June 15, 2011

Charlotte Joko Beck

Charlotte Joko Beck died peacefully this morning, June 15, 2011, at 7:30 a.m.  She was a deeply influential American Zen teacher whose writings touched and supported hundreds and hundreds of people around the world.

She received Dharma Transmission from Taizan Maezumi Roshi and then founded the San Diego Zen Center where she served as Head Teacher from 1983 until 2006.

Her two well known books are Everyday Zen: Love and Work; and, Nothing Special: Living Zen.

This is a brief excerpt from Everyday Zen:
"Now, sometimes people say, "It's too hard."  But in fact, not practicing at all is much, much harder.  We really fool ourselves when we don't practice.  So please be very clear with yourself about what must be done to end suffering; and also that by practicing with such courage we can enable others to have no fear, no suffering.  We do it by the most intelligent, patient, persistent practice.  We never do it by our complaints, our bitterness and anger; and I don't mean to suppress them.  If they come up, notice them; you don't have to suppress them.  Then immediately go back into your breath, your body, into just sitting.  And when we do that there is not one of us who, by the end of the sesshin, will not find the rewards that real sitting gives.  Let's sit like that."