“Falling Leaves” – For Kyogen


My teacher, Kyogen, loved a wide variety of music, like Bob Dylan in particular, but also classic Americana, like the soundtrack from the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Somehow, shortly after his memorial service yesterday, I came across this old chestnut by Grandpa Jones. Both the style of music and particularly the lyrics fit how I’m feeling at this point, and also are in tune with what Kyogen taught.


The Memorial

Kyogen Amongst the TreesThe Memorial Service for my teacher, Kyogen Carlson-sensei, will be this Sunday, September 21st, 2014, at the Jason Lee Elementary School, where Dharma Rain is renting space for larger ceremonies until the new Siskyou property is built.

Jason Lee Elementary is at 2222 NE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR 97220 — the intersection is NE 92nd & NE Eugene.

  • 8:30am — Zazen with sanzen
  • 9:00am — Kinhin
  • 9:40am — Full Morning Service
  • 10:10am — Break
  • 10:30am — In Memoriam

I will be the one in back with the puffy, red eyes. Might need to wear dark sunglasses like a faded movie siren no one recognizes anymore, anyway.

The Remembrances Of Kyogen Begin…

IMG_0864.JPGJames Ford, who was Kyogen & Gyokuko’s fellow zen student and monk at Shasta Abbey in the 1970s, now a Minister of a large Unitarian Church on the east coast, wrote this brief but very good remembrance of my teacher. Thank you to good friend and fellow zen student of Kyogen’s, Lisa So’on Mann for posting this.

Good-bye, Great Light

My teacher as I remember him — that big, goofy, welcoming smile and warm heart.

My teacher as I remember him — that big, goofy, welcoming smile and warm heart.

I have posted this on my Facebook, Twitter & Google+ accounts, and I know I haven’t posted here in so very long, but feel this warrants this. Today, my zen buddhist teacher, Kyogen Gary Carlson-Sensei… no, though he eschewed the title, he was still very much Roshi (Great Head Priest of Temple) to me. Here is what I posted elsewhere, and with a devastated and saddened heart I re-post here as I head out to his vigil at Portland Adventist Hospital —

I just received simply horrible news. My zen buddhist teacher, Kyogen of Dharma Rain Zen Center, died this morning of a sudden, massive heart attack and could not be revived. This was the man who taught me, since 1996, most everything, and with such a wonderful sense of humor. This is such an out of the blue shock because he took such good care of himself – regular trips to the gym, bicycling, ate a great vegetarian diet, and always filled with great energy. He was also so energized by the recent move and building of the new zen center Siskyou property. We shared many of the same issues and were both humorous goofs, which is why i think i connected so much with him. I am headed out to Portland Adventist hospital where they are holding vigil with his body. I don’t think i’ll be of much use to anyone for a while. I have lost both a teacher and such a good, warm friend. He touched and helped so many. May we all live such a life. Rest in shunyata, Great Light, Dai Osho.