ROSHI KEN'S GLOSSARY
Roshi Robert “Bob” Kennedy
Roshi Bob is a Jesuit priest and one of the first non-Buddhists to receive Dharma Transmission in our lineage. He is my older, senior brother in the Dharma lineage. After Jishu passed, I began to do Koans with Bob in Jersey City, which lasted six years. Bob raised me in the dharma, in the Buddha Way. He was always generous. He embodies extraordinary humility and openness and taught me to appreciate the gifts which I have been given.
Bernie Glassman, was my Zen root teacher. He was the founder of The Greyston Foundation, a mandala of for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises in Yonkers, NY with Roshi Jishu, the founder of the Zen Peacemaker Order. (Previously the Zen Community of New York). He was a champion of social enterprise, and founded the Greyston Bakery – which employed the local homeless – in Yonkers, NY. Bernie taught me that I didn’t need to choose between social action and spiritual practice. He was one of the leading figures in the emergence of Engaged Buddhism late in the 20th century, and he truly showed me the way. Bernie’s impact on me has not only changed my life, but has led to a profound impact on the lives of over a thousands of public school students and their families on Staten Island.
Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi
Founder and teacher of the Soto Zendo, Kyudo Roshi was my first teacher in the flesh. A Dharma successor of the great Soen Nakagawa Roshi, he came to New York twice a year to lead sesshins. Kyudo’s embodiment of stillness has inspired me to practice. He taught me to sit Zazen, the core practice of Zen Buddhism (add definition), he embodied stillness, and he had meant so much to me.
Roshi Jishu Holmes
Roshi Jishu Holmes was my heart teacher. Jishu was the most humble person I have ever known. She was my teacher in the Ox classes, which were the most important, a major supplement to my mediation practice. I became Jishu’s student when she was abbot of ZCNY, and accepted my offer to ordain in order to serve as her first Shuso. One of her greatest gifts was softness.