Musings on Being the Artist of Your Day

Tag: Mel Ash

More on Mental Kung Fu from Mel Ash

Continuing from yesterday’s post about author/teacher Mel Ash’s three hour workshop given at TheBeat Museum in San Francisco. The topic was “Bay, Beats & Buddhism.” Within three hours Ash covered a brief history of both the Beat movement and Zen Buddhism.

Some memorable quotes from the evening:

“Moments of undeserved grace fall into our lives.”

“Because I’m poor I own everything.” – Jack Kerouac

“Practice is the real work.” – Gary Snyder

“Are you a problem thinker?” Ash asked, and he alluded to the Alcohlics Anonymous Twelve Step Program, and how we might substitute “think” where “drink” appears.

He gave demonstration of how our mind can cause much suffering by dissecting the brain from a model skull.

“You have to love your own stuff. That’s liberation,” said Ash.

I left feeling a shift . . . I hope it will last longer than a week.

Are You a Problem Thinker? Tips from Mel Ash on Practicing Mental Kung Fu

It’s not a whack on the side of the head. No, it’s more encompassing than that. It was an interactive talk with the noble goal of transforming you in three hours.

A few nights ago I heard Mel Ash, teacher and Beat author, give a workshop at The Beat Museum in San Francisco. In the audience were people who had never heard of Zen or the Beat Movement as well as those who had read Ash’s books and had been practicing Zen for years.

The topic was “Bay, Beats & Buddhism.” Ash covered a brief history of both the Beat movement and Zen Buddhism. He started off the evening by asking us to verb instead of noun – like instead of saying you’re “drinking coffee,” say you’re “caffeinating.”

Ash is author of several books (click on the titles it’ll take you to its link on

Beat Spirit

Shaving the Inside of Your Skull  and

The Zen of Recovery.

Ash has been sober for 27 years.

Check back here tomorrow for more about Ash’s presentation.

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