Viking Zen is a unique hybrid of Chinese Chan Buddhism and Asatrú, the pagan religion of the Vikings. A vibrant and creative synthesis of the best these traditions have to offer postmodern seekers, it represents the cutting edge of contemporary, integral spirituality.
Viking Zen was created by Wotan Sturluson Roshi, a former Chan monk who, in the depths of samadhi, experienced a vision of the Norse god Odin, telling him to go forth and re-connect with the ways of his ancestors.
Returning from Taiwan to his native Iceland in the late 1990s, Wotan Roshi set out to train himself in the Viking spiritual tradition. His years of monastic training served him well on his new path, and after only a few years he was appointed head Goði , responsible for an entire fylke. At this time, many expected Wotan to be the next archbishop of the Icelandic Church of Odín.
Being something of a rebel, however, Wotan Roshi soon established his own independent lineage. A transmitted master in both traditions, he has integrated practices and beliefs of both Chan and Asatru, and is now the abbot and supreme Goði of the International Walhalla Monastery in Reykjavik. The organization has expanded rapidly over the past few years, and there are currently 15 affiliated Walhalla Zendo in Europe and the United States (Vinland).
Uncovering what they call Viking Zen, members of the Walhalla Sangha practice a daily meditation enhanced with the entheogen Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) and generous amounts of mead. At midsummer and midwinter, members of the congregation also gather for week-long intensive retreats and sacrifices. In additition to the sixteen Bodhisattva precepts, new members of the Walhalla Sangha swear allegiance to the nine virtues: Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industry, Self-Reliance, and Perseverance.
Wotan Roshi and Tutteji Dai Osho have both acknowledged a deep karmic affinity connecting their different paths. Wotan has become a popular lecturer at many of Tutteji’s events, and recently introduced the use of fly agaric to the Mindful Management™ program, while Tutteji regularly gives personal instruction at various Walhalla Zendos.
Later this year, Integral Publishing will publish Nordic Dharma, Viking Zen, a compilation of recent talks by Wotan Roshi. This will be the first book on the subject, and a wonderful introduction to this little-known but vibrant and fully integral spirituality.