Frank Inzan Owen
Personalized Affiliation: Buddhism
Spiritual Spheres: Buddhism, Eco/Nature-based, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Shinto, Spiritual Independent, Taoism
Category: Spiritual Companion, Life Coach
Email: [email protected]
Focus Area: Asian Cultures, BIPOC, Creative Arts, Dreamworker, Ecospirituality/Nature-based, Education, Grief and Loss, LGBTQIA+, Men's Issues, Mental Health/Depression, Mindfulness/Meditation, Young Adults
"The heart of a human being is no different than the soul of heaven and earth. Your heart is full of fertile seeds waiting to sprout." – Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), Founder of Aikido
Contemplative soulwork is a form of spiritual companioning, sacred dialogue, life-path exploration, and creative support I have developed that is shaped by the wisdom of Nature, guided by elements of Jungian psychology, and informed by insights from the rich human heritage of contemplative spirituality. My own path is one of Tao and Nature-influenced Zen (what my late teacher called primal or primordial Nature Zen). However, my approach to spiritual companioning is interfaith and cross-culturally informed. I work with people of all backgrounds, people on any path, and those who don't have a defined path but are exploring.
Taking its name from my first book of Zen-inspired poetry, the School of Soft-Attention is a way of collaborative inner work. It is not a school with a physical building and it offers no degrees. It is also not psychotherapy or mental health counseling but rather a process of inquiry and spiritual exploration of one's life path and the life of the soul.
Each person is communicated with as a fellow traveler on a journey, not as a "student" or "patient." There are no doctors or gurus here. Your own soul is the path and my role is to walk with you along the way. Through this work, a learning process is activated and unfurls toward greater awareness, integration, and life congruence.
The journey flows at a natural pace, honoring the themes that arise — which may apply as much to matters of creativity, lifestyle, and present-day life choices as it does to spirituality, the impact of these times of change, or past experiences of heart-mind.
The view here is that the soul has an ancient, autonomous intelligence whose unfolding wisdom is revealed in gradual ways, but whose fullness, energy, momentum, and directives are concealed in the subterranean depths of who we are.
Accessing the wisdom of the soul requires an ongoing practice of slowing down and paying attention. I call this practice contemplative soulwork.
INDIVIDUALS WHO BENEFIT MOST FROM CONTEMPLATIVE SOULWORK
– People traveling through the sometimes confusing terrain of midlife (and other life transitions)
– Individuals exploring themes of spiritual formation, spiritual direction, and spiritual discernment
– People undergoing the challenging, sometimes destabilizing states of the creative~initiatory process
– People seeking to develop a deeper relationship with their inner world and dreams
– HSPs (highly-sensitive persons) just beginning to learn about their traits (Are you an HSP?)
– Artists, writers, and poets (and would-be creatives) working through creative blocks or seeking to establish an art practice
– Leaders and managers in organizations navigating inner and outer change
– Those fellow travelers interested in cultivating a meditation practice and contemplative life
– People who have actively chosen to follow a solitary ("hermit") path of spirituality (but who still need support on their way)
– Individuals deprogramming from religious abuse, cultural/religious fundamentalism, or other forms of energetic confusion related to human dynamics
In my work with people, I come from an inclusive, welcoming, path-affirming approach. My university studies in comparative religions, my own personal experiences with various spiritual paths over the years, and post-graduate studies in a year-long ACPE-approved course in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy have tempered within me a sensitivity and a deep and abiding appreciation for all of the world's wisdom traditions.
Additionally, the School of Soft-Attention is a safe zone. I have worked with people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals-in-process around gender identity. Whatever your spiritual tradition, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, or gender identification, my space-holding ethic is to support you in your authentic unfoldment.
With an M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University, and post-graduate studies in Jungian Psychology, Buddhist psychology, Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP), and Process-Oriented Psychology, I am a longtime practitioner of a Nature-oriented contemplative and creative path shaped by elements of philosophical Taoism, meditation in the Sōtō Zen tradition, and the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of wabizumai.
I am a three-time published poet with Homebound Publications and curate the podcast The Poet's Dreamingbody. When I am not facilitating contemplative soulwork through the School of Soft-Attention, I go on hillwalking expeditions in the Appalachian Piedmont of north-central Georgia, create art, tend a garden, practice shakuhachi flute, and ceaselessly study the lives and verses of the old Wayfaring poets of China and Japan.
EDUCATION and TRAINING
Year-long ACPE (Association for Clinical Pastoral Education) Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP) Training, 2021
Life Path Exploration Facilitator Training I, II, III with Darion Kuma Gracen, 1996-1998
M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Naropa University, 1996
B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Anthropology / Buddhist Studies / Comparative Religion / Environmental Studies / Jungian Studies), Naropa University, 1993
Comparative Religious Studies / Psychology /Asian Religious Studies, Northland College, 1988-1991
Diversity Awareness Conference with Victor Lewis
Advanced Dreamwork with Clyde Reid, Ph.D.
Process-Oriented Psychology and Dreambody Training with Max Schupbach and Jytte Vikkelsoe
Academic studies in Asian religions with Thomas P. Kasulis, Ph.D.
Additional study and practice in Japanese spiritual traditions, Naikan psychology, Sōtō Zen, and Aikido