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Aitken Roshi passes

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Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Myo Gak on Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:38 pm

Aitken Roshi passed away yesterday, Thursday, August 5, 2010, at around 5:30 pm at Straub hospital in Honolulu. He was 93.

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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:59 pm

Sad...

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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby chapulincolorado on Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:17 pm


"Meditation is not to get out of society, to escape from society, but to prepare for a re-entry into society."
--Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby genkaku on Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:26 pm

Recent pictures I received made him look quite frail. He was a good friend to one and all. Thank you very much!

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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Ko_Shin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:22 pm

Sad news.

Peace to him and the many who's lives he's touched.
"Whether the water is cold or warm, only you will know, and it is not something you can describe to others."
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Carol on Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:54 pm

I heard this morning at dokusan -- My teacher (Daniel Terragno Roshi) was very close to Aitken Roshi. We went out to breakfast and he told us some Aitken Roshi stories. The love he felt was palpable and sweet. My former teacher (John Tarrant Roshi) was Aitken Roshi's first dharma heir ... the blessings flow, branching streams flow in the dark.

Thanks, Aitken Roshi. We remember those who have given so much, blessed us with so much, passed down so much.

May he rest in deepest samadhi.

:O:
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby olcharlie on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:35 pm

_/l\_
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby island on Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:55 pm

I feel like my grandfather/father just left me. I am a recent member of the Diamond Sangha though I have meditated in Honolulu before and read Aitken beginning a long time ago with his brilliant book on haiku and Basho. I have heard many stories since I now know many people connected with him. A great light went out, but what a fullness he gave to us.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby hungryghost on Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:34 am

A great light has gone out of this world. May those who learned from him help brighten this tumultous universe.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby partofit22 on Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:55 am

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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Ko_Shin on Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:16 pm

For those of you in the area John Tarrant, who had already scheduled a visit, is going to be at the Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, MA this Sunday night and he has said he'll use the time to reminisce and talk about Aitken Roshi.

http://worcesterzen.org/
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Carol on Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:07 pm

Facing my imminent death
I vow with all beings
to go with the natural process
at peace with whatever comes.

…When someone close to me dies
I vow with all beings
to settle in ultimate closeness
and continue our dialogue there.

What is death? What is this?

~Robert Aitken Roshi



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Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Keisei on Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:49 am

May he be well; may he be peaceful; may he be free from suffering on his journey.

:O:
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby TTT on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:01 am

Sad.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby island on Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:00 pm

The Roshi had a blog on which people are expressing their sentiments if anyone is so inclined.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby So-on Mann on Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:31 pm

:p:
Facing a precious mirror, form and reflection behold each other. You are not it, but in truth it is you.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby Keisei on Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:21 pm

This article appeared in my local paper here in Pittsburgh, PA though it ran originally in the LA Times.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10225/1079687-122.stm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote:Obituary: Robert Aitken / American Zen master who urged social action
June 19, 1917 - Aug. 5, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Robert Aitken, an influential American Zen master and writer who emphasized a path to enlightenment through social action, died of pneumonia on Aug. 5 in a Honolulu hospital. He was 93.

His death was confirmed by Roland Sugimoto, administrator of Honolulu Diamond Sangha, a Zen Buddhist network with more than 20 affiliated groups around the world that Mr. Aitken founded more than 50 years ago with his wife, Anne Hopkins Aitken.

Mr. Aitken was one of the first Americans to be fully sanctioned as a master of Zen Buddhism and trained several generations of Zen Buddhist teachers. He established the Honolulu center as a lay community that was particularly notable for an egalitarian approach that was welcoming to women.

"He made Zen Buddhism workable for Westerners," said Michael Kieran, who studied under Mr. Aitken and now oversees Diamond Sangha's main temple as master teacher. "He removed a lot of the patriarchal language from the tradition, which had been mainly transmitted to us through the monastic tradition."

Known for his commitment to social justice, Mr. Aitken helped found the Berkeley, Calif.,-based Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He also wrote 13 books, including "Taking the Path of Zen" (1982), a classic primer on Zen practice, and "The Mind of Clover" (1984), a highly regarded exploration of Buddhist ethics.

Born in Philadelphia on June 19, 1917, Mr. Aitken moved with his family to Honolulu when he was 5, after his anthropologist father went to work on the staff of the Bishop Museum there. He grew up in Hawaii and California, where he completed high school.

His introduction to Zen came with the outbreak of World War II, when he was a civilian construction worker on Guam. He was captured by Japanese troops in 1942 and spent the duration of the war in an internment camp in Kobe.

In the camp, a Japanese guard lent him a copy of British scholar R.H. Blyth's "Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics." Mr. Aitken was fascinated and read the book many times.

In 1944, when several camps were consolidated in Kobe, he met Blyth, who had been teaching in Japan when he was detained as an enemy alien. Mr. Aitken spent the next year in constant conversation with Blyth; and when they were released at war's end, he decided he would learn meditation under a Zen master.

Mr. Aitken returned to Hawaii and enrolled in the University of Hawaii, where he earned a bachelor's in English literature in 1947 and a master's in Japanese studies in 1950. His master's thesis on the great haiku poet Basho was the basis for his book "A Zen Wave" (1978).

He was working in a bookstore in Los Angeles in the late 1940s when he began to study with Nyogen Senzaki, an itinerant Zen monk who had settled in California in the 1920s. Mr. Aitken later went to Japan to train under Nakagawa Soen Roshi, who authorized him to establish a meditation group in his home in Hawaii in 1959. He was ordained in 1974.

Although he was not the first Zen leader to preach social engagement, Mr. Aitken was known for his strong commitment to social justice.

He counseled draft resisters during the Vietnam War. Earlier, he helped organize chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and American Friends Service Committee in Hawaii.

In 1978, Mr. Aitken co-founded Buddhist Peace Fellowship, which promotes social activism by Zen Buddhists.
"Whether teachings are mastered or not, reality constantly flows." -Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi

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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby island on Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:06 am

Thanks for the obituary. There is some talk of a ceremony for the Roshi to take place here on the mainland in a few months. Probably in the SF Bay area. It would not be limited to those in the Diamond Sangha of course. So if you are relatively local you may be able to pay your respects in person.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby island on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:46 am

The memorial for Robert Aitken Roshi is on Sunday at 10 am Honolulu time which is two hours from Pacific Standard Time which is in turn 3 hours from Eastern Standard time.

People are taking a moment to meditate or remember in silence or in talk the Roshi simultaneously around the world.
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Re: Aitken Roshi passes

Postby christopher::: on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:57 am

Carol wrote:Facing my imminent death
I vow with all beings
to go with the natural process
at peace with whatever comes.

…When someone close to me dies
I vow with all beings
to settle in ultimate closeness
and continue our dialogue there.

What is death? What is this?

~Robert Aitken Roshi



.


Aitken Roshi had a very big heart.
He's left our world a better place,
by teaching what he knew
and being here, with us.

:O:
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