"Zen Practice at 50"

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Friday, August 28, 2009

CHIKUDO LEW RICHMOND is the dharma teacher of the Vimala Sangha in Mill Valley, California. He is an ordained disciple and lineage holder of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. For fifteen years he trained at San Francisco Zen Center – including at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Green Gulch Farm, where he was the tanto (head of practice) from 1977 to 1983. Chikudo is the author of three books: Work As A Spiritual Practice: A Practical Buddhist Approach to Inner Growth and Satisfaction on the Job; Healing Lazarus: A Buddhist’s Journey from Near Death to New Life; and A Whole Life’s Work: Living Passionately, Growing Spiritually.

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.

HOITSU SUZUKI, the eldest son of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, is the tanto at Eiheiji, Soto Zen’s most important training temple in Japan. He is also the abbot of Rinso-in in Yaizu, Shizuoka prefecture.

DUNCAN RYUKEN WILLIAMS received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is currently Associate Professor of Japanese Buddhism and Chair of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of a monograph titledThe Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan(2005) and co-editor of a number of volumes including American Buddhism (1998), and Buddhism and Ecology (1997). Dr. William’s has also translated five books from Japanese to English including Putting Buddhism to Work: A New Theory of Economics and Business Management (1997). Recently, he has been working on Asian-American Buddhism and has a forthcoming title Issei Buddhism in the Americas (2010). He is currently researching the role of Buddhism in the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War Two for a monograph titled,Camp Dharma: Buddhism and the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II(forthcoming). He has also been ordained since 1993 as a Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen tradition.

SOJUN MEL WEITSMAN is the abbot of Berkeley Zen Center. In 1969 he was ordained by Suzuki Roshi as resident priest at the Berkeley Zendo. Sojun received Dharma Transmission from Suzuki Roshi’s son, Gyugaku Hoitsu, at Rinso-in temple in Japan in 1984 and was officially installed as abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center in 1985.

Wendy Adamek

WENDI ADAMEK is an Assistant Professor of Chinese Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University. She received her doctorate in 1998 from Stanford University. She primarily specializes in Chinese Buddhism and her research interests include Buddhism of the Tang dynasty, donor practices, Buddhist art, and network theory. Dr. Adamek has traveled extensively in Asia, including four years spent in Japan and two years in China. Her book The Mystique of Transmission (2007) that centers on an 8th century Chan/Zen group in Sichuan won an Award for Excellence from the American Academy of Religion. She is currently working on a scholarly monograph on a community of nuns and monks active at Bao shan (in present-day Henan) in the 6th to 8th centuries. Her second book project explores theoretical issues in religion and ecology.

Jusan Edward Espe Brown

JUSAN EDWARD BROWN leads the Peaceful Sea Sangha. He has been practicing Zen since 1965 and was ordained in 1971 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. In Northern California he leads regular sitting groups and meditation retreats; nationally and internationally he offers workshops on a number of subjects, including cooking, handwriting change and Mindfulness Touch. An accomplished chef, Jusan helped found Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and collaborated with Deborah Madison on The Greens Cookbook. He is the author of The Tassajara Bread Book, Tassajara Cooking, The Tassajara Recipe Book, and Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings. He edited Not Always So, a collection of Suzuki Roshi’s lectures. In 2007, Doris Dorrie, directed How to Cook Your Life, a documentary film featuring Jusan Edward Brown.

Yvonne Rand

YVONNE RAND is the guiding teacher of Goat-In-The Road, in Mendocino County, California. She is a lay householder priest in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition who began her practice and study of Zen with Shunryu Suzuki in 1966. Her primary practice path is Zen, augmented by her understanding of Theravadan and Tibetan teachings, western psychotherapy, the arts, and the natural world, as fields for training the mind.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Carl Bielefeldt

CARL BIELEFELDT is a Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford and the founder and director of the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies. He received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 1980. Dr. Bielefeldt’s research interests include the intellectual history of the Zen tradition. He is the author of Dōgen's Manuals of Zen Meditation and other works on early Japanese Zen, and is editor of the Soto Zen Text Project, that translates with annotations the scriptures of the Soto school of Japanese Zen. He has led Travel/Study programs to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

Jeff Wilson

JEFF WILSON is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies in 2007 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Mourning the Unborn Dead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America (2009) and Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness (2009). Dr. Wilson’s research specialties include Buddhism, Japanese Religion and Ritual Studies. He is currently working on a book to be titled The Buddhist Confederacy: Pluralism, Hybridity and Identity at a Temple in the American South (forthcoming).

Myoan Grace Schireson

MYOAN GRACE SCHIRESON is the founder and head teacher of Empty Nest, Valley Heartland, and Fresno River Zen Groups. She has trained in both Soto Zen Buddhism under Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi of Berkeley Zen Center, and in Rinzai Zen Buddhism under Keido Fukushima of Tofuku-ji Monastery in Kyoto. Myoan received Dharma Transmission in 2005 from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Trained as a clinical psychologist, she is committed to using techniques suitable for Westerners as she teaches Asian methods of quieting the mind.

Gil Fronsdal

GIL FRONSDAL has been the primary teacher since 1990 at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. He has practiced Zen and Vipassana in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. In 1998 he received a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford University studying the earliest developments of the bodhisattva ideal. He is the author of The Issue at Hand, essays on mindfulness practice, and the translator of The Dhammapada, published by Shambhala Publications. Gil teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he is part of its Teachers Council. He was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982 and in 1995 received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of Berkeley Zen Center.

ROBERT SHARF is D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies in 1990 from the University of Michigan. His research specialty is medieval Chinese Buddhism, but he also works in Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist art, ritual studies, and methodological issues in the study of religion. Dr. Sharf is the author of Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism: A Reading of the Treasure Store Treatise (2002), and co-editor of Living Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in Context (2001). He is currently writing a book with the tentative title of How to Read a Zen Koan.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer

ZOKETSU NORMAN FISCHER is the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation, an organization that adapts Zen Buddhist teachings to Western culture. For many years he taught at the San Francisco Zen Center, where he was co-abbot from 1995-2000 and is presently a Senior Dharma Teacher. Zoketsu is the author of Opening to You: Zen-inspired Translations of the Psalms (2002), Taking Our Places: the Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up (2003), and Sailing Home (2008), that uses Homer’s Odyssey to describe the spiritual journey. He has also written Jerusalem Moonlight (1995), a memoir about Judaism and Buddhism and is co-author of Benedict’s Dharma: Buddhists Comment on the Rule of Benedict (edited by Patrick Henry - 2001). His chief interests include: the adaptation of Zen meditation and understanding to business, law, and conflict resolution; inter-religious dialogue; and care of the dying.

VICTOR SOGEN HORI is an Associate Professor of Japanese Religions at McGill University. He received his Ph.D. in 1976 from Stanford University. His research interests are Zen Buddhism, Buddhism in the West, Kyoto school of philosophy, Japanese religion, and comparative ethics. Dr. Hori is the co-editor of The Kyoto School: Neglected Themes and Hidden Variation (2008), the translator of The Ten Oxherding Pictures: Lectures by Yamada Mumon Roshi (2004) and Zen Sand: The Book of Capping Phrases for Zen Koan Practice (2003). He is currently working as a co-editor on Wild Geese: Studies of Buddhism in Canada (forthcoming). He ordained as a Buddhist priest in 1976 at Ryoko-in, a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji in Kyoto, Japan.