©copyright Deb Huntley 2003 - 2012 ~ All Rights reserved.
Dedicated to Charlotte Joko Beck and Gesshin Prabhasa Dharma, Roshi
"The right use of mind is in the service of love, of life, of truth, of beauty." ~ Nisargadatta
Charlotte Joko Beck
The word Zen simply means meditation.
Joko was a master of Zen, and she never
stopped surprising conventional Zen circles
with her unconventional and innovative style
of teaching. Coming from Soto Zen, she had an
expansive five-decade teaching career
in the US and Australia. She never stopped
developing awareness practices
to help students understand themselves. She
noticed what helped and what did not. Evidently she
realized that ambitious title and identity seeking
could be confusing, so
she discontinued all marks of status in her groups. The heart of practice in Joko's
zendo was always the self-discovery found only in silence. Joko Beck will
be long remembered as a unique and powerful Zen trailblazer. She was the author
of two books: Everyday Zen, and Nothing Special,
plus a CD set called, Living Everyday Zen.
Joko retired at age 93. On June 15, 2011, at 94 she died peacefully at home
Gesshin Prabhasa Dharma, Roshi
Roshi was to be the successor of Ven. Thich Man Gaic, but he outlived her.
She died of cancer in 1999 at age 69.
A Roshi in the Rinzai Zen tradition, Gesshin
Prabhasa Dharma taught in the Mojave desert in California,
and founded a Zen Center in the Netherlands. While she was known for her innate creative nature,
love of the desert, and her elegance, her personal history is fascinating.
Born in Germany, as a child she was once asked to present Hitler with flowers
when he visited her village. Hitler thought she was beautiful, in fact, he thought she
was the perfect Aryan! Her family fled to
Switzerland, then went on to California where they all settled for the rest of their lives.
Roshi grew-up with a keen eye for freedom, and in the 90s she warned "America could
lose its precious freedoms if it is not paying attention."
Beloved Roshi will always be remembered for her rigorous and creative practice-months
in the desert, her appreciation of nature's beauty, her calligraphy and her extensive
knowledge of penetrating literature. Her successor Juin Hogen, Roshi teaches in the
Roshi's book "You Too Are Buddha" is only available in Dutch. (Photo credit: Roshi is smiling at
photographer Helios Wilson, age 5 at the time.)
With gratitude we respectfully acknowledge the early work of Russian artist Nickolas Roerich, who in the
first half of the last century said, "Where there is peace there is culture, and where
there is culture there is peace." He inspired our logo, and our Peace Education program
is a continuation of his foresighted "PAX CULTURA" (Peace Culture) movement.
The Roerich Peace Pact was ratified by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 and can be viewed
(as well as the original banner and many paintings) by clicking the Nicholas Roerich Museum
link and logo.
Our logo has ancient roots. Nickolas Roerich used it as a flag to indicate
a neutral zone for safety and protection in times of war to preserve places of
artistic, scientific, and historic value.
The meaning of the ZHS LOGO
The three jewels in the center are:
Truth The truth of nature, of being.
Community The community of human beings on Earth.
Awareness The moment to moment practice of being present.
The circle around the jewels represents Life itself.