Billings 209

Kotatsu John Bailes
Interim Buddhist Chaplain

John Bailes trained in Zen at the San Francisco Zen Center from the age of 19 to 32. He was ordained a Zen Priest by Richard Baker Roshi in 1977, lived at Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center, a Zen monastery, for three years, practiced at Green Gulch Farm and the City Center in San Francisco during which time he held various positions from garbage man to Abbot’s Assistant and “Head” of the Zendo. 

From 1984 until 2004 he practiced as an ordinary citizen while receiving a degree in International Political Economy from Harvard University, developing the Investment Advisory and Securities Division of a regional financial planning firm in the Boston area, marrying Jesa Damora in 1989, participating in a sailboat race around the world in 2000 - 01 and becoming a professional sailboat captain, USCG 100 Ton Sail, RYA Yacht Master Ocean, and sailing about all over the world.

In 2004 John returned to community Dharma practice, was recognized and acknowledged as a Zen Teacher by Zoketsu Norman Fischer who invited him to participate in the Everyday Zen Community, the Red Cedar Zen Community of Bellingham, Washington, where he was Shuso, Head Monk, and the Mountain Rain Zen Community of Vancouver BC all of whom so kindly adopted him and helped him Open to this One Heart of Being.

John established One Heart Zen a Zen based religious practice and educational organization in order to share the Zen attitude, spirit and practice with the world, working together to open the heart of human being, joining life; compassionately meeting one another in everything we do everyday.

John looks forward to working together with the Wellesley Buddhist Community and Multi-Faith Center developing practices and dialogues which will help us find the courage and develop the strength to relieve suffering and face the difficulty and complexity of our liives with equanimity and wisdom.

In spiritual maturity, the opposite of injustice is not justice, but compassion. Not me against you, not me straightening out the present ill, fighting to gain a just result for myself and others, but compassion, a life that goes against nothing and fulfills everything." - Charlotte Joko Beck