A Year Later: Remembering Myogen

A traditional pairing of services will mark the one-year anniversary of the death of San Francisco Zen Center's first central abbot, who passed away in the early hours of December 31, 2013. A half-hour morning service follows a relatively abbreviated evening service the previous day.

Memorial services at City Center:
Tuesday, December 30, evening service, 6:15 pm (Kaisando)
Wednesday, December 31, morning service, 6:30 am (Buddha Hall)

Myogen Steve Stücky placing a photo of Suzuki Roshi at Zen Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2012 (photo: Susana Millman); at Tassjara in 2009 (photo: Liping Zhu); and on a horse-drawn plow at Green Gulch in the early 1970s.
Myogen Steve Stücky placing a photo of Suzuki Roshi at Zen Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration at City Center in 2012 (photo: Susana Millman); at Tassjara in 2009 (photo: Liping Zhu); and on a horse-drawn plow at Green Gulch in the early 1970s.

Myogen Steve Stücky brought to the abbacy his many years of practice—as a resident of Zen Center from 1972-80, as the founder and guiding teacher of the Dharma Eye Zen Center in San Rafael (1995-2013), and as co-leader of the San Quentin Buddhadharma Sangha. Steve received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1993. For many years he supported a family as a self-employed landscape designer/contractor. He was in training for several years as an Internal Family Systems therapist and pastoral counselor, and was a previous board president of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association. He became co-abbot in February 2007, and Zen Center's first central abbot in 2010. In September 2013, shortly after committing to an extended abbatial term into 2017, he was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. His health declined rapidly until his death on December 31 of the same year, at age 67. He is remembered, in part, for courageously sharing his dying process with the sangha through the Subtle Eye blog during the difficult months of his illness. He is survived by his spouse, Lane Olson, who he lived with in Rohnert Park, three adult children and four grandchildren. (Full obituary.)

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13 thoughts on “A Year Later: Remembering Myogen

  1. Hi Steve,
    Well old friend, we sit again this new years eve. Remember when we found ourselves alone one new years in Dharma Eye's Old Fig Zendo so long ago. Crossing over not busy bridge we put our shoes at the door and set up in the middle of the converted garage on the tatami mats. The big bell was to the left, and we had 108 stones. We sat breathing together, our own breaths and each others, the air coming in from the four corners of the earth and back again. Each time we rang the bell we moved a stone. I moved the stones when you rang, you moved them when I rang. Old year new year, seems we didn't notice one coming or the other going, just the bell and silence. Want you to know I keep you near, and am walking about on Sauvie Island farm land with you next to the Columbia river. No surprises with me, I've got my usual karmic junk and continue stumbling along, still, every day is a good one, and the mountains and rivers keep singing. Happy New Year Steve. - Tai

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