The Art of Unknowing For Spiritual Directors and Companions

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Tools for tending to curious souls, for the spiritual unfolding of our companions and ourselves.



Tools for tending curious souls, for the spiritual unfolding of our companions and ourselves.


Genjo Marinello Roshi


6 hours (total)


Webinar is recorded.

“In my opinion, anyone who tells you they are enlightened isn’t. No-knowing is key.”

― Genjo Marinello

We all experience states of unknowing. Some of our unknowing has immediate urgency in the world – “what is going to happen with our climate crisis” or, “what do we do about war?” Some of our unknowing can be interior – “Who or What is my True Self?” or, “What is Ultimate Reality?”

All of us are on the path of awakening, maturity, and service. Those around us may not always be aware of it, but the work of spiritual direction and companionship is to accompany people as they explore the depths of their being.

It can be confusing and difficult for our companions to grow in spiritual maturity, while working with their shadows, and effectively integrating their enlightenments. How do we trust and integrate those experiences we define as mystical? What language do we use for the intimate, infinite, and ineffable? How do we companion those in the midst of such experiences? And how do we transmute these experiences into effective mystical life, during a time of much crisis?

Do we have the right spiritual tools to live in this time of rupture as luminous, peacemaking beings? As spiritual companions, how can we best serve those who are in spiritual awakening? How do we companion them as they awaken to the sacred services to which they are called? How do we help others in service to become mature spiritual beings in the world, integrating both our mystical enlightenments and our deepest shadows?

Progress is lumpy rather than linear.  How do we make use of our skillful means to best work with the messy complexity of the human condition?

The artful blending of spiritual awakening and psychological maturity implies walking an endless path of examining these matters of life and death, learning to turn towards and embrace our shadow, constantly working to digest or combust our personal and collective entanglements, and coming down from the mountaintop of enlightenment and revelation to work in the marketplace, kindly lending a helping hand where needed.

Our Guide, Genjo Marinello Roshi, will equip us with new ways of knowing (unknowing), walk us through the mystic terrain of the Ten Ox artworks from Zen Buddhism and the Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila, and help us to discern the ways our companions traverse the layers of their own spiritual awakening. And, perhaps take away some insights for our own unfolding.

“How shall we proceed? No-knowing. Let’s investigate together.”

This webinar series is an invitation to:

“How shall we proceed? No-knowing. Let’s investigate together.”

Genjo is the recent author of Reflections on Awakening & Maturity for Spiritual Companions, published by SDI Press. Webinar participants do not have to purchase the book.

Webinar participants do not have to purchase the book


The webinar series will run 4 consecutive Mondays: April 4, 11, 18, 25, 1 PM Seattle/Los Angeles, 3 PM Chicago, 4 PM New York, 9 PM London; Tuesdays April 5, 12, 19, 26: 4 AM Hong Kong, 6 AM Melbourne, Australia.

Find your own local time here.

But if that timing doesn’t work, you can enjoy the webinar any time you like.

Each session is recorded so you can watch at your convenience.


Genjo Marinello Roshi

began his Zen training in 1975. He moved to Seattle in 1976 to serve as a VISTA community organizer in the central district of the city. In 1980 Genjo was ordained as a Zen monk, and in 1981-82 trained in Japan at the Zen temple Ryutaku-Ji. In 1999 Genjo succeeded Genki Takabayashi Roshi as the second abbot of the Seattle Zen temple, Chobo-Ji, and became a Dharma Heir in his lineage of Rinzai Zen in 2008. Genjo has been a member of the University Friends Meeting (Quakers) since 1983. In 1989, Genjo completed a certificate program in Spiritual Direction (The Pacific Jubilee Program). For several years Genjo was the volunteer Buddhist pastor of the Twin Rivers Correction Center in Monroe Washington and has served as adjunct faculty at the Seattle campus of Antioch University.

Matt Whitney

Matthew Whitney (he/his/him) is a multidisciplinary artist and educator rooted in the Pacific Northwest. He is currently the Creative Director for Spiritual Directors International (SDI). He also works as a spiritual director and meditation facilitator.

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