In Memoriam

  • Ruth Denison, Western Dharma Pioneer and Vipassana Innovator, Dies at 92 Paid Member

    Ruth Denison was one of the first female dharma teachers in the West, renowned for pioneering an unconventional, body-centered approach to Buddhist practice and for launching hundreds of students on the Buddhist path. Earlier this month, she suffered a massive stroke and, according to her wishes, received no life-prolonging intervention. Denison spent her last days surrounded by students and friends at home at Dhamma Dena, the rambling, desert retreat center she founded in the late 1970s near Joshua Tree, California. She died on the morning of February 26, at the age of 92. More »
  • A Shamarpa without Borders Paid Member

    KATHMANDU, Nepal—It was the kind of ceremony that the honored guest seemed to be directing from the Beyond: thousands of students and admirers, from peons to a Nepalese government minister, converging on a half-built monastery to attend the traditional cremation rite of a vajra master that, even in death, stirred up an international fuss. They came to honor the 14th Shamar Rinpoche, Mipham Chokyi Lodro (1952–2014), a spiritual force who understood that staying true to his calling as the second-highest ranking lama of the Karma Kagyu order wouldn't win him any dharmic popularity contests. To many, he was a polarizing figure, an uncompromising traditionalist. More »
  • Joshu Sasaki Roshi, Rinzai Zen Master, Dies at 107 Paid Member

    On Sunday, Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist who came to the United States in 1962 and went on to become one of the country’s most influential, if not most controversial, Zen teachers, died at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles. He was 107 years old. Although said to have no dharma heirs, Joshu Roshi had legions of followers who founded about 30 Zen centers, from Seattle to Oslo, Vancouver to Berlin, some of which later closed. He led a large center in Los Angeles and two training centers in the Southwest, one in New Mexico and one at Mount Baldy, in the mountains east of Los Angeles. The poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen lived at Mount Baldy in the 1990s, lending his teacher a semimythic status among spiritually inclined rock fans. More »
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    McDonald's™ Paid Member

     The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.—Seng-T'san, the 3rd Patriarch I got a Zen friend eats vegetarian at MacDonald's sometimes. He likes the cheap coffee. He says, "Don't be a snob, Bobby. What difference does it make?" And he gives me a wise Buddhist smile. More »
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    Peter Matthiessen, Writer and Zen Priest, Dies at 86 Paid Member

    Peter Matthiessen—prolific author, naturalist, activist, and Zen priest—passed away at his home in Sagaponack, NY, on Saturday, April 5. He was 86. His death—three days prior to the release of his newest novel, In Paradise—marks the end of his struggle with leukemia, for which he was undergoing chemotherapy. More »
  • Myogen Steve Stücky, San Francisco Zen Center's First Central Abbot, Dies at 67 Paid Member

    San Francisco Zen Center’s first central abbot, Myogen Steve Stücky, died shortly after 4:00 on the morning of December 31 at his home in Rohnert Park, California. He was 67. More »