Our dear friend and tireless supporter of our Zen Life & Meditation Center passed away on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. He was a good friend through thick and thin. He continued to support our work when June and I moved from Hawaii to Chicago.
I was honored to be his preceptor at his Jukai ceremony at Jill Teiho Wagner's temple at Unshinji in Kaloko-Mauka, Hawaaii on November 2, 2006. I gave him the dharma name, "Shozan", which means "Auspicious Mountain".
I have many fond memories of sharing a cup of coffee on his back porch overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the town of Kailua-Kona. Shozan was a large man, a large person with a big heart. In our many conversations about Zen and Buddhism, he would often surprise me with some knowledge about some obscure, esoteric facts about somebody or some event.
Shozan attended a 7 day sesshin (Zen meditation retreat) I lead at Kalopa. He had a busy and active mind, so it wasn't easy for him to be still and quiet. But he kept going and I think he came to deeply appreciate the vastness of Buddha nature and the freedom that realization brought.
He became an active member of Daifukuji Soto Mission and joined their board of directors. I miss him already and he will be missed by many others, who's lives he touched in so many ways.