Shunryu Suzuki Roshi,
A Japanese Zen monk belonging to the Soto school, Suzuki Roshi arrived in San Francisco in 1959 at the age of fifty-four. Already well known as a Zen master in Japan, he was impressed by the enthusiasm and the "beginner's mind" of the Westerners who came to sit with him and who displayed a strong interest in the practice of Zen. As a result he decided to move permanently to San Francisco. A growing number of Westerners joined his meditation group. He founded the San Francisco Zen Center and became its first Abbot. Under his guidance the Zen Center developed into three temples: City Center, Green Gulch and Tassajara. He passed away in 1971. Suzuki Roshi was undoubtedly one of the most influential and important Zen masters of his time. Some of his talks have been collected in his books Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness and Not Always So, which was published recently.