25 September 2014

1976 Photo of Maezumi Roshi and Seung Sahn Soen Sa.

Maezumi far right, Seung Sah next to him, circa 1976
I studied with Maezumi Roshi (Right) from 1971 to about 1977. He was the most emotionally open Zen Master I ever met.  I was with Seung Sahn from about 1975 to 1981 although we fought a lot.

Seung Sahn mastered the art of expressing anger and forcefulness. No modesty there.  he was not afraid to stand out in any setting, therefore created many Zen Centers all over the world, but with very simplistic teachings he hoped would survive his death.

Maezumi was highly intelligent, sensitive, and mastered the art of being contrite, admitting his guilt in many areas of his life and teaching, being truly humble, and just a lovely man.

Had I known then what I know now, I would have moved into Maezumi's center, but I had incorrect ideas of what a spiritual teacher should be like.

I should say that every Zen master I met was more open to life as a human than any Advaita teacher, all who deemed the world was not real because all phenomena were temporary and not self-caused.


  1. Dear Ed,
    Did you ever considerd Christ?

  2. S.S. was certainly emotional, but didnt show softer feelings in public or with monks and nuns. But when someone approached him gently, or in great pain, he mirrored that place. Unless he felt you needed a kick in the butt. Haha. He was softer with women too. I never felt his wrath, we laughed a lot. But he pushed me too. He used whatever 'medicine' he thought was called for., but I only heard him apolgize to several people for hurting them, years after the incidents. He told me once even greatest zen masters have bad karma and make big mistakes. He said after enlightenment you must practice twce as hard.. "Enlightenment is easy to get, difficult to keep. Most important is love and compassion. Great Woman, Why do you eat everyday? You must understand that. "