The Reluctant Monk

This is a blog about my spiritual journey. My Buddhist name is Boepyul, which means Dharma Zeal.

Why is it called the reluctant monk? Because religious authority, authority in general, for that matter, makes me nervous. It is only because of encouragement from my Zen teacher Wanji Dharma that I am pursuing this path. The thought of becoming an authority figure makes me a little uncomfortable, but maybe that is what produces the best authority figures. I think that following the Buddha’s example means being a bit of an iconoclast. We should consider and re-evaluate our devotion to authority all the time and not accept things on tradition alone. If society as a whole was willing to do that, I think the world would be a better place.

I have some training in both Zen and Vajrayana traditions. I teach Buddhism to children at the Rime Center Buddhist Community and I am in training to become a Zen Monk with the Five Mountain Zen Order. I am currently a Novice Monk. I have taken the ten precepts in the Zen Order and I have taken Refuge Vows and Bodhisattva Vows in the Vajrayana tradition.

I think the future of the Dharma is non-sectarian, rather than bound by the rigid dogmas of sectarianism and I want to learn from as many Buddhist teachers from different traditions as a I can. So, although I am a Zen monk, I don’t want to be bound by that. In this blog, I will discuss many different teachings. I may even occasionally discuss teachings in other traditions, as things like Vedanta and Taoism interest me as well. I maintain another blog that is more devoted to my work teaching children and you can find it at


About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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