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.