To Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi

Anniversary Memorial Poem

by John Daido Loori, Roshi

Featured in Mountain Record 24.4, Summer 2006


 

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Great Mountain has always filled all time and space
Solitary cloud has never had an abiding place.
How then can we speak of arriving and departing?
Roo o  o   o    o     o      o       o!
Pink pointed azalea blooms pierce my heart.
The debt of gratitude is not yet fulfilled.

 

—Zen Mountain Monastery
Muge Daido

Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi was born in Atawara, Japan on February 24, 1931. He was the third of seven sons born to Baian Hakujun Kuroda. A Soto priest and the founder of the White Plum Asangha, Maezumi Roshi was ordained at the age of eleven and was given the name Taizan, which means Great Mountain. Because Roshi’s mother’s family had no male heirs, he took on her family name, Maezumi. Roshi graduated from Kamazawa University with degrees in Asian literature and philosophy, while living with and attending to Koryu Roshi from whom he received transmission in the Inzan line of the Linji (J. Rinzai) school.

In addition to studying with Koryu Roshi, Maezumi Roshi did koan study with Yasutani Roshi and later received transmission from him in the Takuju line of the Linji school, thus becoming one of the rare teachers to receive Inka from both the Inzan and Takuju Rinzai lineages, as well as dharma transmission in the Soto school (from his father). Maezumi Roshi settled in Los Angeles in what was to become the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1968. Only a few years later, the center had almost 200 residents. In 1976 Roshi founded the Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Human Values and the Dharma Institute in Mexico City.

In 1981 Roshi formally opened the Zen Arts Center (now Zen Mountain Monastery), and in 1987 he gave dharma transmission to John Daido Loori, the fifth of his successors. Daido Roshi saw his teacher for the last time during the Soto school’s Tokubetsu sesshin held at Green Gulch farm in April of 1995. Maezumi Roshi died in his brother’s temple, Kirigaiji, on May 14, 1995.

 


Last Dharma Words

by Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, Roshi


 

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The dharma of thusness has been intimately conveyed from buddhas and ancestors.
It has been transmitted, generation after generation, down to me.
To complete or not to complete is of no consequence.
Enlightenment above enlightenment, delusion within delusion is also of no consequence.
Manifest genjokoan! Play freely in inward and outward fulfilling samadhi!
Maintain and nourish the one buddha mind seal.
Life after life, rebirth after rebirth, practice diligently. Do not regress.
Do not let the wisdom seed of the buddhas and ancestors be discontinued.
Thus I deeply implore you.

 

The year 1995 in the month of the azaleas
Los Angeles
Abbot of Dairyuzan Busshin-ji
Humbly,
Koun Taizan