In 1966 Richard graduated from the Transcendental Meditation training program of the Maharishi Mahesh Yoga. This TM style of meditation, made popular by John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles, became the foundation of the many other styles of meditation Richard would study, practice and learn over the next fifty years.
This foundation in meditation aided young Richard Del Connor in developing focus, relaxation, and reducing the stress of his LSD acid trips. In 1970 Richard graduated his hippie apprenticeship with a special travel reward from President Richard M. Nixon to St. John’s, Newfoundland. (Up near Greenland in the Arctic Circle.)
In Newfoundland Richard was raised by his Uncle who provided him books on pyschology, religions, and shamanism. This enabled 16-year old Buddha Z to abandon his Catholic Christian upbringing and pursue spirituality as a poet-singer-guitarist-songwriter.
During the 1980s while studying filmmaking at UCLA, Richard began picking up books on Buddhism, Taoism, and Quantum Physics. This led him to write two books, The Coyote Spirit Book and The 80 Lessons of Taoism, which a decade later would become the foundation of his Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi schools.
In 1987 Richard was teaching Shaolin Kung Fu from his north Hollywood condominium. He started by photocopying articles from Inside Kung Fu magazine and started writing his own breakdown of Shaolin Kung Fu and Yang Tai Chi Chuan. Passing out these Kung Fu history lessons, Richard still did not foresee the creation of his own school system and sect of Zen Buddhism.
In 1992 after being hired by the governor of Utah to teach Shaolin Kung Fu in a maximum security prison: Shaolin Chi Mantis is founded by Richard Del Connor. Within Shaolin Chi Mantis Traditional Buddhist Gongfu & Taijiquan is the Zen Buddhism that will be extricated over the next six years into an American sect of Chinese Chan Buddhism, Shaolin Zen.
By 1997 Shaolin Zen is having weekly Sangha meetings/services in Liberty Park, in Salt Lake City, where dozens of “”disenfranchised Mormons” are finding new hope and self-esteem by attending these Buddhist meetings, called “sanghas.”
The Shaolin Zen CyberTemple was launched in 1999 from Buddha Zhen’s iMac Blueberry computer.
In 2007 Richard Del Connor “Buddha Zhen” founds Buddha Kung Fu, “The School for Making Buddhas™”