Tom Swiss

Tom Swiss describes his spiritual path as "Zen Pagan Taoist Atheist Discordian", which usually baffles questioners enough to leave him alone. He has taught workshops to a wide variety of audiences on subjects spanning the gamut from acupressure to Zen and from self-defense to sexuality. Tom is an NCCAOM Diplomate in Asian Bodywork Therapy, a karate teacher holding the rank of yondan (fourth degree black belt), a poet, a singer/songwriter, an amateur philosopher, and a professional computer geek. He is currently serving as President of the Free Spirit Alliance, and is shopping his first book on Zen Pagan spirituality, "Why Buddha Touched the Earth", to agents and publishers. ( )

Feeling Good with Accupressure and Shiatsu

Shiatsu (Japanese for "finger pressure") and acupressure are forms of Asian Bodywork Therapy, which use pressure and stretching to relieve pain and stress. According to the theories of Chinese medicine, these techniques help balance the flow of qi, or vital energy, in the body. We will discuss and practice the use of acupressure points for physical, emotional, and spiritual balancing, and also learn a simple self-shiatsu routine. If time permits we will also do some partner work. Please bring a mat or towel to lie on for stretching.

Zen Paganism (or Why Buddha Touched the Earth)

Since its beginnings 2,500 years ago, Buddhism has existed with, borrowed from, and lent to poly- and pan-theistic paths including Hinduism, Taoism, Shinto, and Bon. It even played a part in the Pagan revival, via the Theosophical Society and the works of Aleister Crowley. The same dissatisfaction with mainstream Western spirituality that has led to the rebirth of Paganism has also resulted in a greater interest in Buddhism in the West, and many modern Pagans are finding that Buddhist ideas can lend depth to their practice. We will discuss some of the history that links the Buddhist and Pagan revivals, and how the basic tenets of Buddhism (mostly from a Zen perspective) might be integrated with Neo-Pagan practice.

















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