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Elsie Mitchell Main Page  CBA page on cuke

9-30-07 - Happy 50th CBA!

On this last day of September, turns toward Cambridge to acknowledge with a deep bow the 50th anniversary of the Cambridge Buddhist Association (CBA).

Dr. Shinichi Hisamatsu, D. T. Suzuki, Stewart Holmes, and John and Elsie Mitchell founded the Cambridge Buddhist Association in 1957 as a non-denominational group for Buddhists in the Boston area. Read more in a profile of the CBA from the Pluralism Project.

I believe that of the original founders, Elsie Mitchell alone remains with us on this earthly plane (not sure about Holmes). The SFZC has a long history with Shunryu Suzuki. He met Mrs. Mitchell in 1959 not long after he'd arrived in America. They remained close until his death. She visited him again and he visited her and her and the CBA on the East Coast a few times. Suzuki joined the CBA and paid dues. I think it's only organization or group he joined while in America though I guess he likely joined one or more Japanese American organizations in the community within which he was a priest. The CBA was originally in Mrs. Mitchell's home but in 1980 got its own building.

According to Elsie, there are currently two teachers at the CBA: Lama Migmar, a Tibetan who is the Harvard University Buddhist chaplain, and Austrian Dokuro Jaeckel, a.k.a. Koyoon Dokuro, in the Rinzai lineage of Joshu Sasaki who had a zendo in Salzburg and who is the Buddhist chaplain for Boston University. Elsie is quite pleased with this leadership and how the CBA is going. She says they are not having any ceremony or event to recognize their 50th birthday. The SF Zen Center sent a sizable congratulations featuring calligraphy by Michael Wenger and the signatures of many students and teachers. May the CBA continue to turn the wheel of the dharma forever. - DC

For lots more on Elsie and the history of the CBA and Shunryu Suzuki's connection, go to Elsie Mitchell Main Page - read the interview and check it all out.

thanks to Andrew Main for corrections

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