John Negru

John Negru [Karma Yönten Gyatso] is the founder of Sumeru Books, the publishing company which has released four of my books. He has an interesting  background story which includes a fifty year Dharma practice with a variety of teachers in different traditions, extensive community service, pilgrimages, and even three days in 1980 at Bodhgaya withContinue reading “John Negru”

Melissa Myozen Blacker

Even if there were not signage identifying the Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, one could hardly miss the place because of the massive Buddha out front. “The statue! Oh! It’s so cool!” Melissa Blacker tells me, breathlessly. One is struck by her verve and her energy, her apparent enthusiasm for just about everything. She’s anContinue reading “Melissa Myozen Blacker”

Brother Fulfillment

The work coordinator at Blue Cliff monastery at the time of my visit in 2014 was introduced to me both as Brother Phap Man and as Brother Fulfillment, the English translation of his name.I ask how he is normally addressed, and he tells me he is trying to retrain people to call him Brother Fulfillment.Continue reading “Brother Fulfillment”

Robert Kennedy

When I was working in International Development with the YMCA, I used to subscribe to the National Catholic Reporter, in part because it had a leftist slant on the Catholic Church—my birth heritage—with which I was comfortable, but largely because it was one of the best sources I could find for hard news coverage ofContinue reading “Robert Kennedy”

Kokyo Henkel

When I spoke with Kokyo Henkel in early April 2020, he was just retiring as the resident priest of the Santa Cruz Zen Center and preparing to undertake what was intended to be a three month retreat in the Crestone Mountains. With the covid crisis, it became longer. Early Buddhism was less a faith traditionContinue reading “Kokyo Henkel”

Diane Fitzgerald

Fifty years ago, Diane Fitzgerald marched in the “very first Earth Day parade in New York City. It was kind of a random occurrence that I happened to be there and joined in as a fourteen year old. That was the start.” Diane is the founder and resident teacher of Zen DownEast in Pembroke, Maine.Continue reading “Diane Fitzgerald”

Ken Tetsuzan Morgareidge

Ken Morgareidge is one of three teachers at the Zen Center of Denver. “There’s myself. There’s Karin Kempe and Peggy Sheean. We were all sanctioned on the same day by our teacher, Danan Henry Roshi, in 2010, as the co-directors of the Zen Center of Denver. So there’s no primary person. The three of usContinue reading “Ken Tetsuzan Morgareidge”

Albert Low

Albert Low, the Director of the Montreal Zen Center, died in 2016 at the age of 87. In 2013, I had arranged to interview him and four of his students for Cypress Trees in the Garden; however, three of the chapters, including the one on Albert, were omitted to keep the book under 500 pages.Continue reading “Albert Low”