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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 33 WHEN ZEN MASTER Bernie Tetsugen Glassman was a little boy in the 1940’s, he went out for a meal with his family at a diner in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. It couldn’t have been an easy time for Glassman. They had just moved to Brownsville. His mother had died not long before, and his fa- ther had remarried just a year after that. On that particular day, though, Glassman, seven or eight at the time, had a good vision: In the middle of the meal, he looked over at a nearby booth and noticed a bunch of bums, as he calls them, arguing over what he calls the funny papers. (He looked at me dead-on as he told this story, his brown eyes neutral, his thick, silver eyebrows—and his beard, and his tiny ponytail—all haywire. We were sitting on Weekend at Bernie’s PHOTOS BY PETER CUNNINGHAM TRISH DEITCH ROHRER visits Montague Farm, where Roshi Bernie Glassman is launching his newest venture, the Maezumi Institute. Through his many incarnations—from engineer to social activist to peacemaker to clown—Glassman has faced the question: Is this Zen?