923 South Normandie Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006-1301
Description of Organization
Since its founding in 1967 by Taizan Maezumi Roshi, ZCLA Buddha Essence Temple has provided the teachings and practice of Zen Buddhism to all who come and go through its temple gate.
Our mission is to know the Self, maintain the precepts, and serve others. We serve by providing the teaching, training, and transmission of Zen Buddhism. Our vision is an enlightened world in which suffering is transcended, all beings live in harmony, everyone has enough, deep wisdom is realized, and compassion flows unhindered.
In June 2012, The Zen Center of Los Angeles received a grant of $5,000 to help support the completion of the digitizing phase of the Maezumi Roshi Tape Archive Project. During his lifetime, Maezumi Roshi gave thousands of Dharma talks (Teisho) and countless teachings. Many talks and ceremonies, both at ZCLA and at affiliated centers, were recorded. At the time of Maezumi Roshi’s passing, ZCLA had over 1300 of his Teisho and teachings on cassette or reel-to-reel tape. As the process of sorting and caring for this invaluable archive proceeded, it became clear that, with the passage of time, the tapes were deteriorating.
Several years ago, research and implementation began on options for converting the tapes to digital audio files. While the project began as an in-house effort at ZCLA, it became apparent that the deteriorating quality of the tapes, some of which went back to the early 1970s, demanded professional handling. After a search, an outside vendor was selected and has completed much of that work. During this time an additional 350 tapes were uncovered, including some Teisho by Yasutani Roshi and Koryu Osaka Roshi, teachers of Maezumi Roshi, from the early 1970’s.
As noted above, this project is well under way and the requested funds from the Lenz Foundation would allow for the completion of this first phase of the Maezumi Roshi Tape Archive Project.
Subsequent work will involve organizing and integrating the digital files and creating a database for accessing the talks. This will also be a considerable project, since there are over 1,000 separate digital files to review and organize.
The goal is to make these historically and spiritually invaluable teachings available to the members and centers of the White Plum Asanga, and eventually to a wider audience.
The grant from the Lenz Foundation has helped to ensure that the first, crucial phase of the Maezumi Roshi Tape Archive has been completed and that this irreplaceable Dharma teaching archive is preserved now and for future generations. We are now deep into the second phase of organizing these talks and building a database to help make them accessible; we are excited to see this project, which has been a labor of love for many of us at Zen Center for quite a few years, conclude so that we can share this vast Dharma treasure with others.