The Diamond Sangha

(from the Diamond Sangha website - needs rewritten or permission)

The Diamond Sangha is a lay Zen Buddhist organization, founded in 1959 by Anne Hopkins Aitken and Robert Aitken, Roshi, dharma heir of Yamada Roshi and author of Taking the Path of ZenThe Gateless Barrier: The Wu Men Kuan, and seven other Zen books. Aitken Roshi recently passed away, on August 5, 2010.

In the early years of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha, Zen masters Nakagawa Soen, Yasutani Hakuun, and Yamada Koun served as dharma teachers. In 1974, Yamada Roshi recognized Robert Aitken as a Zen teacher. Aitken Roshi retired in 1996. After some years living on the Big Island of Hawai'i, he returned to live in the teacher's quarters at Palolo, where his students could care for him in his declining years.

One of Robert Aitken's dharma heirs, Nelson Foster, taught at the Honolulu Diamond Sangha from 1996 to 2006. Nelson accumulated many frequent flyer miles commuting between the Ring of Bone Zendo in Nevada City, California, his home base, and the Palolo Zen Center in Honolulu.

Recently, Nelson Foster gladly bowed out so that Michael Kieran could serve the community. Michael was authorized to teach by Nelson Foster in 1999, received Transmission in 2004, and ascended the Mountain Seat in 2006. He is an O'ahu resident and offers regular dokusan and sesshin at Palolo Zen Center.

The Honolulu Diamond Sangha has one center on the island of O'ahu. Palolo Zen Center (PZC) is nestled in a wooded 13 acre site at the back of Palolo Valley. The Palolo Zen Center comprises a zendo, teacher's quarters, and a residential wing. Activities at Palolo Zen Center include daily zazen, samu, one to eight-day sesshin, and opportunities for residential practice.