From US Marine to Zen Monk [Documentary] 米海兵隊から禅僧へ [ドキュメンタリー]

Hi, I’m Scott and I was, I guess, a former Marine for 20 years and now I’m a Zen monk. For me, being a monk is somebody
who has chosen to pursue a path of learning
the truth about themselves In my military career
I was a flight engineer and then an
aircraft mechanic When I was about 25 years old
my youngest child my son, he was
about 4 months old he died, he died
quietly in his sleep and my wife and I unable to
really deal with that, we separated and split up and she moved across the
country with my daughter about a year later And I found myself
in a spot where my marriage was over,
I’d lost both of my children and it started
me searching And that set
me on a path where I did a lot of looking
in different places some good, some bad,
and some better I got into
meditation at some point and I didn’t know what
meditation was at that point we didn’t have the
internet back then It was about 25 years ago And I was deep into something
and I realized that nothing had happened to me What had
happened was to this character called
Scott, living life The person “me”
was the person that existed before my
mother met my father The main thing that
supports the military mindset is that there is
this idea of separation that you are
different than me that your country is
different than my country As a zen monk,
what we’re realizing is we’re all the same,
there is no separation You know along this way you know, as I was preparing
for life after the military I went to grad
school and studied finance and I was ready to
take on the world and move into banking
or corporate finance and I ended up as a commodity broker
and a commodity trader What I found there was
a business without a soul I was really surprised at
what money did to people you know the fear of not
having enough money or the fear of
losing what you have it just drives people
into doing some really well I guess there
are things I’d rather not
be involved with That’s when I decided to leave the corporate world
and become, take the vows and become a monk and see where this takes me Sunshine Little bit of sunshine for you What’s he doing Gabi-chan?
What’s he doing? There are of course monks
that live in monestaries and there are monks like me that do not live in monasteries but we continue to live our
lives with our families or work and pursue the
path that way There’s another monk that
lives in this area also and I met him and his wife and
their two kids and his family
owns a temple so he’s you know
third of fourth generation and sometimes he’s dressed like
this and you’d never know but his day-to-day routine is he’s at his temple in Hachioji You wanna
kick the ball? You wanna swing? Ok. Let’s go slide For my immediate family
my sisters and my father the decision to become a monk they didn’t really say too much they knew I’ve been involved
with this for a quite a while Of course
they had some questions you know, was I gonna
go live in a mountain or on top of a mountain by myself
or in a cave or something I don’t know if he’s still
the president of Japan Airlines but he was the president at one time
when they were going through their bankruptcy and he’s an ordained monk And so there are plenty of people that continue their business life
and are ordained as monks there are no rules that
prohibit you from doing that I think it would be nice if politicians
around the planet would do a little more zazen I get up a little bit before 5
and I sit between 5 and 6:30 at my house In the winter time, in the afternoon,
I go to do takuhatsu Takuhatsu is really
another form of zazen So we’re chanting the heart sutra,
which is hannya shingyo People ask me what the
purpose of takuhatsu is They think it is, the purpose is,
to receive money, to receive donations but really
takuhatsu is just takuhatsu No reason at all Why people donate to monks,
I don’t really know But we don’t do
it for any reason at all When I do takuhatsu,
of course I’m taller than the average
monk that’s doing takuhatsu And people do look up and they see a
western face, it shocks them a bit Jinen-san told me, when I start this,
he said, always go to the same place So there’s only one station
I go to and there are only two different places And people have become
familiar with me now but at first it was quite
entertaining to see their face Maybe even to
the point where some people would approach me
and then they’d turn away Once a week, I come
to the temple with Jinen-san Once a week we
go to another temple for zazen for a couple hours
on Saturday or Sunday To me, I just found
the right person to talk to Just the right kind of sarcasm The right kind of pushiness,
the right kind of everything to keep me… The right kind of everything. I tell people, you can sit
and that will make you a better Christian You can sit and that will make
you a better anything that you do If you’re a tennis player,
and you wanna be a better tennis player Sitting will help you do that because it slows down
the mind and allows you to get out of the future,
out of the past and into the particular moment We overemphasize the
need for intellectual knowledge The study of facts the study of data the study of technique
or philosophy And that’s going to deliver us
some sort of relief from our stress relief from the pressures of our lives No amount of intellectual knowledge
is gonna satisfy the need for experience We tend to think in the future we tend to think in the past We spend very little time
living in this particular moment If you’ve ever been a
teenager yourself or you’ve had a
teenager as a child you can sit down with them
and explain in great detail about sex but, that’s not
going to satisfy their need for their
experiential knowledge of sex Whatever comes up in your mind,
just let it go My time in the
Marine Corps was interesting I was very much
a control freak had to have
everything my way That part of me doesn’t
even seem to exist anymore Why we think our
thoughts are “good” or “bad” that’s what creates the problem,
the suffering So if we just allow them to come up
and allow them to go away it becomes quite peaceful ‘I want more money
I want a better house’ ‘I want a better career
I want happier relationships’ I immediately bring in
judgement into my own mind Whether I’m doing it right,
whether this is working is it working fast enough So it’s the same
mind based repition To do mindfulness,
just do it That’s all you
have to do And whatever comes up
comes up And whatever happens next time
happens next time There’s no agenda when
you sit down to practice (Jinen-san) People just
try to just create Create a peaceful world
or a peaceful universe But ourselves
we are very much peaceful Basically or fundamentally So that if we can
just realize who we are Then we don’t
need to do that This is amazing. There’s only one lesson There’s only one question There’s only one answer And we ask it a number of ways And as our ego sits
on the cushion with us and our ego studies and our ego evolves it gets to ask the question
in a much more elegant way But really we’re only trying to find out
if it’s the truth of who we are And the answer is that we’re everything and nothing
at the same time

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  • MindfulWarrior says:

    There is a rule. The number one Shila (Rule) of becoming a Buddhist Monk is Celibacy – mind and body. This was Buddha's NUMBER ONE RULE. It's sad how Monk has become a "paid profession" where monks own Temples and live a family life. There's a reason Buddha came up with that rule. It's let go of the Clinging and Attachement. As long as you maintain a family life, you're a lay practitioner. You can't consider yourself as a Monk. No matter how nice you are. I'm sorry.

  • Rahmat Febriyanto says:

    I love their point of view and method about the world and how to make ourself in peace. It's rationally and heartfully acceptable IMO. Thank's for uploading such enlightening advice such as this 🙂

  • Ricardo Molina says:

    Provision in harvest

  • Ricardo Molina says:

    Waging Noodles

  • Al ameen Marcos says:

    I'm Buddhist I always respect monk who follow the step of buddha

  • Penelope and Annamaria Show says:

    Military creates separation" joins a religion who doesn't like foreigners

  • timeofsage says:

    Can't believe this was merely 9 minutes long.
    Also, please don't forget to filter the higher frequencies(>16k) buzz from the microphones.

  • The Lone Wolf says:

    This is so beautiful and inspiring

  • Leopold Foster says:

    I like this man

  • An Nguyen says:

    I have a question. I heard that monk is not allowed to have sexual practice or any material comfort. How could he be called "monk"?

  • Kyle Johnson says:

    Military Public Affairs out of Tokyo here. Man I wish we had got to this before you guys, nice job. I'm jealous.

  • TheYabbyman says:

    Edit out the high-pitch sound, thank you

  • oyon dey says:

    We are everything and nothing at the same time. That was just sooooo beautiful

  • Ninja Warrior says:

    The Japanese God Kannon is the one true Lord our God and the only one worthy of worship. Bow before the 1 true Lord God Kannon and Repent. Every Zen temple worships and honors the 1 true Lord God Kannon.

  • conor m8_ says:

    Here I'd go become a monk tomorrow if it got me a missus like that

  • ܔܛܔܔ ܔܛܔ says:


  • vaibhav bhalerao says:

    We are everything and nothing at the same time!!
    Such a fabulous meaning hidden in it, can u get that?

  • Sebastian Sosa says:

    do buddist monks have the same disgraceful qualities as christian ones?

  • Jota.Shank says:

    Do you feel being in the military was something you had to go through, maybe even crucial, to eventually be where you are now? Or do you think otherwise?

  • CrySes729 says:

    what song is it at 8:05 ?

  • Vitomir Milosevic says:

    Beautifull storry.More marines like this world needs.

  • TOOWi Media says:

    Stories of big leaps are fascinating – thanks for you excellent work on this. I recently interviewed a ZEN Navy SEAL Commander who's now influencing big changes in how elite soliders and being trained. If interested, you can find the trailer for the episode called Warrior Monk on our channel.

  • 熊谷梓 says:


  • Huyền khế- Tào động tông says:

    I am a vietnam thiền(zen,chan, dhyna, seon) monk . i follow Thiền Tào Động of vietnam( caodong school in chinese or sotozen in japan). Greeting to you. Haha

  • Tiffany Beatty says:

    Good vid.

  • nicholas davidson says:

    Good for him, he found what he wanted.

  • Anthony Peters says:

    What a great guy seems so chill

  • Donald Trump says:

    you get to eat noodles? hell im gonna be a zen monk now.

  • Lee Tao Dana says:

    As a zen priest who loves Japan I hope to move there permanently-at some point. I spend as much time in Japan as possible. I've made my living coaching professional basketball and teaching in universities, just a path. How I'm going to live in Japan I don't know yet. But maybe that's the future. lol Gassho

  • Lee Tao Dana says:

    Anyone have any suggestions as where to stay and practice? I used to stay at Dogen Sangha, but Roshi there took ill and died and the center closed. Similar situation at Bukkokuji where I used to practice. Gassho

  • nick knight says:

    I really want to live this lifestyle. Its interesting and personally I think its good for you.

  • loc Nguyen says:

    The baby is so cute

  • kenny lam says:

    Regardless of religion or belief, meditation is simply amazing and everyone should learn how to do it. To sit and forget about everything good or bad, to clear the mind and reset our thoughts and be at peace. Especially nowadays when life is a constant struggle, a small refresh of the mind really does go a long way.

  • JustFunkinDandy says:

    Always great to see some documentary about another buddhist, even from other school.

    Good fortune on the middle way.

  • Yudi says:

    This is so good. Thank you!

  • ishdeep sahni says:

    He is practically Raiden

  • The King says:

    Man…he even got laid as a monk. What am i doing with my life?

  • BigBurt- says:

    The ultimate weeb

  • Udai Bhanu Singh says:

    💐🎂Om Mani Padme Hum🎂💐

  • Dowlphwin says:

    4:26 The USA once had the opportunity to get a buddhist, truly humanist, kind-hearted president, but the Democratic Party 'sawed him off'. – The People get what the People are ready for. The champion is a result, not a start. – The tragedy was not that he was sawed off, but all the time that came before and led to it. Every moment counts. Which directions are we moving?
    2:55 Recipe for unpoppable soap bubbles: 6 parts water, 2 parts dish liquid, 1 part glycerin (or white corn syrup)

  • Datsnot Polite says:

    So there's always room for growth, theres always a grave for a body or no body at all

  • Exit Paradise says:

    okay, where do i get those kicks..

  • Exit Paradise says:

    made me immediately hungry for ramen noodles

  • Mubarak Alsaleh says:

    I hope more non-dual teachings of the oneness of everything reaches as much humans as possible. Mystical teachings like taoism, christian mysticism, Islamic Sufism, Jewish kabbalism, Buddhism, advaita vedanta hinduism, yoga hinduism, Jainism, mystical sikhism..etc. All these mystical teachings are same at the core and lead to the same results. Orthodox teachings are misunderstandings and delusions of political superiority and false spirituality.

  • Andrew says:

    Wow this is really inspiring, Buddhism is such an interesting philosophy.

  • The 1st Noel says:

    Great documentary .

  • Johnny Casteel says:

    What a disingenuous bullshitfest. You should sign up for hypocrisy 101

  • Gary Rutland says:

    What a wonderful, inspiring video. I didn't want to watch it because of the American Military connection but forced myself too. So glad I did. Wonderful. Thank you.

  • shi liu says:


  • crimsonspice72 says:

    WOW! Very powerful. I've been blessed by these 9 1/2ish minutes of love and understanding. Thank you😄

  • Richie Y-W says:

    What a wise decision to make:Becoming a Zen Monk, that is. Because there's so much unhappiness and disease in our world now. We need more beacons of light.
    I recently returned to Zen Buddhism. After a 5 year break. I simply couldn't find anything more effective to replace it with

  • Richie Y-W says:

    I was a trainee British Reservist paratrooper, briefly. But I didn't get to serve properly as I fell ill, again.
    And had to halt training. But for me there was no division. Sometimes we have to fight. Thank God its rare. But Zen is helping me a lot right now. Alan Watts was a regular practioner of Zen. Check him out. His talks help me a lot.
    Organism Earth.com. There's lots of helpful information about life on there in his talks.
    In gassho to all of the Eternal Buddha.

  • Buddhist Beast says:

    I respecto his but he is not a true renunciating monk. One of the fundamental Vows established by the Buddha was celibacy. No celibacy, no monk. Only the Buddha has the power to change the Vinaya code.

  • Andreas Adi says:

    he look jedi knight with bag on his chest

  • Anil Asanka says:

    All are following in different way of Buddha's taught.

  • SmokinJoe93 says:

    Good on you my friend. Beautiful.

  • RICHIE Graham says:

    Radin is that you

  • M J says:

    Wow. This is what I want to do. Thank you for making this video!

  • Yofred Garcia says:

    Great documentary video! Greeting from Venezuela

  • Thomas kelly says:

    It is a freak who attempts to control the world around them. The same person may invert this tendency and become a master, but only through persistence. Persist, friends, tirelessly.

  • Marcus Mouse says:

    please please, does anyone know the title of the soundtrack used as background music especially at 8 min 4 sec, or any other that is similar to that, where can i buy it.???

  • Lilly of the valley says:


  • Lilly of the valley says:


  • Lee Tao Dana says:

    I am looking to move back to Japan, maybe in a temple, maybe work if I can-and live the life of a zen priest

  • Magic Handz says:

    Is it just me or did he still feel so sad when he spoke of his son’s death?

  • Goku MGTOW says:

    Who would dislike this

  • Bluzlbee says:

    anybody who would like a good intro book, I recommend Alan Watt's Way of Zen for introduction

  • Julio Ramos says:

    Takuhatsu does have a purpose. This is the monks offering of the Dharma and their lives of guardians of the Dharma to the people.

  • Patient Patient says:


  • Alex Torres says:

    Not a marine, but i practice kendo so in a way i felt in the same line…also a zen monk, planning to travel to japan, would love to meet more people in this path

  • Dan Morris says:

    Honor, courage, commitment. Once, always, brother.

  • ben freedom says:

    I wish my son had died and I could move on with my life but he is 4.5 and I have seen him only a few times.

  • Godfrey Hamshire says:

    Fascinating what he has to say,very informative. I learned a lot.

  • Fernando R says:

    This guy needs a youtube channel

  • Markus Hayden Sutherland says:

    Interesting. I am Theravada Buddhist but I sometimes go to a Zen temple. I didn't realize that Zen monks could be married and have children. There may be no rules against that in Zen but there certainly is in the other paths. That's one of the countless things I love about Buddhism; different paths but the same core dhama.

    Namo Buddhaya!
    Namo Sanghaya!
    Namo Dhamaya!

  • s. nathan says:

    Great. Thank you for the video

  • Neo Sannyasin says:

    I like this guy, already. I just hope he doesn't fall into the same trap that many other Westerners who have discovered Zen have fallen into, which is to mix Zen with Christianity, because they just don't mix. Its a horrible idea and will lead to disastrous results. If you're gonna go with Zen, go with it all the way. Don't try to be clever and make a synthesis with your own ideas, own baggage. The whole idea of Zen is to be free from baggage.

    Otherwise he seems to be doing great.

    Zen is already a mixture in itself, a delicate and perfect mixture, no need to complicate it any further. Attempting to add Christianity to it would be dumb.

  • Imagination Central says:

    Thank Christ he didn't become a Muslim.

  • joe-b-one kenobi says:

    The reason is cause your holding a bowl like a homeless person

  • Raghu Seetharaman says:

    From heartless, angered violence to compassionate, heartwarming nonviolence!

    Good on you sir!

  • allyouneedtoknow anonymous says:

    John 17v3
    this means everlasting life their taking in knowledge of you the Only True God and the one whom you sent forth Jesus Christ.

    and believe me the taking in knowledge of the Bible does satisfy your every need every ? every worry every doubt every fear……like nothing in the world.

    the looking for YOU are will not get you anywhere.
    why do you stand there doing nothing? and why do you hold a bowl then laugh if people think you are looking donations?
    another thing…….if you are not in control of your own mind and empty it who fills it?

    you are creepy way you laugh about sex then round those kids. you are either
    1. mentally insane
    2. demonised or
    3. a pedophile.

  • Franz Haas says:


  • Keith Mc says:

    “We’re everything and nothing at the same time.”

  • Black Cat says:

    Inspiring tale. 🕉

  • Monk Man says:

    Why? You get money not food?

  • Harry West says:

    The only truth is Jesus stay away from all other teaching. It leads to hell

  • Raju Raju says:

    Peace exists in there life

  • Dylan Q says:

    Zen monks can have a partner?

  • Verne Fits says:

    What is the purpose of takahatsu?

  • Daygojit ! says:

    So he’s a deadbeat zen monk

  • Richie Y-W says:

    For centuries, in Japan, and Europe, x soldiers have regularly looked for God. And many have taken a Spiritual path. I think it's because of the destruction they witness and participate in that changes them forever. Why they start looking at what's REALLY going on with all culture. I was a trainee British Paratrooper. I fell ill, so wasn't deployed in to action. But I've witnessed much turmoil in my life life, generally. To start looking for God, peace or Allah ect.
    I practiced Zen for about 8 years. Life took me away from it for 6 years. And now I'm training again. And begun initial Soto Zen, priest training. I'm nearly 50 now, and want to feel tge oneness with the eternal for the rest of life.
    A deep bow with hands in gassho
    Wishing all to realise Master Dogens heart within

  • Cosmic Skeptic says:

    Whenever I leave the Navy, I plan on becoming a Buddhist monk for at least one year. Afterwards, I'm gonna live off the grid, satisfied with however little money I make.

  • Eric Schmidt says:

    Really inspiring documentation. Thanks a lot for.

  • Mohib Ahmed says:

    "No amount of intellectual knowledge is going to satisfy the need for experience."
    Hit right at home.


    Hello. of what zen school, You are a monk?

  • Irrapture x says:


  • Gene Kelly says:

    A question about Zen..I have had these "Zen Moments"-when everything is clear, like a flash. But hard as I try to meditate, I cannot achieve this-they seem to come at random-despite all efforts. Is there an easier way to this?

  • Paulo Cunha says:

    Nice but better You call a Zen Priest. Monk means who follow certain rules of Monastic life as Buddha gave 2600 years ago. I was also a Buddhist monk for 18 years but now I call myself a Buddhist laity or Buddhist Upasaka.

  • Vivek Tiwari says:

    U r the man really hatss off u….

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