August 15, 2010

Tribute to Robert Gyoun Aitken Roshi

Robert Gyoun Aitken Roshi, beloved teacher and founder of the Diamond Sangha and teacher to a vast number of students and teachers worldwide, died on August 5, 2010, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 93 years old. In his final years, despite numerous health challenges and bound to a wheel chair, Roshi remained active in his writing and teaching, and in his presence in practice at Palolo Zen Sangha.

A complete biography of Aitken Roshi can be found at the Honolulu Diamond Sangha website:

After he retired, Roshi continued to publish, each book seeming to be his last. Several years ago, Roshi declared he was writing his final book, a personal one-copy book to his grandchild. Four books were to follow. His fourteenth book with the working title, RIVER OF HEAVEN, was underway when he died.

Roshi died peacefully not long after entering the hospital with the condition of pneumonia. His Memorial Service will be held at Honolulu Diamond Sangha, Palolo Zen Center, on August 22nd.

A memorial service expressing gratitude for Aitken Roshi's life and his teachings which have influenced and sustained us in many ways, will be held at Olympia Zen Center on Wednesday evening, August 18th, beginning with Zazen at 7:00 p.m.