Inviting humor and lightness into  daily life for levity, stress release, self inquiry and outwards connection

Whether it’s a wish to investigate the joyous side of life, to take oneself a bit less seriously, to release stress, to have a bit of fun, to explore your funny, to give your thinking mind a break, to embody a feeling of lightness, to inject humor into various aspects of daily life…lightfulness abides.

Lightfulness was born because a Zen Master’s disciples took themselves too seriously. What began when a Zen Master went looking for a clown teacher ( “I want to learn tools of tricksterdom” said Bernie to me) has evolved over 25 years. The trainings invite participants to activate their sense of humor and embody it in non-verbal expression. To invite one’s sense of funny into everyday activities and enjoy placing a bit of mischief, of complicity in your eyes. Lightness is an essential element in these trainings.  It’s humor in it’s most subtle form, an ease blossoming from one’s inner smile, a powerful destination. If you are wishing for more levity in life, one grounded in mindfulness, Lightfulness offers skillful tools to accompany your journey.

Unlike humor, lightness requires no interaction, it can simply be present. Neuroscience shows that lightness positively influences connection/interactions, that it can be felt subconsciously, and watch out! it’s potentially contagious.

So what does a Lightfulness Training look like?

“Taking humor seriously enables people to not take themselves too seriously”

Mindful movement practices: chi gong, feldenkreis, tenshingoso.

Practices inviting lightness and humor into nonverbal expression

Stress release and resiliency practices

External & interactive mindfulness practices

Levity Awareness

Enjoyment and Mudita practices

Lightful walking meditation

Personal lightfulness practices and rituals

“What sheer delight it was to study with you…inspiration tickling my daily experience this week…”

“To be here and now with the strength of the earth and the wings of a bird. Thanks”

“The bottom line for me with Moshe’s work is how it can contribute to a wider range or palette within which to move in life…. I’m finding access to a new degree of lightness and limberness through physical movement …and awareness as a powerful tool.”

“I loved the definition of ‘levity’ as a lightness and a letting-in of light. Humor is always a possibility, but not an imperative. So freeing.”

“Transformational Mindfulness”

“It was so liberating…”

“This is a workshop for everyone and anyone who wants to bring joyous mindfulness into their spiritual practice…

Training Themes

For Current Offerings, look at the CALENDAR

 Humor your Human

the Art of Not Taking Oneself Too Seriously


“Humor is that thing that ushers a person’s mind from a place of constricted consciousness to a place of expanded consciousness.”

~Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760)

Expand your capacity to not take yourself too seriously!
By journeying into the land of funny––your funny––exploring your capacities to express and share humor and lightness-and cultivating your capacity to embody that.

An opportunity to let go of habitual rational mind, to let go of every day stress, and hand over the conductor’s baton to creative/intuitive mind, and develop personal Tools of Tricksterdom and Lightfulness.

If you imagine that Tools of Tricksterdom implies smart witty language, you will discover that a more useful tool is a well-timed glance, or a subtle gesture. We will be working in the nonverbal realm of positive humor, rather than with spoken words and their sometimes destructive/making-fun-of humor. The workshop’s explorations and practices draw from physical theater practices, clown improvisations, elements from butoh dance, qi gong and feldenkreis movement.

Clown + Zen

Occasionally, Moshe has the opportunity to offer workshops alongside Zen Masters, most often in Zen Centers. Currently he is teaching with  at the San Francisco Zen Center and Cornelius Von Collande at St Virgil.

Moshe has taught with Roshi Bernie Glassman, Roshi Michel Engu Dobbs, Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Roshi Heinz-Jürgen Metzger, Ashi Zachary Smith, Roshi Cornelius Von Collande.  Workshops have taken place at Omega Institute, Los Angeles Zen Center, San Francisco Zen Center, Village Zendo, Dana Sangha, St. Virgil, and many more…

A bit more about these trainings (from the description of “The Levity of Pause” at San Francisco Zen Center):

“….We’ll be exploring this question by juxtaposing Zen and Contrarian clown perspectives in the form of a series of exercises designed to bring lightness, humor, and a kind of agility to everyday activity, as well as engagement in zazen and a series of short talks. We will explore how, especially in this year, when the radically unexpected has become commonplace, we can live comfortably and skillfully with emotions and thoughts that arise.”

Levity Pause
An open weekly online training

Spring 2022: The levity pause is currently on hiatus as Moshe is on the road in Europe. Returning Summer 22.

This weekly session is designed to give your thinking mind a break by engaging body and voice, and embodying humor and lightness. There is no goal other than enjoying taking a pause.

Please send Moshe a message if you wish to be informed of future sessions. Thanks

Each session includes:

Centering, gentle physical and vocal warm-up based in mindful movement (20 mins).

Lightness and levity play inviting fun and humor-full expression into an everyday activity/situation (20 mins).

Walking meditation (butoh hoko) with lightness (10 mins).

here’s a descriptive Article by a San Francisco Chronicle reporter after a 1 day workshop in 2016.


Some of the Places Moshe has taught:

Spiritual/Zen Centers

Zen Center Los Angeles, San Francisco Zen Center, St Virgil, Omega Institute, Le Forum (Paris FR), Tassajara, Village Zendo, ZLMC, Buddhistisches Zentrum Hamburg, Sivananda Yoga Retreat Bahamas…


Carleton College, World Philanthropy Forum, Alte Poste Kulturforum, Warsaw Academy of Drama, Cal Institute for the Arts, Walschule Flensburg, Children’s Day School SF, Nell-Breuning-Haus…

HealthCare Clown Groups:

CliniClowns Austria, Röten Nasen Deutschland, KlinikClowns München, ClownVisite EV, HaHaHa Akademie, Dream Doctors Conference, Emergency Smile, HCIM2018, KlinikClowns Nürnberg…

Clown/Circus Schools:

TUT schule, Ateneu No Barris, Ravensburg Clown Sommerakademie, SF Clown Conservatory, Wise Fool NM, Clown Encuentro.


Paypal, Dolby, Google Arts, Center for Council, Medecins du Monde, Procurador de los Derechos Humanos…

Moshe’s Teachers

40 years of performing

Clown : Richard Pochinko and Ctibor Turba

Movement Theater: Sigfrido Aguilar, Antwerpen Mime School, Daniel Stein Mime School

Physical Theater: Phillipe Gaulier, Monica Pagneux

Voice: Roy Hart Theater (Rossignol, Ahkmatova, Saul, Vincente)

Kyogen: Kaoru Matsumoto, Juro Zenchku

Butoh Dance: Kazuo Ohno, Hiroko Tamano, Yoshito Ohno

Zen: Roshi Bernie Glassman, Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Roshi Michel Engu Dobbs.


Upcoming training and workshops

Medical Clown Project

Medical Clown Project

Ongoing rounds with the Medical Clown Project in numerous San Francisco Bay Area Hospitals and Senior Residence Centers. 

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Clowning & Zen. (4 wochen Online) St.Virgil

Clowning & Zen. (4 wochen Online) St.Virgil

Moshe Cohen mit Undine Bißmeier (Dharmahalterin der ZenPeacemaker, Fachkrankenschwester für Psychiatrie)
Wir laden in den kurzen Wintertagen Leichtigkeit und Humor ein. Nutzen Sie die Gelegenheit, sich über Ihre bekannte Welt hinauszuwagen, sich selbst herauszufordern und sich selbst zu überraschen, indem Sie das “not knowing” – „Nicht-Wissen” – erkunden. In einer Reihe von Übungen und Meditationen verbinden wir die Perspektiven des Zen und der Clownerie….

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Das Lächeln, das von innen kommt

Das Lächeln, das von innen kommt

Das Lächeln, das von innen kommt
Clown + Zen.  12-14 Mai, 2023
Buddhistisches Stadt-Zentrum Hamburg. unterrichtet mit Zen Meister Heinz-Jürgen Metzger

mehr Infos im neuen Jahr!

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