Buddhism in the Modern World Series--How Japanese Is American Soto Zen?

Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Founder,Everyday Zen Foundation

In this talk Zen priest and abbot Norman Fischer will reflect on Japanese Buddhist history, the San Francisco Zen Center, where he served as abbot from 1995-2000, and the teaching of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founding abbot of the Center. To what extent is Japanese Buddhism different from and the same as other Asian Buddhisms, and what do these similarities and differences have to do with the way Zen is currently practiced in the Suzuki Roshi lineage in America? The talk will include a brief meditation period, with instruction, and time for dialog.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer, a teacher of Soto Zen, is the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation in Oakland, California, an organization dedicated to adapting Zen teachings to Western culture. In addition to his work as a Buddhist teacher, he is well known as a poet and essayist. His most recent work of poetry is Questions/Places/Voices/Seasons (2009). Earlier collections of verse include Slowly But Dearly (2004), I Was Blown Back (2005), Like a Walk Through a Park (1980), On Whether or Not To Believe in Your Mind (1986), The Devices (1987), Turn Left in Order to Go Right (1989), Precisely the Point Being Made (1992), The Narrow Roads of Japan (1998) and Success (2000). Among his prose publications are Jerusalem Moonlight (1995), Opening to You: Zen-inspired Translations of the Psalms (2002), Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up (2003), and Sailing Home: Using Homer's Odyssey to Navigate Life's Perils and Pitfalls (2008).

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 | 5:15 pm — 7:00 pm
The Circle Sanctuary, 3rd Floor, Old Union

Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford