Sangha News from '08
For very occasional random news on the sangha.
Cuke Sangha News through '07
Most Sangha News is now posted on What's New
12-21-14 - Remembering Kyogen Carlson who died on September 18th of this year. Just learned. He was co-founder and co-abbot of the Soto Zen Dharma Rain Center in Portland with his wife Gyokuko. Gyate gyate paragyate parasam gyate bodhi svaha!
11-12-14 - Farewell Dennis Rodriguez who died on Nov. 10th at Summit Hospital in San Francisco after having a heart attack and surgery. Dennis was born in 1947 and was around the SFZC from the seventies as I recall and was well-liked, a quiet person. Taigen Dan Leighton wrote that Dennis was "a genuinely good fellow and clear friendly spirit, a significant presence in my early years at SF Zen Center." - DC
10-29-14 - Farewell Miriam Bobkoff who died on October 23rd. - thanks Elizabeth Sawyer
10-15-14 - Shunryu Suzuki student and visionary artist Rowena Pattee Kryder passed away on October 11th. See note from her family and from Friends of Rowena on the Rowena Pattee Kryder page - thanks Paul Shippee
Farewell Rowena. See you in my visions. - DC
10-01-14 - Congratulations to Chris Rand and Francesca Stauffacher on getting hitched. Chris is the son of Yvonne Rand and recently departed Kendrick Rand. I remember Chris from 66 when I first arrived at Sokoji. He's the guy who makes the Ten Thousand Year Clocks.
9-25-14 - RIP Rudy Hurwich and condolences to his daughter Lynn.
9-23-14 - Michael Katz at the New York City Climate March two days ago with his sister Carol, and SFZC alum Dian Woodner ran into David Zimmerman, Linda Ruth Cutts and Steve Weintraub and his sister, Teah Strozer, Susan O'Connell, and
9-21-14 - L to R - Andrew Atkeison, Michael Stusser, Tozen Akiyama, and Zoshi Takayuki in the Meditation Garden at Stusser's Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary.
8-14-14 - A Warm and Present History: A Tribute to the Archivists Who Visited City Center - from the SFZC's Sangha News. DC added this comment: Good work. Keep it up. Sorry I wasn’t able to attend the name that monk night, something a number of us have talked about for years. Maybe we could set something up with a Skype conference call to include some early students who could help.
7-31-14 - Joshu Sasaki dies at 107 on July 27th - Huff Post - thanks Howie Klein
5-26-14 - RIP Kendrick Rand, husband of Annie, ex of Yvonne, father to Hillary and Chris with Yvonne and Carlyle with Annie. Condolences to all of you. Katrinka and I called yesterday to send our love. She worked for him at his restaurant, the Sand Dollar in Stinson Beach which he sold some years ago. I enjoyed stopping off there for a chat with him on my way back to Bolinas three decades ago. He was fire chief there for years. Before that he was manager of the Mingeiya on Union Street in San Francisco and before that the MDR, Minimum Daily Requirement in North Beach. I can remember Chris bussing tables there in the sixties. Katrinka was in the parade in Stinson on Kendrick Rand day. Read about it and more here. Here's a film called Kendrick Rand Day 2001.
5-06-14 - In response to a letter complaining that the SFZC charges for zazen, let me assure you that it does not. Maybe they have a sign that suggests a donation but anyone can sit zazen at the SF Zen Center or any of its affiliates or any Zen Center or other Buddhist center that I know of for free. Checked with the treasurer and the secretary to make sure. - dc
5-03-14 - On April 12th early that morning Huston Smith fell and lost consciousness. Throughout the next week his health continued to deteriorate and the Dalia Lama sent an emissary to read the Tibetan Book of the Dead at his bedside. However, after a couple of days Huston regained consciousness, gradually began to eat and drink a little, and is now much improved in mind, body and spirit. Although his hearing has greatly deteriorated, Huston has regained both his wit and wisdom. He has confined himself to bed and tires very quickly. - from an email received by DC
4-16-14 - Have received some queries and the answer is yes, Dan Welch left Crestone Mt. Zen Center several months ago.
4-07-14 - Spent the night at Rinsoin, Shunryu Suzuki's home temple, and sat zazen this morning with his son the present abbot, Hoitsu, and Hoitsu's son Shungo, also a priest and next in line, and some men from Yaizu. After breakfast and laundry, Katrinka and I visited with Mitsu Suzuki, Shunryu's widow, and she gave me a copy of her new collection of haiku, A White Tea Bowl: 100 Haiku from 100 Years of Life - edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi, translated by Kate McCandless, introduction by Norman Fischer. - Amazon link
Mitsu's 100th birthday is coming up on the 26th of this month and she's doing great, quite energetic, walking well, was quite affectionate, hugging me repeatedly. Most touching.
Hoitsu's wife Chitose drove us to Mitsu's. Also there were Mitsu's daughter Harumi and Hoitsu's sister-in-law, Mitsuyo, who is visiting from San Francisco.
Hoitsu is now the Seido of a practice temple in Okayama where he's leading a one week sesshin this month and going there for a week every month. He'll also spend a week at Eiheiji later this month.
4-06-14 - Peter Matthiessen has died. - thanks Brit Pyland
Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing - NY Times Magazine - thanks Doug McKechnie
Peter and his wife who died soon after, Deborah, were at Tassajara with Suzuki Roshi and the rest of us for a while. He became a priest in Maezumi's White Plum Asanga. I loved his At Play in the Fields of the Lord. He gave 1st wife Daya (Dianne) and me The Tree Where Man Was Born for a wedding present. The cuke bibliography, lists his book, Nine-Headed Dragon River:Zen Journals 1969 - 1982 with the following: "Matthiessen's path includes a bit of Suzuki, more background accounts of Soen Nakagawa, Yasutani, and Eido Shimano Roshis." He was helpful to me over the phone with research on Crooked Cucumber and sent this blurb. He's been a diligent, articulate trooper for harm reduction. - DC
From SFZC News
approved an amended Deed of Gift sending the Zen Center archives to Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.
3-06-14 - Two new abbots for the SFZC - Furyu Nancy Schroeder and Rinso Ed Sattizahn step up.
2-21-14 - Saying Farewell: A Record of the Funeral for Myogen Steve Stucky - with a link to video of the ceremony.
2-08-14 - Funeral for SFZC Central Abbot Steve Stucky set for 3 pm on Sunday, February 9 at Green Gulch Farm. Go to that website to see it live.
1-23-14 - Cuke's Most Important Thing in the World Award goes to:
International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change
Endorsement Sought by Dharma Teachers and Sangha Members Worldwide
"Climate change is the most serious issue facing humanity today. It is already seriously impacting economies, ecosystems, and people worldwide. Left unchecked, it will cause tremendous suffering for all living beings."
I signed it and I hate to sign things or belong to anything. I'd say the quote above was an understatement. - DC
--- posted in Climate Change
1-16-14 - SFZC upcoming abbot transitions - from the SFZC Sangha News Weekly
1-09-14 - Funeral for SFZC Central Abbot Steve Stucky set for 3 pm on Sunday, February 9 at Green Gulch Farm.
1-07-14 - Steve Stucky Cremation yesterday - from Elizabeth Sawyer
1-05-14 - San Francisco Chronicle obituary for Steve Stucky - thanks Steve Tipton
Opps - fixed this link. Connection so bad last night couldn't check links. Some pages didn't upload.
1-03-14 - Steve Stucky Death Poem
1-02-14 - In Memoriam Steve Stucky - from the SFZC
12-31-13 - Farewell Steve Stucky who died at home this morning at 4:03. A life well lived. A man who will be missed. Love and condolences to Lane.
11-30-13 - In case you missed it: Steve Stucky's Thanksgiving Day Message.
11-18-13 - Congratulations to Elizabeth Sawyer on receiving Lay Entrustment from Steve Stucky.
10-15-13 - Facebook page for SFZC abbot Steve Stucky
10-15-13 - Update page for SFZC Abbot Steve Stucky who is now in the hospital. All our prayers for Steve's well being. Messages can be sent to Steve through that page and private messages should be sent to Steve's assistant: Mary Stares<centralabbotassist[at]sfzc.org> - dc
10-10-13 - It is with great sadness that we pass on this news from the SFZC website.
SFZC Abbot Steve Stücky Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer - Letters from President Susan O’Connell and Steve
9-30-13 - On 9-26 posted "New Abbot Selected for the SFZC City Center: Rinso Edward Sattizahn." Was asked what's up with that. There's nothing about it on the SFZC site. They'll get around to some explanation there. Here's what we know.
Kiku Christina Lehnherr (City Center Abiding Abbess) is resigning due to a health issue. A while ago, Christina had a fall in which she hit her head. She has not fully recovered. She has given talks since then which one can access via the above link to her SFZC page - but she feels she cannot properly fulfill her duties as abbot so she is stepping down and Ed Sattizahn is stepping up. Praying for Christina's well being. - dc
9-26-13 - New Abbot Selected for the SFZC City Center: Rinso Edward Sattizahn. Congratulations Ed.
July 1, 2013 - David Schneider reports on Kobun Chino's Stupa Opening
5-31-13 - We just learned that Marian Derby (Mountain) Wisberg died on May 15th. - Thanks to Blanch Hartman for calling me yesterday and passing on this news she'd received from Fran Thompson.
We knew her as Marian Derby. She was the spirited, energetic, trailblazing student of Shunryu Suzuki who founded the Haiku Zendo in Los Altos and first recorded Suzuki's lectures - for a book that became Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. In the early seventies she married Jack Wisberg in Big Sur where they first lived - and took his name. She is known to many as Marian Mountain the pen name she used for her book, The Zen Environment: the Impact of Zen Meditation.
9-30-12 - One Pine Hall - Soto Zen in Seattle with Robby Ryuzen Pellett as the host. His teacher is Hoitsu Suzuki, son of Shunryu. Their new newsletter is out and it's linked to on the site now.
9-18-12 - Congratulations to Genjoji - Sonoma Mountain Zen Center on the groundbreaking for their new zendo
from Genjoji website:
Sep 16 Sun. MANDALA GROUNDBREAKING 10
The new Zendo – is the womb of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from which they are born. This birth is like dawn’s light as it dispels the darkness of the landscape by helping the many human beings to restore their inherent nature – Basic Goodness.
Sorry I couldn't make it. - DC
9-14-12 - Mako and Graham have a cool blog with lots of neat photos of Tassajara. They're leaving soon for Asia for a pilgrimage including India to visit and join in with the creation of a Zen practice center in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, with Gita and Paul Haller.
Here's their blog: The Cloud Mountains.
They need money. Cuke just donated $50 to help them on their journey. A PayPal donate link - dc
8-12-12 - The SFZC at 50 events are happening. Yesterday's talk by Zentatsu Richard Baker was - well, I don't like to praise people too much here on cuke cause then I feel like I have to say something nice about everyone and thus my policy is to just link to stuff and let you decide so listen to and I think you can also watch Richard Baker's talk at the City Center yesterday. Today at Green Gulch Reb Anderson is speaking and there's alumni picnic. Last nights party at Greens was a trip - lot of us old codgers saying hi and the younger crowd drumming, dancing to DJ's picks. Monday, tomorrow, there's a ceremony at Sokoji temple on Laguna at Sutter, not the old original Sokoji on Bush at Laguna. Grahame Petchey who arranged for the incorporation of the SFZC in 1962 (GP on that) will be there with his ex Pauline. There will be a procession down Laguna to the City Center at Page and Laguna, a short ceremony, inauguration of the Peace Bell, some brief statements in the dining room (including 2 minutes from me), and a reception. Lot of good feeling yesterday and I bet it continues. I've got to go to Green Gulch now for the picnic (couldn't make Reb's lecture cause Katrinka is doing flowers for some event at the Panama Hotel here in San Rafael) so I don't have time to get the links to Richard Baker's talk and Reb's but they're there on SFZC dot org somewhere. Send me the link please - just one of you. - dc
7-20-12 - Loly Rosset passed away this morning.
Received from her son:
Dearest Family and Friends of my mom, Hannelore "Loly" Rosset:
Loly passed away peacefully this morning here in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, at 6:29 am. She was born on August 29, 1923, and left this world today, July 20, 2012, after almost 89 years. She had suffered a massive stroke several days ago, and was unconscious for the past several days. Thankfully she had enough remaining consciousness last Sunday night to recognize me upon my rushed return from Indonesia to say farewell. In accordance with her wishes, we brought her home to the small house we built for her on Tuesday, were she rested peacefully in her own bed, surrounded by family and friends, until passing away. - Peter Rosset.
7-17-12 - Loly (Hannelore) Rosset has had a severe stroke
Dear Friends of Hannelore (Loly)
My mother Loly had a severe stroke and is in the hospital here in Mexico and is semi-unconscious. We don't know if she will make it.
Please help me spread the word to family and friends.
Thank you and lots of love,
7-10-12 - More photos taken at Crestone Mt. ZC during the time of Dan Welch's installation as abbot. Sophie Dillo sent them. Asking if she took them. - dc
6-29-12 - A Funeral Ceremony for Katherine Thanas will be held at Santa Cruz Zen Center this Sunday, July 1 at 2:30pm. Everyone is most welcome but there may be an overflow of people there. There will be another funeral ceremony for Katherine at City Center or Green Gulch Farm in another month or two, especially for her friends in the Bay Area. cuke main page for Katherine Thanas.
Update on Katharine Cook on the new Katherine Cook Main Page
6-25-12 - Karin Sobun Daiosho, Rev. Katherine Thanas, entered Great Peace at 10am yesterday, June 26, surrounded by loving students and friends at her home. More below.
6-24-12 -Karin Sobun Daiosho, Rev. Katherine Thanas, entered Great Peace at 10am today, June 24, surrounded by loving students and friends at her home.
We will have a ceremony of ringing the densho 108 times at 4pm, both at Santa Cruz Zen Center and at her home.
This will be followed at 5pm by the traditional ceremony of offering tea and sweet water to her bathed and robed body, chanting the ten names of Buddha, and making statements of gratitude, at her home.
The sangha will be sitting with her body this evening and cremation, along with another ceremony, will happen tomorrow, Monday.
There will be a memorial service for Katherine Thanas this Tuesday at the Cherry Center in Carmel between 6:30-8:30pm
There will be a funeral ceremony especially for the Santa Cruz Zen Center and Monterey Bay Zen Center sanghas at Santa Cruz Zen Center on Sunday July 1, officiated by Katherine's honshi, Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi.
Another funeral ceremony for the SFZC community will take place in a month or two at SF Zen Center or Green Gulch Farm.
6-23-12 - Friday afternoon
Sara Hunsaker - I sat with Katherine from 8 to noon this morning. She is 'unconscious'; her breath is shallow, regular and rather fast (3-4 to my 1). She seems to be 'resting' and not in much pain. It was good to see her in her home surrounded by friends. Angie Boissevain came and talked to her and sat and then a group, including Daigan and Arlene and Taiyo, from Green Gulch came bearing an armloads of Green Gulch flowers and messages from various people. Robert came after sitting part of the sesshin and on his way to work. Susan came after the morning sesshin to stay a while. It was easy and loving with the Santa Cruz folks, hospice nurses and many friends dropping in. And it was deeply moving.
Friday morning from SCZC
Katherine is calm, peaceful. Sangha members were visiting throughout the day. Last night, Kokyo and sesshin participants sat the evening two periods of zazen at Katherine's. Together, sesshin members and visitors chanted the refuges in Pali.
Join us for zazen and refuges this evening, if you like.
Visitors are welcome at any time at Katherine's home.
6-22-12 - Created a main page for Katherine Thanas with another photo.
6-21-12 - Katherine Thanas, who had a stroke two days ago, is in a coma, back at home with her Sangha around her.
Tony Patchell was sent this from Beata in Santa Cruz:
No IVs, fluids, liquids, few meds. She is okay re clear instructions that are being followed with great care. She has a team of hospice nurses who practice with us and they are all here. She has a team of priests and heirs who are planning events surrounding her passing, which is expected to be soon.
Just received the following 2am:
Katherine is now home and we are looking for folks who would like to sit with her and/or assist. She remains in a coma.
If you would like to participate, please call Beata @ 831.359.5291 or email Beata@pobox.com and say when you are available.
Please include your phone number.
In a message dated 6/20/2012 9:36:11 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Wildini@aol.com writes:
announcement of facebook from SCZC
Abbot Sobun Katherine Thanas is currently in the ICU at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, with close disciples and friends, having fallen on her head in her house on Monday resulting in internal bleeding and serious brain damage. She was taken off artificial life support Tuesday night and is breathing on her own Wednesday morning, though her breath is short. She is not expected to live more than a few days.
5-day Summer Solstice Sesshin, celebrating the life and teaching of Katherine begins Thursday morning, ending Monday afternoon. Everyone is welcome to join any part of the schedule with the sangha at any time: zazen, kinhin, services chanting for Katherine, and Dharma talks. People sitting half-days or full days can join oryoki meals as well (please sign up at zendo in advance for this)
6-18-12 - All our prayers go out for Katherine Thanas.
11:03pm - Talked to Rosie P. Katherine apparently fell in her apartment. There was a cut on her head. She's had a lot of internal bleeding in her brain. She's in a coma and on a ventilator. Rosie says there's a lot of chanting going on around the country for Katherine.
10:28pm - Just talked to a nurse. Katherine is in critical condition in intensive care at Dominican. People are in the room now chanting with her.
10:20pm - Got a message on my cell phone this evening from Vicki Austin saying that Katherine Thanas was found - unconscious I think - she'd fallen. She's at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, CA. - more as I learn. Prayers for Katherine. - dc
Katherine's cuke interview and photo.
5-16-12 - May 2012 Crestone Mt. Seat Ceremony for Dan Welch and related happenings -including prior and subsequent posts to that page.
5-03-12 - Suzuki student Alan Klein writes: I need some S p a c e -- away from cities, away from people--in Nature in a simple shelter, with the possibility of simply unwinding completely. Preparing to return as a whole person or to leave altogether. You may know of such a place, here or in another land. If so, i cannot possibly convey, nor you imagine, what a blessing it would be. Right now i am mired in southern California, needing spiritually and practically some possibility. Whether you can suggest something, or not, please let me know directly--my resources, materially and heart, are bleeding away, and i must move on.
4-19-12 - Help needed for Diane di Prima - on Shambhala Sun Space
Diane was a student of Shunryu Suzuki and other Buddhist teachers and is Poet Laureate of San Francisco. Get well Diane. - dc
4-17-12 - 50th Anniversary of the Founding of the SFZC cuke section. Got some ideas for it like presenting a complete listing of groups and teachers in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage. - dc
3-09-12 - Dear Dharma Friends,
We are planning a memorial service for Della Goertz on Friday March 16 at 6 p.m. in the Buddha Hall at City Center. I hope you will be able to come if you would like to. You are also very welcome to stay for dinner. If you plan on having dinner that evening at Zen Center, please call the front office at 415-354-0385 or 415-354-3086 to let us know of your plans. It would be wonderful to see you. Please let anyone know about it who you think might be interested. Directors, please make announcements at the three practice centers.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Thank you very much for helping to spread the word.
City Center Head of Practice
1-09-12 -SFZC 50th Anniversary
In honor of its 50th anniversary, the San Francisco Zen Center is pleased to announce two very special offerings to be held at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (Zenshinji)
DC note: Shunryu Suzuki arrived in the US in May of 1959 and people started sitting with him right away, but he wasn't officially installed as the abbot until May of 1962 and the SFZC wasn't officially named and incorporated until August of that year. See Shunryu Suzuki chronology.
11-09-11 - Four friends from over here went to the 500th Anniversary of Rinsoin, Shunryu Suzuki's temple in Japan. Check it out on the SFZC's Sangha News. Here we have Blanch, Mel, and Chuck at breakfast in the Rinsoin family area. More photos later.
10-13-11 - India slide show coming up at the SFZC's City Center on Friday October 21st at 7:30 pm with Shindo Gita Gayatri, Peter Oppenheimer, and David Chadwick which is me. See my India Trip Notes written earlier this year. - dc
8-30-11 - Michael Wenger making a dragon's leap out of the City Center. Location sought for his new residence and practice place. See SFZC article on this.
7-28-11 - A call for papers - seeking memories of Kobun Chino
6-04-11 - Mike Papas of the Zen Center of Portland sent a message about Joko Beck.
"The sad word has gone out this morning that Charlotte Joko Beck will probably die in the next couple weeks. The word is reliable because it comes from her daughter Brenda. Let's please join together and make a little space in our hearts for her when we sit together tomorrow morning."
6-03-11 - Albert Saijo passed away yesterday (thanks John Tarrant for forwarding the news from Kevin Diminyatz on the Big Island in Hawaii). Saijo was a lesser known character in the Beat scene and was around Sokoji (the original home of the SFZC) some in the early days, lived in the nearby East-West House and then the Hyphen House. He's mentioned in passing herein in interviews with Philip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, and Ananda Claude Dalenberg. He wrote a book called The Backpacker and co-authored a book of Haiku with Jack Kerouac and Lew Welch called Trip Trap.
Tarrant included this poem, Bodhisattva Vows by Saijo and wrote, "He was in the internment camp during World War II at Heart Mountain in Wyoming where Nyogen Senzaki had the only zendo in the US at that time. Albert's mother was a haiku poet and his brother, Gompers, was an artist, some of whose calligraphy paper I still have."
Here's a good article on Saijo with photos - from the Tinfish Editor's Blog.
3-25-11 - Donate to Japan Relief through Soto Zen in America.
Japan has not stopped giving aid to India, where I am, but I've seen articles in the paper about ways that India is sending and offering to send help to Japan. - dc
Dr. Leslie Kawamura 1935 - 2011 - There's info on the home page of U. of Calgary, Dept. of Religious Studies now. Received several emails about his passing, one calling him the leading Buddhist scholar of Canada.
3-19-11 - Message that went out from SFZC abbot Steve Stucky to the SFZC mailing list on the Japan disasters and how one might help.
Richard Jaffee is doing fine. Take a look. He's been back to doing historical work on the big Suzuki, DT. He says that the doctors at Duke took good care of him as they had done with John Tarrant. He writes he's "back at work at Duke, writing, teaching, and traveling again. I am involved in a big D.T. Suzuki publication project, which I hope to complete during the next year, part of which I will spend in Japan. Elaine also is well, busy at UNC Press editing a lot of interesting books, both academic and regional trade.:
3-18-11 - Funeral service for Liz Tuomi - Jane Okamura writes:
The funeral service for Mom will be on March 26, 2011 at 3pm at Green Gulch Farm in Muir Beach. Following the ceremony there will be a gathering at Mom's and Ethan & Catherine's at 369 Ocean Parkway from 5-9pm. Bring a dish. Love Jane
Psychedelic icon, LSD maker, former Grateful Dead manager Owsley Stanley died in a car crash in Australia today (March 12, 2011). Bummer. - A bit late with this but received several notes such as this one (forgot to note from whom) from old Zennies who remember this icon of the 60s and whose paths he crossed in ways both new and ancient. Owsley was a friend of the owner of the Panama Hotel and Restaurant in San Rafael, CA, where my mate Katrinka hosts and used to stay there when he was visiting the US.
From Bro Lor: for those of us who remember "white lightning", "blue cheer" among others....
3-15-11 - Shungo Suzuki, grandson of Shunryu and acting abbot of Rinsoin in Yaizu which was Suzuki's temple in Japan, said they felt the buildings shake a little from the earthquake way up north and have no problem at all. He said Eiheiji has no problem either and also said to thank us for thinking of them. Yaizu is maybe a hundred miles south of Tokyo and Eiheiji is way far away.
Thanks to Tozen Akiyama for making the call and to Marie Louise Baker for asking the question.
3-10-11 - Elizabeth Tuomi Memorial Page.
Dan Leighton lay ordained her Sosho Tenkai/Ancestral Smile Heavenly Service. I think she was previously lay ordained by either Suzuki or Baker.
The family will attend a cremation ceremony for Liz on Friday. There will be a public service in April with Mel Weitsman officiating. - dc
Starting a section on my music site called Songs by with and for Liz. Here's #1 - a Finish folk song played and sung by Liz with some silly drums and toy piano as well.
3-09-11 - Elizabeth Tuomi, mother of Beth, Jonathan, Jane, and Ethan Okamura, my partner for nine years in Bolinas, Suzuki student, pianist, teacher, dearest friend for forty years, a wise and wonderful woman, died at Marin General hospital on the evening of March 7th after reporting she wasn't feeling well earlier in the day and finally collapsing. She was 76. Liz has been weak for several years since successful yet harmful radiation treatment for throat cancer. I visited with her at her home above Agate Beach in late January right before coming to India and whereas she was discouraged about some of her physical problems she was reading as much as ever and looking forward to resuming the weekly music date (after a holiday respite) with a few fellow musicians including Zen friends Mel Weitsman (flute or recorder) and Sadja Greenwood (also her doctor). Earlier on the 7th I'd thought of her and posted her memories of Shunryu Suzuki here on cuke.com, gathered fifteen or so years ago and stored on various drives and discs only to be posted hours before she passed away.
Taigen Dan Leighton with Liz Tuomi (L), Bolinas Practice Leader, and Dale McCarthy, San Rafael Meditation Hall Leader from Mt. Source Sangha website.
Arthur Okamura, Liz's husband of twenty plus years and father of their four children, remained close with Liz. He died July 10, 2009. Arthur's memorial page
Liz at Arthur Okamura's ashes ceremony. That's DC behind her to the right, officiating.
from Elizabeth Sawyer
Wendy had a wicked sense of humor and a fierce sense of style and even though she did not think she was cool, she was cool, in every sense of the word. She seemed like a quiet person but what most people did not know is that she had a real gift for gab. Through immense physical challenges, she faced her life and her death with courage. Wendy, I hope you found mercy at the end of your life and I pray that you have finally found peace. I am going to miss you.
Tim Buckley read John's Bailes' poem
Wendy Matlow and I go to the movies or
Is this really the Heart Sutra?
Sitting here in Bloc 11 sipping coffee, listening to a remake of "…tin soldiers and Nixon coming…" – much cooler rendition – while reading Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, I think of Wendy Matlow, my forearms then and now, her younger sister, tuna fish – a whole apple or was it an orange in a vagina (some photo in some magazine), Snickers and that magazine… What was it called? Interview… Elvis Costello – before the Pogues – later we had cigarettes and coffee – not long after I was gone with Marimekko bags and some gay designer’s – Perry Ellis – lavender shirts.
Now I sit here and hear and feel and shape the sounds of Cormac’s words: entire, interdependent, cutting, dry dust, blood, stink, fetid wolves, darkness of morning, all run together and at once so precise, so distinct, each one, each pore or hair follicle flaking, falling – like in a dream. Like the present peeling – paint drying? No: watching the present peel, being the present peeling – being skin flaking and swelling, rising over the horizon bold but for lifetimes; red, purple, blue, yellow: all one stroke from before this Dot, that man or woman whose gender remains indeterminate, dakinis, dancer à falling, I love, dissolve and am no more, not even an outtake on some cutting room floor, groundless, eternal: No.
3-03-11 - Wendy Matlow died Thursday night at her home in Sonoma County. Of breast cancer. Her husband, Michael Wynn died a few years ago. - just learned from E. Sawyer
Asked her what her philosophy was regarding her own death, she said, "Turn and face it".
2-16-11 - Lani just called to tell me Michael Gilmore passed Jan.30th at 10:30 PM. By all accounts a very good passing. Svaha! - an email from Jack Elias.
Michael has been having serious liver trouble for years. Clay and I visited him and Lani in March, staying in their Palm Desert condo, and we talked till late. I'd received word he was dying and had a phone conversation with him before leaving for India in which he said he was fine, maybe a week before he died. I should have known because it was hard to get through to him. Farewell Michael - I'll miss our long conversations and your Tarot readings. Must get some of his art up on cuke.
Read Michael Gilmore's cuke interview. It's quite interesting. - dc
2-13-11 - From a SFZC sangha email with basic information on the funeral services for our dear sangha members who have recently died: Jerome Peterson, Darlene Cohen, and Lou Hartman. Following each service will be a reception, in celebration and remembrance, with light refreshments.
Jerome Peterson, Chikudo Genki
(June 12, 1928 - December 12, 2010) Funeral Service: Saturday, February 5 at 3:00pm. Location: City Center
Darlene Cohen, Su Rei Ken Po
(October 31, 1942 - January 12, 2011)
Funeral Service: Friday, February 25 at 3:00pm. Location: Green Gulch Farm
Lou Hartman, Shuun Mitsuzen
(June 2, 1915 - January 20, 2011)
Funeral Service: Sunday, March 13 at 2:00pm.
Location: City Center
Visit The Great Leap, San Francisco Zen Center’s Sangha Memorial website, to see and post remembrances, reflections, and photographs of these dear friends: .
The San Francisco Zen Center site has updated information, should there be any changes.
cuke.com main pages for
1-23-11 - For the first time an American has the position we have always called Bishop of Soto Zen in North America - Daigaku Rummé, and he not being of Japanese decent also shows how very much the times have changed. Daigaku is a calligrapher as well. To me he has a characteristic Shunryu Suzuki called constancy and has earned the respect this position requires. I don't think I'm misrepresenting him when I say that he thinks we have a long way to go before Zen is truly established in this part of the world. Congratulations Daigaku and thanks for helping to bring Dogen's way this way. - DC
Here's an announcement DC requested:
On April 1st 2010, Rev. Daigaku Rummé was appointed as Director of the Soto Zen Buddhism North America Office. He succeeds Rev. Gengo Akiba who held this position for some thirteen years.
The Soto Zen Buddhism North America Office is the liaison office between the Japanese Sotoshu and the Association of Soto Zen Buddhists, a group of 55 Soto priests actively teaching in North America.
Since the North America Office was originally founded in 1939, the head priest of Zenshuji (a Soto temple primarily serving the Japanese-American community in the Los Angeles area) has served as the director of this office and this is true for Rev. Rummé as well.
Prior to taking this position as Director, Rev. Rummé worked for seven years at the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center located at Sokoji temple in San Francisco. Before that, he trained for 27 years at Hosshinji Monastery, a Soto training monastery located in Fukui Prefecture, Japan, under his
master, Rev. Sekkei Harada who's the abbot of Hoshinji in Obama, Japan.
1-21-11 - Lou Harman died yesterday.
1-18-11 - Danny Parker's Caring Bridge site. We're with you, Danny. - dc
1-16-11 - See Darlene main page
1-4-11 - The Occidental Laguna Sangha headed by Bruce Fortin meets in Sebastopol, CA, on Sunday mornings. Go to their site for details.
1-13-11 - People will continue to sit with Darlene Cohen's body until noon today, Jan. 13.
Friday: 8:45 AM -- Cremation and cremation ceremony
Obit for Darlene on Sweeping Zen site by Adam Tebbe
December 2010 article on Darlene on SFZC site by Laura Burgess
1-12-11 - Darlene Cohen, Su Rei Ken Po, Great Spirit Manifesting Dharma, died at 1:15 AM this morning. more
1-11-11 - Great video on YouTube of a raging Tassajara Creek on January 2nd, 2011. - Thanks Jane Okamura
And make a wish - it's 11111.
12-12-10 - Farewell to Jerome Peterson, early Shunryu Suzuki student who died of a heart attack today at the SFZC's City Center. He was 82 and started sitting at Sokoji in the fall of 1962.
10-23-10 - A recent message from Darlene Cohen about her condition
10-03-10 - Calling all SF Zen Center alumni! Please offer your input on our newly forming alumni organization by taking our survey. An alum is defined as someone who has completed at least one full practice period at CC, GGF, or Tassajara, and/or has received the precepts from an established teacher at San Francisco Zen Center. See our introductory letter on the SFZC alumni home page. Please help us get the word out by emailing the survey link to friends and posting it on your blog or Facebook page, if you have one. Let's explore the possibilities of reconnecting our wider sangha.
8-08-10 - All our well-being prayers go out to Richard Jaffe who I've received word is seriously ill. - dc
RICHARD JAFFE is the Chair of the Department of Religion at Duke University. He received his Ph.D. in religious studies with a concentration in Buddhist studies from Yale University in 1995. Dr. Jaffe is a specialist in modern Japanese Buddhism. He is the author of Neither Monk nor Layman: Clerical Marriage in Modern Japanese Buddhism (2002) and Seeking Shakyamuni: World Travel and the Creation of Modern Japanese Buddhism (forthcoming in Japanese). Currently he is working on a book about Japanese Buddhist travel and the transformation of Buddhism in late-nineteenth century Japan. (from this page)
6-29-10 - Announcing the Abiding Senior Dharma Teacher at GGF and Reb Anderson's decision not to accept that position.
6-03-2010 - Roy Iwake, has died unexpectedly in a bicycle accident. See his cuke interview. Roy sat with Shunryu Suzuki back when we were starting Tassajara. I met again him decades later through John Tarrant who is going to write something on Roy. Johnny Thorn called this morning to let me know. Roy did wonderful, complicated origami he called cavex round folding. Johnny said Roy was going to New York to some origami event that was recognizing his work. There will be a memorial service in mid July. More here later. - dc
4-13-10 - A very good Caring Page update on Grace Dammann
10-19-09 - Congratulations to the seven members of Pacific Zen Inst. who recently received the precepts and lay ordination.
Gregory W. sends this report:
The Refuge Ceremony for the seven who took the precepts (jukai) last night during the sesshin was a wam and inspiring event. I always love to hear how the refugees (as some of us like to call ourselves) present their personal vows. Each is so unique but also so true that it's another clear example of Guanyin's many tongues that go along with the many eyes and hands.
For those who were unable to attend in person, here are the Dharma names for the newly precepted:
Marsha B. ~ Road of Kindness
Jan B. ~ Crows in the Golden Wind
Illana B. ~ Shining Tree
Mary C. ~ Night Sky
Karinka McK. ~ Flower Forrest
Ishara H. ~ Spring Valley
Thaisa F. ~ Heart Field
10-10-09 - RIP John Daido Loori who died this morning.
Glassman on John Daido Loori.
10-08-09 - John Daido Loori is dying and messages abound to keep him in our thoughts and prayers.
10-06-09 - On the Two Year Memorial for Niels Holm with a poem and photo - by William Benz
10-05-09 - A new zendo in San Francisco
7-18-09 - More photos of Arthur Okamura and Bobo from Bill Braasch.
7-17-09 - Photos of the cremation ceremony for Arthur Okamura by Bill Braasch. More.More on Arthur
7-13-09 - Obituary for Arthur Okamura by Paul Liberatore in the Marin IJ (CA).
More on Arthur
710-09 - Arthur Okamura, Marin artist and old friend, died suddenly today in Bolinas while walking his dog. Arthur started sitting with Suzuki Roshi and received lay ordination from Baker Roshi and is known to many old-timers. He will be missed. More on Arthur.
6-23-09 - Trent Carlo Cunov with mom, Kendra Cunov and granddad David Silva who sent this photo.
Trent was born 12:05 May 20th (his exact due date), 7 lbs. 9 oz. The middle name is after David's father, last name is his mother's maiden birth name. Mary Cunov is Kendra's mom.
click on thumbnails to enlarge
David writes: Everyone is healthy and unbelievably happy. Mary, Linda and I got to see the new family just moments after the birth. A moment that will live forever in my memory.
6-22-09 - David Silva sent this link to April photos of the Tassajara area.
"Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is future and the firewood past. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes past and future and is independent of past and future. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes future and past. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death." Genjo Koan
6-19-09 - Grace is home
6-19-09 - In Memoriam
4/02/09 - Buddhist Social Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Sulak Sivaraksa, Will Give Three Bay Area Talks April 23-25 - read all about it
3-02-09 - Lew Richmond has a new blog - Aging as a Spiritual Practice.
02-18-09 - More NOTES and photos FROM TASSAJARA from GENE DESMIDT
02/07/09 - NOTES and photos FROM TASSAJARA
from GENE DESMIDT
click thumbnail to see Gene expand
2-02-09 - Early Suzuki student Pat Herreshoff dies.
from Silas Hoadley
I was able to visit with Pat Herreshoff a few days before she died last week. Pat was at home with her son Daniel and his wife Madeline in Kingston Washington. Before moving there Pat had lived in Hawaii for many years.
She was a regular at the Bush Street zendo in the spring of 1964 when I started sitting there. She had found out about Suzuki sensei through a job connection and, in her direct way, had cold-called Alan Watts to find out how to get to the place where a real Zen master was teaching, Pat was born in San Diego Thanksgiving Day 1913 , When she was 4 her mother sent her to relatives in a small Montana town to protect her from the Influenza epidemic of that time. She stayed there till she was 8. During this visit Pat sat upright and her presence was bright. During tea she spontaneously broke out in a child hood hymn to the setting sun . She also sang a verse from "old black Joe." Her voice was strong and wonderful. She said she had learned these songs in Montana as a child. She also shared a dream of a night or two before.
Two friendly beetles had appeared in the interior vicinity of her spine. One had short legs and the other long. They had nothing much to say but gave a very good feeling as did Pat on this last visit.
I've got correspondence from Pat and some other materials but it will be a while before that surfaces. - dc
12-31-08 - Shunryu Suzuki student Fred Stoeber has died. I talked to his partner Miyo today. Continued in Sangha News. - dc
12-10-08 - Larry Hansen on Tim Aston's memorial service.
12-03-08 - If you happen to be in Northern California, cuke suggests you heed this invite from Barton Stone.
Stone Creek Zen Center's annual fund-raising event, Zen Fest is happening this Sunday, the 7th, 9 to 4, at the Masonic Hall, across from Safeway in Sebastopol CA. There will be crafts, silent auction, raffle, Japanese lunches, gifts, Buddhas, prayer flags and more. We always have a good time producing this event, and it provides almost a third of our lean annual budget. My part in it is to make blackberry jam from the abundant and generous Mamalanda blackberries which several of you helped to pick, and a few Buddha altars (photo below). Gratitude to you each one for being who you be with such beauty. May your best way flourish!
Larry Hansen sends this message about a ceremony for Tim Aston
The memorial will be this Saturday evening on Quadra Island. I will lead the Prajna Paramita on my old mokugio. Whoever wants can tell stories or speak from the heart. I am bringing my banjo, and with a few local musicians will play will the Circle Be Unbroken and maybe get rowdy afterwards, Tim always liked a party (remember my story about EB serving Sake in the Zendo) [I'll put that on tomorrow - dc]
If any of the old crowd wants to e-mail me with a story or poem, I’d be happy to include it. I don’t think Silas can make it, I have told him, and Bill Benz in Portland. I will be sitting with Silas mid December in Pt Townsend.
If anyone wants to know where this memorial is, email me and I'll give you Larry's cell phone # - firstname.lastname@example.org.
12-02-08 - Suzuki student Tim Aston has died. Gyate gyate Tim, one of the originals at Tassajara, a great guy, a hard worker. Received this note from Larry Hanson.
I am very sad to report the death of Tim Aston. He succumbed to a heart attack last Thursday, he was 66. His wife Jean, and children Mellisa, Ramona, and Gabe are on Quadra Island. We will have a memorial for him on Saturday.
Yours with radiant gratitude
11-01-08 - Visit Grace Dammann's Caringbridge site and read her wonderful Halloween message and send her a note. Grace is the doctor who lives at Green Gulch and had a terrible accident on the Golden Gate Bridge a few months ago.
- filed in the Tass 08 Fire Dept
9-28-08 - A message from Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center about his condition. Heal quickly dear friend!9-17-08 - Photos of Tassajara after the fire by Shundo David Haye - more from him and others to come. Please pardon my tardiness. Filed in Tassajara Fire '08 - dc
Hooray for the Tassajara Five! Tass Fire 08
L to R: Graham Ross, Mako Voelkel, David Zimmerman, Steve Stucky, Colin Gipson
7-15-08 - from Firefighter Blog: Tassajara "Fire Monks" Story Remains Untold
7-13-08 - Tassajara fire update
7-06-08 - Michael Sawyer's funeral was held on
Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 3 p.m.
at Green Gulch Farm
Family and friends celebrated and grieved the passing of a beloved brother, husband, father, monk, painter, and inspirational spiritual friend who passed away with his loved ones present at home at Green Gulch Farm on June 5 2008. See his amazing art featured with an article in the latest Tricycle. More below.
6-14-08 - Michael Sawyer's 's funeral will be on Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 3 p.m at Green Gulch Farm. (Call 415-354-0411 for directions)
Elizabeth Sawyer says, "Near or far, we will all be together at this time celebrating Michael."
If you wish to make a donation in his memory, please do so to Green Gulch Farm.
6-09-08 - Michael Sawyer to be cremated today. Tomorrow night a service for him at the Back Porch Zendo in Occidental. See notice from Elizabeth Sawyer. - Michael Sawyer's amazing art featured with an article in the latest Tricycle
6-05-08 - Michael Sawyer died today at about noon at Green Gulch farm, peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, his long struggle with Parkinson's is over. See more just below. See his amazing art featured with an article in the latest Tricycle. Clay and I went and sat with him and family and friends later in the day.
Michael Sawyer's Parkinson's has come to the last stage. He is no longer eating or drinking. Katrinka and I sat with him briefly on Wednesday. He was lying in bed peacefully and so reduced. Emila kept his mouth wet with a popsicle now and then. Meiya Wender was sewing something. Beautiful Tibetan music and chanting played. Clay and I plan to go back tomorrow. As Katrinka and I left I told Emila that I first met Michael just next door in the summer of 1973 when I was working with his brother Ken to fix up the bull pens where we'd soon be living with our wives and newborn sons. Ken was to me a master carpenter and he said Michael was his better. Michael could drive in the long cheap aluminum nails with a couple of swing of a framing hammer. I couldn't get one in before it bent over. He was such a hearty friendly guy. I always enjoyed dealing with him at Greens when he was manager and liked to bump into him and talk at Green Gulch where he lived for so many years. And it's been amazing to see how nobly he's lived with his illness as it progressed. I think of him when I see his handiwork walking down to the dining room at GG. I sat with him a month or so ago outside when his lovely daughter Mithra (near Kelly's age - 34) came to visit. He was hunched over and couldn't say a word (though he could at other times) but he'd drawn a tiny sketch of his caretaker, a woman whose name I forget. Others know him, knew him much better than me. Grace's condition is tragic. Michael's is not. It's time for him to go on. What a spirit. See his amazing art featured with an article in the latest Tricycle.
6-02-08 - Grace Dammann care page.
5-30-08 - Grace Dammann's condition was upgraded from critical unstable to critical stable on Wednesday. Only family can visit. It's not known if or how she'll come out of this once the sedation is eased back. The details about her condition are sad and disturbing - multiple breaks on all limbs, broken hip, spinal cord intact. Fu Nancy Schroeder has stepped down as director of Green Gulch to take care of their daughter Sabrina. More prayers.
5-21-08 - Prayers for Grace Dammann from Green Gulch Farm who was severly injured in an accident on the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday. Grace was air-lifted to John Muir hospital in Walnut Creek. She survived the night but is in critical condition with many broken bones. Her and Fu Nancy Schroeder's daughter Sabrina suffered a broken hand and is to be released from Marin General Hospital later today. Her service dog Max is in veterinary care.
4-26-08 - Help Needed for Tassajara’s Summer Guest Season - check it out. To me it is pure heaven to be a student at Tassajara. Katrinka, Clay, and I go there for ten days every summer to work, sit, enjoy the woods and baths and be with the great folk there. People seem to consistently be on their best behavior in Tassajara. - dc
3-08-08 - Dear Friends, I’m writing to share some exciting news. I’m moving my homeless ministry from San Francisco Zen Center out into the Tenderloin. Here is my new business card with contact numbers. Please visit my web-site at www.janadrakka.com
I now take care of the Faithful Fools Tenderloin Street Zendo. Please come and sit with me there – everyone is welcome. Let’s stay in touch, Jana
filed in CukeSanghaNews
see Jana's cuke page for more on her and her work
Michael is under hospice care now at Green Gulch Farm. An article by Zenshin Florence Caplow is planned for the May issue of Tricycle.
There will be a reception afterwards in the Zen Hospice across and down the street at 273 Page Street.
See Ananda Hub Page for much more
2-07-08 - Click on this thumbnail to see the order form for the CD of Barbara Wenger's slide slow with 650 photos of Tassajara Alumni - or try the PDF file
1-25-08 - Barbara Horn sends alumni greetings
Click on this thumbnail to see the order form for the CD of Barbara Wenger's slide slow with 650 photos of Tassajara Alumni - or try the PDF file