2013 Nautilus Award: Silver
Category: Religion/Spirituality – Other Traditions & Practices
Category: Finalist 2012 Book-of-the-Year Awards - Biography
The book's film rights were optioned in March, 2018
A Heart Blown Open (Divine Arts Media, 2012) chronicles the extraordinary journey of Zen master Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi, whose life landed him in prison long before he landed in a monastery. Experience the successes and failures that led him to found an entirely new form of Buddhism called Mondo Zen. Starting from an abusive and alcoholic home in Wisconsin, Kelly becomes a major force in the counterculture of the 1960s and one of its biggest manufacturers of LSD.
He ends up on the run for five years before serving time in a federal prison, and then goes on to spend six years in a Zen monastery. In his fiftieth year, he becomes a recognized Zen master in his own right, but the real journey is just about to begin.
“There is something in this book for everyone: spiritual seekers and unrepentant sinners alike will find Kelly’s ride hilarious, frustrating, poignant, and thoroughly human…” From ForeWord Reviews — Read full review.
“An entertaining picture of Denis Kelly battling his demons and having a pretty good time doing it…” From Tricycle Magazine
"This is a legendary story of an inspiring teacher that mirrors the journey of many contemporary Western seekers..."
Alex Grey, artist & author of Transformations, Sacred Mirrors, and The Mission of Art
"This book provides a provocative window into one of the more controversial Zen Masters of our generation, and will not fail to touch and inspire those who read it..."
Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi, author of Big Mind Big Heart: Finding Your Way
Foreword Reviews: A Heart Blown Open
Westword: On writing A Heart Blown Open
Huffington Post: The Making of a Teacher
The New Man: On the making and challenges of the book