Reb Anderson

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Tenshin Reb Anderson
School Soto Zen
Lineage Shunryu Suzuki
Other names Reb
Dharma names Tenshin Zenki
Nationality American
Born c. 1943
Senior posting
Based in San Francisco Zen Center
Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
Title Zen Master
Predecessor Zentatsu Richard Baker
Successor Ananda Claude Dalenberg, Zengyu Paul Discoe, Sobun Katherine Thanas, Chikudo Jerome Petersen, Jiko Linda Cutts, Jakujo Gary McNabb, Furyu Nancy Schroeder, Myo Lahey, Taigen Dan Leighton, Meiya Wender, Leslie James, Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, Kiku Christina Lehnherr, Taiyo Lipscomb, Kokyo Henkel
Religious career

Tenshin Zenki Reb Anderson (born 1943) is a Zen teacher and lineage holder in the Sōtō Zen tradition of Shunryu Suzuki. He is a Senior Dharma teacher at the San Francisco Zen Center and at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, California, where he lives. According to author James Ishmael Ford, "Reb Anderson is one of the most prominent of contemporary Western Zen teachers."[1]


Reb Anderson was born as Harold Anderson[2] in Mississippi in 1943 and grew up in Minnesota. His father left the family when Anderson was eleven.[3] In his youth, he was a Golden Gloves boxer.[4] Anderson developed an interest in Buddhism while still in his teens.[1] In 1967, he abandoned his graduate studies in psychology and mathematics to study Soto Zen under Shunryu Suzuki at the San Francisco Zen Center.

Anderson was then ordained as a priest in 1970 by Suzuki, who gave Anderson the Buddhist name Tenshin Zenki 天眞全機 (Naturally Real, the Whole Works).[5] In 1983 Anderson received shiho from Zentatsu Richard Baker, becoming Baker's first Dharma heir.

Anderson is married to Rusa Chiu, a Jungian analyst in private practice.


  • Anderson, Reb (2012). The Third Turning of the Wheel: Wisdom of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra. Berkeley: Rodmell Press. ISBN 193048531X. OCLC 757477313. 
  • Anderson, Reb; Moon, Susan Ichi Su (2005) [1995]. Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains: Dharma Talks on Zen Meditation (3rd ed.). Berkeley: Rodmell Press. ISBN 1930485107. OCLC 61332243. 
  • Anderson, Reb (2001). Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts. Berkeley: Rodmell Press. ISBN 0962713899. OCLC 44414111. 


  • Anderson, Reb (1993) [1984]. Basic Points of Buddhist Meditation. Tiburon, CA: Big Sur Tapes; Produced by Dolphin Tapes. OCLC 30066463. 
  • Anderson, Reb (2006–2013). "Talks by Reb Anderson". Official site for free dharma talks by Reb Anderson. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Boston: Wisdom Publications. pp. 127–128. ISBN 0861715098. OCLC 70174891. 
  2. Prebish, Charles S.; Baumann, Martin (2002). Westward Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 237. ISBN 0520226259. OCLC 48871649. 
  3. Anderson 2005, p. 137
  4. Downing, Michael (2001). Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center. Washington, DC: Counterpoint. pp. 15–16. ISBN 1582431132. OCLC 46793103. 
  5. Gach, Gary (1998). What Book!?: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop. Berkeley: Parallax Press. p. 210. ISBN 0938077929. OCLC 38324499. 


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