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Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
buddhadharma| 87 |winter 2007 mahasangha news electronic version of its newsletter this fall. The e-newsletter will be a clearinghouse for timely infor- mation about Buddhist activities in the region. The NWDA’s print publication will be reserved for more in-depth articles. To sub- scribe to the e-newsletter, e-mail email@example.com. ■ On July 4, the Buddhist Society for Com- passionate Wisdom and Spring Wind sangha gathered at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Toronto to celebrate Korean Son teacher sAmu sunim’s 40-year anniver- sary in North America. Samu Sunim (below, in 1999) came to New York in the summer of 1967 and started the Son-Zen Lotus Society in a small apartment near Broadway. A short time later he moved to Toronto, where he founded the Toronto Zen Bud- dhist Temple. Since then, sister communities have been estab- lished in Chicago, Ann Arbor, and Mexico City. The anniversary day’s events began with the ordi- nation of two new dharma teach- ers, Frank Jude Boccio and Marie Kuykendall, and were followed by precept ceremonies that were broadcast via Internet connec- tions to their affiliate centers. ■ The Rubin Museum in New York hosted an evening tribute to e. gene smith (below, left), one of the world’s leading scholars of Tibetan literature and history, on September 26. The occasion marked the publication of The Pandita and the Scholar, a volume of essays written in Smith’s honor and published by Amnye Machen Institute. Smith took early retire- ment from the U.S. Library of Congress in 1997 to become a consultant to the Trace Founda- tion for the establishment of the Himalayan and Inner Asian Resources. In 1999 he and a group of friends established the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC), an encyclopedic database of Himalayan scriptures from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Now 71 years old, Smith continues to work part-time at the TBRC and as an acquisitions editor at Wis- dom Publications. ■ Aside from its staple menu of Himalayan art exhibitions drawn from its 2,000- plus-piece collection, the ruBin museum in New York is offer- ing a banquet of programs and activities this fall and winter that includes acoustic performances at its K2 lounge by artists like Issa (formerly Jane Siberry) and Simon Shaheen, film screenings and dis- cussions, lunchtime lectures, and theatre and dance instruction for children. Check out www.rmanyc. org for more information. ■ On September 8, the hArtforD street Zen Center (HSZC) in San Francisco celebrated its 25th anniversary and held its first com- munity-wide fundraiser. The HSZC was founded by the late Issan Tommy Dorsey, a student in the Soto Zen tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Since 1981, the center has provided Zen practice and training to the LGBT com- munity, the Castro neighborhood, and the Bay Area. A yearlong series of monthly cultural and community events at HSZC cul- minated with the September cele- bration, which featured a lively conversation called “Drag, Dharma, and the Dragon: 25 Years of Zen in the Castro” between David Schneider and Norman Fis- cher. Issan Dorsey is still fondly remembered by HSZC sangha members. “There is an old tradition in Chinese Zen of ➤ continued page 89 gesAr trAnslAtor Dies By Larry Mermelstein and Scott Wellenbach robin Kornman, a prominent student of chögyam trungpa rinpoche and a founding member of the nalanda translation committee, died on July 31 of complications from cancer following a long illness. he was 60 years old. a brilliant scholar and a polymath with diverse interests and abilities, during the last decade robin devoted most of his considerable energy—impressive even in illness—to the task of starting a translation of the enormous Epic of Gesar, a primary cultural and religious treasure for tibetan buddhists. robin became a student of trungpa rinpoche soon after the teacher’s arrival in north america. having previously studied russian, french, and chinese, Kornman received initial instruction in tibetan from Jan nattier. he lived at Karme chöling in vermont (then called tail of the tiger) through the early ’70s, where, under trungpa rinpoche’s guidance, he undertook his study of tibetan in earnest. after moving to boulder, colorado, he was a mainstay of the nalanda translation committee through the late ’70s and ’80s. robin was a principal trans- lator and editor of the Rain of Wisdom, a compendium of realization songs of the Kagyu lineage. he was also a key contributor to the transla- tions of important liturgies and termas (treasure texts) of the shambhala tradition, discovered by trungpa rinpoche. in the late ’80s he began doctoral work in comparative literature at princeton and received his ph.d in 1994. he held teaching positions at st. John’s in annapolis, maryland, and the university of Wisconsin in milwaukee, and a research position with the library of congress. he gathered a group of transla- tors around him in milwaukee to work on the Epic of Gesar. a natural in the role of shariputra, robin never tired of asking questions of his teacher, publicly and persistently, to the edification of all who were there or those who were able to read the recorded interchanges. he was an engaging and prodigious teacher and trav- eled widely, lecturing particularly on the ways of shambhala and the importance of gesar, and was a pioneer in developing dharma educa- tion for children. he contributed a number of articles and reviews to Buddhadharma and the Shambhala Sun over the last decade. the words and the fine quality of robin’s mind live on in his trans- lations and writing. he will be greatly missed by a very large circle of friends and students. Larry Mermelstein and Scott Wellenbach are members of the Nalanda Translation Commitee. Robin Kornman (center) with two fellow members of the Nalanda Translation Committee, Lama Ugyen Shenpen (left) and Larry Mermelstein (right), 1976. bopKyonglisagaliciacourtesyrubinmuseumofart