Tim (Thomas) Buckley

4-17-15 - Received word from Tim's wife Jorunn that he died yesterday at 11am. "Buddhist priest coming," she wrote. Tim had lung cancer.

Post from today's cuke blog is also below the Last Communication with Tim at the bottom of this page.

Five obituaries - SFZC, Wild Fox Zen, Sweeping Zen, Lion's Roar, family

Peter Schneider's email to SZBA on Tim's passing

Richard Baker on Tim's passing

Old friend Tracy McCallum on Tim's passing: A big tree has fallen in the forest. Tracy's interview has more on Tim and him.

The memorial service will be at an inn called The Daniel, in Brunswick Maine, from 4 - 7 PM on June 14th - thanks Tracy

Suzuki student (now ordained by Peter Schneider) Tim Buckley's Great River Zendo in West Bath, Maine. Here's their listing on the SZBA site. Here's their Facebook link. Here's the Teacher's Page with a photo of Tim.

A poem by Tim

More poems by Tim - thanks John Bailes for all these poems

A poem for Tim and his friend Tracy McCallum by John Balaban

Interview with Tim Buckley


Tim's in the back row, higher and maybe taller than anyone else in this photo from fall of 1967 at Tassajara - from Crooked Cucumber photos.

Tim with Suzuki Roshi in his Garden story from that letter in Brief Memories

Tim's Wikipedia page

Tim's Facebook page

3-31-11 - Is That So? by Laura Burges on Tim Buckley: Zen Way, Yurok Way on the SFZC website.(errata in original:Tim founded Great River Zendo not Green River Zendo. - thanks Tracy McCallum.)

9-21-13 - Tr. McC.'s Zen memories with an emphasis on his long friendship with Tim Buckley.

Thomas Buckley Papers - Humbolt State University Library - More on these papers

Tim was an avid photographer. He had four photographs in Crooked Cucumber including the Suzuki portrait on the back cover - and many in the photo archive on shunryusuzuki.com, most not credited.

Jeff Broadbent photos from Tim's Vigil

Books by Thomas Buckley

Standing Ground: Yurok Indian Spirituality, 1850–1990 by Thomas Buckley (UC Press page for the book)

Amazon link

Here's a note from Tim about the book put on cuke in Dec. '09


Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation

University of California Press (June 2, 1988)

Amazon link


The Trikaya

Tim edited some of the SFZC's Wind Bells. This one is entirely his editing of some of Shunryu Suzuki's lectures on the Lotus Sutra.

The Trikaya - text

PDF of the Wind Bell this came from - Volume VIII Nos. 3-4, Spring 1969

As featured on the SFZC Wind Bell page

click on thumbnail to enlarge


Shunryu Suzuki calligraphy from Tim's Great River Zendo Gallery

On cuke blog

On cuke - larger

Walking in Beauty: Growing up with the Yurok Indians by Harry Roberts - Tim Buckley helped Harry create this book, wrote the introduction, and wrote the following about the book including how to get it.


Tim has done some serious sailing.

Tim is mentioned many times on cuke. Just go to Home or What's New page and do a site search for Buckley to see some of these instances, some of them photo credits. - dc

4-17-15 - Last communication with Tim

On Mar 31, 2015

Hi Tim.

Your edited version of Suzuki Roshi's Lotus Sutra lectures, Trikaya is so good. It's on cuke.com with the Windbells and will be listed there with the books of his lectures and with your books.

Have enjoyed sharing the universe with you.

Thinking of you and sending you my love and prayers for your well-being.



On 4/2/2015 6:07 AM, Thomas Buckley wrote:

Thank you. I'm glad it's with the others. Maybe because it was so thoroughly naive at the time it reads well now. Never did read The Lotus the 1000 times that Roshi recommended.

Sick in bed now with oxygen and pooped. Soon enough over I guess. It's been a wonderful , blessed life. - t

Sent from my iPhone



Hi Tim.

Wonderful to hear from you.


Posted on the cuke blog today, 4-17-15 -

Dear old friend and close Shunryu Suzuki and Harry Roberts student, Tim Buckley died yesterday morning at his home in Maine

Met Tim when I first came to the SF Zen Center at Bush Street in 1966. He and I lived together at Loring Palmer's communal home in Japantown for a few months, till I moved to Tassajara. He was there too a few months later. He shared his Volvo with me. I used it to drive Suzuki Roshi and other people in and out of Tassajara some. He said I was hard on it but kept sharing. He was especially grateful to Loring for providing a quiet, structured practice in his apartment which he felt was a godsend compliment to zazen and lectures at Sokoji.

Tim in a recent photo from Alan Tebbe's film on Zen in America

From Tim's Facebook page

Got this off SFZC Sangha News. Looks like it's at Tassajara.

RIP Thomas Tim Buckley - Gyate gyate

Jeff Broadbent photos from the vigil "with dear Dharma brother Tim and his family, including Jorunn and Jesse on the deck of their tiny inlet cabin and the rock garden they made on the hill behind his home and zendo."




Yehudah (Alan) Winter

Nothing like a death to bring out the memories.

Tim Buckley was a drug addict before he found Zen. He was the real shoot ‘em up thing, having been into mainlining heroin. I’m taking this from memories of what Tim told me not from having seen him actually do any drugs. After all, I only knew him after he was doing Zen. One summer I heard or saw (since the description he gave me was like I’d been there when it happened) that he’d been stung by a scorpion. He was strolling near the old kendo, wearing Birkenstocks, when one of the more vicious scorpions native to the mountains of Big Sur got caught between his foot and his sandal. He did a cartwheel, which must have been quite impressive as he was a tall man, and hit the ground. He told me it was the greatest rush experience he’d ever had, far surpassing any shot of heroin he’d experienced.

I also drove Tim’s black, bubble-top Volvo back up to Zen Center from Tassajara at least once. The strongest memory I have was when I was driving Roshi up at night. He was asleep sitting up in the back seat. At one moment, I caught a look at his face in the rear view mirror, headlights bathing it in light. My thought was “how care worn he looks…those deep folds of skin in his forehead.” I can still see that image.

Tim Buckley and Tracy McCallum outside Taos - taken by John Balaban