The late Peter Matthiessen and Charles Carlson.

The late Peter Matthiessen and Charles Carlson.

 The main meditation hall at the Ocean Zendo, now only a memory.

The main meditation hall at the Ocean Zendo, now only a memory.

 Charles Carlson and Joanna Macy.

Charles Carlson and Joanna Macy.

Zen: A Way To Live

Charles was a senior student of the late Peter Matthiessen, the well-known American author, naturalist and Zen teacher.

Charles has also studied with a number of other teachers from other traditions, including teachers from Tibet, Sri Lanka, Japan and the U.S. Charles's work is infused with a subtle spiritual influence that is illuminating and inviting, without being preachy or sanctimonious.

Charles‘ cousin—with whom he has studied and shares a special bond—is Joanna Macy, the well-known Buddhist teacher and eco-philosopher. Charles considers Peter and Joanna his spiritual father and mother.

Living an enlightened life based on compassion, peace, wisdom and love is one of the core tenets of Charles‘ writing and teaching. It is a belief rooted in the principles of Zen and Buddhism as taught to Charles by his teachers.

Passage to Nirvana, Charles' memoir about finding happiness after traumatic life events, recounts some of his Zen learning.