Become a Member

PZI Events Calendar

W E L C O M E  to the PZI Events Calendar! Here you will find all upcoming events and registration links for PZI Zen Online retreats, sesshins, and weekly meditations & talks. Search by individual event, day, or month. Save to your Google Calendar or iCal Calendar. No experience required to participate. All event times are Pacific Time. Questions? Contact Karin Pfluger


June 23 Sunday Zen: with John Tarrant & Friends

July 1 Zen Luminaries: David Hinton in Conversation with Jon Joseph & Friends

August 8–11 Open Mind Retreat: with John Tarrant, Allison Atwill, & Tess Beasley


Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

ZEN LUMINARIES: A Flower Twirled – Jon Joseph Hosts Ruben Habito & David Weinstein on the Zen Legacy of Koun Yamada

January 30, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Free – $12


A PZI Zen Online Event with Special Guest Ruben Habito Roshi
& Pacific Zen Roshi David Weinstein
in conversation with Jon Joseph Roshi

On Monday, three former students of Yamada’s Kamakura zendo share stories of the Japanese teacher who may have had the most significant impact on Zen in the West. Please join us.

Once in ancient times, when the World-Honored One was at Mount Grdhrakūta, he held up a flower, twirled it, and showed it to the assemblage. At this, they all remained silent. Only the venerable Kashyapa broke into a smile.

The World-Honored One said, “I have the eye treasury of the true Dharma, the marvelous mind of nirvana, the true form of no-form, the subtle gate of the Dharma. It does not depend on letters, being specially transmitted outside all teachings. Now I entrust Mahakashyapa with this.”

—The Gateless Gate, Case 6

What is the legacy of a teacher? A pebble drops into a pond, and rings ripple outward through the universe. A flower twirls in the hand, and a knowing is shared beyond words, one generation to the next, infinitely.

Koun Yamada, who died in 1989, and his own teacher, Hakuun Yasutani, had immeasurable impact on many of the major Zen lineages in the U.S., Europe and South Asia. Fully half of those Yamada sanctioned to teach were Catholic and Protestant clerics; he did not see Zen as being strictly Buddhist.

The center pole to Yamada’s “big tent” approach to Zen was his clear awakening, and for decades he stressed that all his students must at least once in their lives experience the joy of “seeing the nature” (kensho). Later, he increasingly emphasized the importance of integrating that insight into our lives, through the vow to save all beings of the world.

Ruben Keiun Habito Roshi, a Jesuit, studied with Koun Yamada Roshi for eighteen years, receiving dharma transmission from him in 1988. Ruben left the priesthood in 1989, and in 1991 founded the Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas. He teaches at the Perkins School of Theology at the Southern Methodist University, and has authored a number of works on the confluence of Zen and Christianity, including Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World.

David Onryu-Koun Weinstein Roshi studied with Yamada in Kamakura for nine years. David completed his koan study with John Tarrant, and is director of the Rockridge Meditation Community, in Oakland, Ca. He has worked as a therapist for many years.

Jon Dokanun Joseph Roshi studied with Yamada in Japan for eight years, before returning to the U.S. and completing his koan study with John Tarrant. Jon teaches at the Portola Camp Zendo, in San Mateo. He formerly worked as a journalist and financial analyst.

More about Ruben Habito

Ruben Habito began Zen practice under Koun Yamada in Kamakura, Japan in 1971 when he was a Jesuit seminarian in Japan. Yamada was a Zen roshi who taught Christian students, which was unusual for the time. Habito received dharma transmission from Yamada in 1988, left the Jesuit order, and went on to found the Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas.

He is a faculty member at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology where he teaches World Religions and Spirituality, and directs the Spiritual Formation Program.


All are welcome to join in for meditation and conversation.

Register to participate—PZI Members always FREE, or you may donate $10 to help keep these conversations appearing.

Non-member guests donate $12 or join PZI as a member!


January 30, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free – $12
Event Category: