Zen 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.
Les Kaye has been 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 he was appointed spiritual leader of Kannon Do in 1982. In 1986, he was recognized as a Zen teacher and a successor in the lineage of Shunryu 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 latest book, Joyously Through the Days: The Continuous Journey of Spiritual Practice, explores the various ways that spirituality and Zen practice can be expressed in everyday relationships and activities.