About Us

Our practice is rooted in the Diamond Sangha tradition as founded in 1959 in Honolulu by Robert Aitken, a highly regarded "Grandfather of Western Zen". His teachers were some of the original Masters from Japan who were among the first to come to the West, including Nakagawa Soen, D.T. Suzuki, Hakuun Yasutani and, most notably, Koun Yamada who, in 1974, gave Aitken permission to teach, and in 1985, full transmission of the Dharma.


Robert Aitken
(June 19, 1917 - August 5, 2010)

He has written 10 books on Zen and and some on Haiku poetry, which developed out of Zen. His guide to beginning inquiry into Zen, Taking the Path of Zen, is notably the best introduction to Zen practice available. His book Encouraging Words includes all the formalities and chants as practiced throughout the multi-national Diamond Sangha.

At the 50th anniversary of the Diamond Sangha in 2009, we celebrated Aitken Roshi's seventeen transmitted teachers, and their thirty-three fully transmitted teachers. These teachers and their Sanghas are spread over 11 States and 7 Countries, and continue to extend their range.

Our most immediate ancestor in the Diamond Sangha is Father Pat Hawk, Roshi, who was the guiding teacher for Pathless Path and the Zen Desert Sangha in Tucson, Arizona. In his later years he resided in and taught Zen at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson.


Father Pat Hawk
(November 18, 1942 - May 8, 2012)