Friday, August 6, 2010

Zen Community Loses a Legend

Yesterday, August 5th, legendary Zen teacher and founder of the cross-continental Diamond Sangha, Robert Aitken Roshi died. Aitken touched many lives through his teaching, and inspired countless more through his writing. Author of the classics Taking the Zen Path and The Mind of Clover, as well as translator of the Zen classic, The Gateless Barrier, Aitken Roshi was one of the leading figures responsible for introducing the Dharma to the West. Though I never had the pleasure to study with him, I, like many others, feel an indirect connection to him--he was my first Zen teacher's teacher's teacher (kind of like a Dharma great-grandfather)--and thus I am personally grateful for his generous contributions to the global Zen community.

He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.

Photograph of Robert Aitken and Anne Hopkins Aitken borrowed with permission from flickr user albill.

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