John Daido Loori, certainly one of the most influential of Amercian Buddhist teachers, has made the decision to retire as Abbot General of the Mountain and Rivers Order, whose home base is the famous Zen Mountain Monastery, located in Mt. Tremper, New York.
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold will step into the position; Konrad Ryushin Marchaj will become Abbot of ZMM itself.
This represents a rare and important moment for American Buddhism. Loori has worked tirelessly in service of the dharma — always teaching, and always looking for new ways to teach. He’s been a pioneer of new media, embracing the web, book publishing, and other innovations whenever possible. It’s not easy to imagine a ZMM without him as Abbot, but then, Daido has taken such care to reach out to new generations of practitioners; it seems safe to say that the MRO’s future will remain bright thanks to the foundations he has set.
A call to Geoffrey Shugen Arnold confirms that a ceremony making formal the new roles for both himself and Konrad Ryushin Marchaj will take place later this Fall, most likely in November. We’ll have details for you as soon as they’re available.