Henry Shukman

Santa Fe architecture, even for private homes, largely adheres to a handful of local styles—Pueblo, Mission, and what they refer to as “Territorial.” The Mountain Cloud Zen Center on the Old Santa Fe Trail is in Pueblo style: thick adobe walls, flat roof, softly rounded corners, and projecting viga rafters. It was built by PhilipContinue reading “Henry Shukman”

Sandra González

Driving along a county road in an agricultural region of New York State, I miss the side road to the Springwater Center on my first pass, come to a dead end, turn around, and watch more closely on the way back. Even when I pull onto the gravel road indicated, I’m not entirely sure I’mContinue reading “Sandra González”

Taigen Henderson

The Toronto Zen Centre is on High Park Gardens in a well-to-do neighborhood on the west side of the city. I follow a stone path around the house to the back entrance passing carefully cultivated and maintained flower beds adorned with elegant Bodhisattva statues. Downstairs there is a Zendo (with about twenty-six places) and aContinue reading “Taigen Henderson”

Bodhin Kjolhede

There is a bumper sticker on Bodhin Kjolhede’s car that reads: “Ask me about my vow of silence.” We are driving to the Rochester Zen Center’s retreat house, located at Chapin Mill, forty minutes from the city. Bodhin’s hair is short, but not shaved off, and he is dressed in a navy blue short-sleeve shirtContinue reading “Bodhin Kjolhede”

Ilia Shinko Perez

In October 2013, I visited Great Mountain Zen Center in Berthoud, Colorado, in order to interview Gerry Shishin Wick. I was working on a book which profiled some of the direct successors of the pioneer teachers who established Zen in North America, and I was interviewing Shishin because he was an heir of Taizan Maezumi.Continue reading “Ilia Shinko Perez”

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”