Robert Aitken

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About the Author

Robert Aitken (1917-2010) was Roshi of the Diamond Sangha in Honolulu and the author of Taking the Path of Zen and The Mind of Clover. His introduction to Zen came in a Japanese prison camp during World War II, after he was captured as a civilian in Guam. R. H. Blyth, author of Zen in English Literature, was imprisoned in the same camp, and in this unlikely setting Aitken began the first of several important apprenticeships. After the war Aitken returned often to Japan to study. He became friends with D. T. Suzuki, and studied with Nagakawa Soen Roshi and Yasutani Hakuun Roshi. In 1959 Robert Aitken and his wife, Anne, established a Zen organization, the Diamond Sangha. Aitken was given the title "Roshi" and authorized to teach by Yamada Koun Roshi in 1974.