1968 Sesshin, Ojai, California
Participants included, among others, Robert Aitken, Charlotte Joko Beck, her daughter Helen, Ray Jordan, Marilyn Jordan, Charles Gooding, Ronald Leyva, Rosemary Kiefer, Arvis Justi, Ruth Dennison, Bud Moseley, Maisy Moseley, Shirley Sisson, Maureen Wade, Jean Ross, and Dr. Peters.
In the late 1960's, we had several one-day zazenkais
(less intensive and shorter retreats than sesshins) in the home of Rosemary Kiefer, in Del Mar, California. Her husband had been an ambassador to Japan. Rosemary had the Japanese pavilion from a San Diego World Fair dismantled and rebuilt in Del Mar, on a hill overlooking the ocean. A few of us sat in that beautiful home on Wednesdays for a couple of years. Soen Roshi came on two occasions for just one-day sittings. With only six or seven of us, it was really amazing.
I remained friends with Rosemary Kiefer and Maureen Wade for many years, until their death several years ago.
Ray Jordan was my first introduction to Zen. I met him at San Diego State College where I went to school. I heard that he practiced zazen and I was interested in learning about it. I showed up at his office door just when he was about to leave. He brought me back inside his office, took off his shoes and jacket and sat down on his office floor and demonstrated zazen postures for me. Really my idea of what a teacher should be. He had been a student of Nyogen Senzaki in Los Angeles in the late 50's, together with Robert Aitken.