Jakusho Kwong

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Jakusho Kwong
Jakusho Kwong.JPG
School Sōtō
Lineage Shunryu Suzuki
Nationality American
Born (1935-11-14) November 14, 1935 (age 83)
Santa Rosa, California, United States of America
Senior posting
Based in Sonoma Mountain Zen Center
Title Zen Master
Religious career
Website www.smzc.net

Jakusho Kwong (born November 14, 1935), born William Kwong, is a Chinese-American Zen Buddhist teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. He serves as head abbot of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, of which he is founder. He received the title Dendo Kyoshi (or, Zen teacher) from the Soto School of Japan in 1995.[1]


Early life

Jakusho Kwong was born as William Kwong in Santa Rosa, California, on November 14, 1935. In the 1950s, while studying to be an art teacher at San Jose State University, Kwong was in a car accident that nearly killed him. He took a temporary job as a postman to improve the strength in his legs, which had been badly damaged in the accident. He soon married and took a job as a sign painter, leaving school early due to clashes with his art instructor. Kwong and his wife Laura were looking for an alternative lifestyle at this time, when Bill happened upon an article in a Japanese newspaper with a feature story on Shunryu Suzuki.[2]

Zen practice

In 1960, he began studying Soto Zen with Shunryu Suzuki in San Francisco and became one of his first students.[3] In 1971 Suzuki began preparations to give Dharma transmission to Kwong, having given transmission to Richard Baker that previous year, but Suzuki died soon after without carrying it out.[4] After preparatory study with Kobun Chino, Kwong later completed Dharma transmission with Hoitsu Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki's son and first dharma heir, in keeping with Suzuki-roshi's intention.

In 1973, with Laura (ordination name Shinko) and four sons, Kwong moved to an old farm in Sonoma County, California, with the intention of establishing a meditation center there. The land today encompasses at least eighty-two acres of land, and is known as Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.[5] His son Demian is now a Soto priest active at Genjo-ji.

In the years since, he has traveled to both Poland and Iceland to lead retreats and workshops, giving Dharma talks to affiliate groups.[3]

See also


  1. Dochong JDPSN (2006). Peering Through the Clouds. Lulu.com. p. 224. ISBN 1-84728-536-8. 
  2. Breathnach, Sarah Ban; Jakusho Kwong (2001). A Man's Journey to Simple Abundance. Simon & Schuster. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-7432-2189-3. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "A Public Talk and Book Reading by Rev. Jakusho Kwong-roshi". University of San Francisco. November 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. 
  4. Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?. Wisdom Publications. p. 126. ISBN 0-86171-509-8. 
  5. Coursey, Chris (May 1998). "Zen on Sonoma Mountain: Harried Lives Turned to Quiet Contemplation". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. pp. D1. 


Search for videos:

Selected videos:

  • Zen and Social Media
    Description: A lecture at Santa Rosa Junior College given by Jakusho Kwong Roshi and Nyoze Kwong.
  • Kwong-roshi on Chogyam Trunga Rinpoche and Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi
    Description: This 10-minute documentary features 2009 interviews with Jakusho Kwong-roshi, dharma heir of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and founder of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center. In this film, Roshi talks primarily about his close relationship with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. This film includes a tour of the stupa Kwong-roshi erected in memory of Chogyam Trungpa.

Living people list

Living people

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Ajahn Amaro Bhikkhu Analayo Reb Anderson James H. Austin Alan Ball (screenwriter)
Martine Batchelor Stephen Batchelor (author) Ezra Bayda Jan Chozen Bays Alexander Berzin
Bhikkhu Sujato Alfred Bloom (Buddhist) Bhikkhu Bodhi William Bodiford Sujin Boriharnwanaket
Tara Brach Shoryu Bradley Ajahn Brahm Arthur Braverman David Brazier
David Chadwick (writer) Pema Chodron Thubten Chodron Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche 14th Dalai Lama
Taisen Deshimaru K. L. Dhammajoti Phra Dhammavisuddhikavi Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche Zoketsu Norman Fischer
Charles Tenshin Fletcher James Ishmael Ford Francesca Freemantle Gil Fronsdal Stephen Fulder
Gary Gach Rupert Gethin Tetsugen Bernard Glassman Natalie Goldberg Joseph Goldstein
Richard Gombrich Oscar R. Gómez Henepola Gunaratana Ruben Habito Steve Hagen
Joan Halifax Shodo Harada Richard Hayes (professor) Steven Heine Dennis Hirota
Hsing Yun Cheri Huber Daisaku Ikeda Jeffrey Hopkins Thupten Jinpa
Y Karunadasa Robert Kennedy (Jesuit) Khandro Rinpoche Khantipalo Second Beru Khyentse
Anne C. Klein Jack Kornfield Erik Pema Kunsang Jakusho Kwong Geri Larkin
David Loy Dan Lusthaus Vicki Mackenzie Robert Magliola
Master Lian Tzi Dennis Merzel Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche Phillip Moffitt Glenn H. Mullin
Rob Nairn Namkhai Norbu Katukurunde Nyanananda Thera Gedhun Choekyi Nyima Shōhaku Okumura
Erdne Ombadykow Tenzin Palmo Ajahn Pasanno Piya Tan Red Pine (author)
Prayudh Payutto John Myrdhin Reynolds Ringu Tulku Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche
Larry Rosenberg Hiro Sachiya Sharon Salzberg Padma Samten Shozan Jack Haubner
Ajahn Sucitto Ajahn Sumedho Thanissaro Bhikkhu Soma Thera Chokyi Sengay
Tashi Tsering (Chenrezig) Tashi Tsering (Jamyang) Tashi Tsering (tibetologist)
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