Our Current Guiding Teacher

Norman FischerNorman Fischer is a poet, author, and senior American Zen Buddhist priest. A former abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center, he is the founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation, a network of spiritual communities and projects dedicated to sharing Zen and Buddhist teachings widely with the world. A graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Norman began publishing poetry in the late 1970’s as part of a San Francisco Bay Area group of experimental writers, and has since published thirty books of prose and poetry. He lives in Muir Beach, California, with his wife Kathie, who is also a Zen priest. They have two children and five grandchildren. For more information about Norman Fischer, poetry, essays, talks, downloads, schedules see www.everydayzen.org and normanfischer.org


Our Abbot Emeritus and Teacher

Les KayeLes Kaye served as abbot of Kannon Do for 40 years, retiring in 2023 as Abbot Emeritus. No longer active in administrative matters of Kannon Do, he continues to be Kannon Do’s teacher. Les gives occasional Dharma talks and continues to meet with students at his house in Los Altos and virtually. Les was integrally involved in developing an American Zen practice both at Haiku Zendo and at Kannon Do. He was ordained as a Zen monk by Shunryu Suzuki in 1971 and was appointed spiritual leader of Kannon Do in 1982. In 1985, Les received Dharma Transmission – authority to teach and have students – from Suzuki-roshi’s son and successor, Hoitsu Suzuki. Starting in 1958, Les worked for IBM in San Jose for over 30 years. His book Zen at Work includes stories of how his own meditation practice enhanced the quality of his life and work at IBM. Les has also written a book on Oryoki, the traditional way of serving and eating meals in Soto Zen Monasteries. His other two books are Joyously Through the Days and A Sense of Something Greater: Zen and the Search for Balance in Silicon Valley.


Our Founder

Shunryu_SuzukiZen Master Shunryu Suzuki arrived in the San Francisco Bay area from Japan in 1958. During the next decade, San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center were created through his inspiration.

In 1966, Suzuki-roshi established Haiku Zendo Meditation Center in a private home in Los Altos as an affiliate of the center in San Francisco. His lectures at Haiku Zendo are recorded in his book Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind. His biography Crooked Cucumber, was published in 1999.

Here is an example of his wise, direct way of teaching:  A young man came to see Suzuki-roshi wanting to learn about Zen. Roshi said to him,

We sit every morning at 5:30. You can join us.