Philip Kapleau papers, 1952-2009 and undated

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Philip Kapleau papers 1952-2009 and undated

Collection #RL.11661 | 24 Linear Feet

Zen Buddhist teacher and author of "The Three Pillars of Zen." Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Kapleau was a chief court reporter for the Nuremberg Trials and also covered the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. While in Japan for the trials, he met and was influenced by D.T. Suzuki and other Zen practitioners, which led him to become a serious student of Zen in Japan. Eventually, he returned to the United States and founded the Rochester Zen Center (New York) in 1966. Most of the papers relate to Kapleau's role as a Zen teacher, to his writings, and to personal concerns such as his health and Parkinson's disease. Some of Kapleau's notes are written in shorthand, and there are some materials in Japanese. The recorded teishos (dharma talks) were mainly recorded during sesshin (retreats) and span 30 years. According to the tape labels, there are various speakers including Kapleau, Toni Packer, and Bodhin Kjolhede (all of whom led the Rochester Zen Center at different times).

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