an interim minister in Hawaii. I am presently serving on Maui as the resident minister at the Makawao Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.
The Naikan process has enriched my appreciation and gratitude for my life. The practice of self-reflection and self-accountability helps to illumine my daily life as a Nembutsu follower. I find that it is also a skillful means to help other seekers on the Nembutsu path. Naikan resonates deeply with the Nembutsu spirit.
Chikako Ozawa-de Silva: I am an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and a Naikan researchers. My research focuses on cross-cultural understandings of health and illness, especially mental illness, by bringing together Western and Asian perspectives on the mind-body, religion, medicine, and therapy. I have studied Naikan since 1997 both as a client and assistant practitioner at Meiso no Mori Naikan Center and Yoshimoto Ishin’s Naikan Center in Nara, and also have visited Naikan centers in Austria. Having experienced one-week Naikan twice, I had the good fortune to work with Yoshimoto Kinuko and Yanagita Kakusei. My publications on Naikan include a monograph, Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan: The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan (Routledge, 2006) and several journal articles. Through a grant from the Mind and Life Institute, I am also Principal Investigator of an ethnographic study of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training.
Robert Strayhan: I am a psychiatrist working in Texas. I first learned about Naikan while stationed in Japan. I did a week of intensive Naikan at the ToDo Institute. My interests in Naikan primarily focus on the spread of this elegant approach to emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth in the United States. In my more grandiose moments, I think about research and publication in peer reviewed journals as a way to reach mainstream clinicians. But I also feel that it would be equally useful, if not more so, to make Naikan more easily accessible to members of the general public. I want it to be more accessible to minority members of society by bringing the approach to them, where they are. Everyone cannot afford to go to seminars, or attend Naikan intensives. I would like to help people see that Naikan is a tool that is useful not only during challenging times but as a facilitator of lifestyle change.