(1904 to 1971)
He came from Japan to America in 1959 and founded the San Francisco Zen Center in 1962. He is the widely read author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.
Jean Selkirk in the Community Room at Berkeley Zen Center. On the sewing closet door to the left is caligraphy by Hoitsu Suzuki reading: “Namu kie Butsu, Namu kie Ho, Namu kie So” (“I take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha”).
The tradition of sewing Buddha’s Robe and giving precepts to lay practitioners (in addition) to priests began over the last two years of Suzuki-rōshi’s life in 1970 and 1971. Eshun Yoshida-rōshi came from Japan and visited Zen Center each of those years, leading a week-long sewing sesshin in 1971. She and both Katagiri-rōshi and Tomoe Katagiri were instrumental in bringing about this change. Here, Yoshida-rōshi is speaking with Tomoe-san.
Zenkei Blanche Hartman attended that sewing sesshin (shown left, with Yoshida-rōshi) and continued to study sewing in 1973 with Kasai Jōshin-san. Jōshin-san began making almost annual trips from Japan for ten years starting in 1973 to transmit the sewing practice. Blanche and Jōshin- san worked closely together.
During those years, Blanche became Jōshin-san’s disciple, receiving the sewing lineage. Over those years and since, Blanche has helped many, many students sew their robes and has transmitted the teachings to sewing teachers at Zen Center and beyond.
Jōshin-san and Blanche in the dining hall at San Francisco Zen Center’S City Center during sewing practice .
Blanche and Jean in the Sewing Room at City Center.
Sewing Practice Begins at San Francisco Zen Center