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OUR MOTTO: Remembering friends, visiting the old, the sick, those in need and in time of trouble - even when we don't feel like it - at least now and then.

Ananda Page

Ananda in the Zen Aluminati who - photo

Cuke interview with Ananda - with a new brief history at the top

Ananda Claude Dalenberg
July 2, 1927 - February 18, 2008
(photo by Diane Dalenberg)


2-23-08 - Photos of Ananda Claude Dalenberg and family, most by his daughter Diane - Picassa link. No captions yet.

More On Ananda from the cuke email basket including one from Philip Whalen.

2-22-08 - We will hold a Zen Memorial service and celebration of Ananda Dalenberg's life and his teaching on Zen Form in his hometown of Chicago at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Lincoln Park next Monday night, 2/25, 7:10 pm zazen, 7:50 Memorial service, followed by Dharma talk about Ananda. All are welcome. For location and info see Ancient Dragon Zen Gate. bows, Taigen

[see Taigen's Peace and Justice Page and Taigen's Books].

Photos of Ananda by Diane Dalenberg tomorrow.

2-21-08 - There will be a ceremony commemorating Ananda Claude Dalenberg's life today, Thursday, Feb. 21st, 4:15 p.m. at the Zen Center, 300 Page St., SF.

Program for Ceremony

Bio Notes handed out at Ceremony

There will be a reception afterwards in the Zen Hospice across and down the street at 273 Page Street.

Adios, Ah Budos, Ananda by Dan Welch

Ananda's Wondrous Two-footed Capability - by Brit Pyland

See new Ananda Hub Page.

2-20-08 - There will be a ceremony commemorating Ananda Claude Dalenberg's life on Thursday, Feb. 21st, 4:15 p.m. at the Zen Center, 300 Page St., SF.  Note it says 4:15 instead of 4pm. Bells will begin at 4:15, ceremony at 4:30.

Obituary from today's San Francisco Chronicle

Ananda Claude Dalenberg
1927 - 2008

Ananda Claude Dalenberg journeyed on to The Pure Land early February 18, 2008.

He was born on July 2, 1927, in South Holland, IL. After serving in the Navy at the end of World War II, he attended Northwestern University. Then he came to San Francisco and studied Buddhism with Alan Watts. He taught English as a second language at John Adams and Alemany Adult Schools. He studied intensively with Suzuki Shunryu Roshi at the SF Zen Center and became a priest. He helped set up the study center and library there. Ananda went to Japan, Southeast Asia and India. Like his friends, Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac, he was one of the characters in The Dharma Bums. He sought other forms of Buddhism and attended the Jodo Shinshu Temple in San Francisco and helped organize the Buddhist Council of Northern California. He created a correspondence group, Cloud Hidden Friends Letter, which shared religious insights.

He married Vera Haile and had twin daughters Diane and Laura.

There will be a ceremony commemorating his life on Thursday, Feb. 21st, 4:15 p.m. at the Zen Center, 300 Page St., SF.

2-19-08 - There will be a funeral service for Ananda Claude Dalenberg on Thursday, February 21st, at 4:15pm at the San Francisco Zen Center's City Center at 300 Page Street in the Buddha Hall. There will be a reception afterwards in the Zen Hospice across and down the street at 273 Page Street. More on Ananda update page.

Yesterday Ananda died at 1:40 in the morning. We'd all left the night before fairly sure he'd live another day or so. He always had a mind of his own. I drove in as soon as I heard and called former SFZC abbess Blanche Hartman who got there at about 10am and performed the Full Moon Ceremony for him and then chanted the refuges in Pali 108 times. I arrived in time to join her for some of  that. Mary Cunov came from Carmel Valley. Blanche and I met with the family and talked about a funeral service. In recent years Ananda had more ties with the BCA (Jodo Shinshu, Pure Land - Buddhist Churches of America) than the Zen Center, but it seemed that the SFZC's City Center would be the best place to hold a funeral - it is hoped with Rev. Ogui or another Shinshu priest participating. It's being held so soon in order to include family members who came from afar. We talked about holding a memorial service a little later - like maybe after 49 days which is traditional in Japan. We'll see. SFZC abbot Paul Haller came by at 3pm. At 4pm Jerry Bolick, who for years ran the BCA's Buddhist Book Store on Octavia Street, arrived to perform a Shinshu Pillow Ceremony. Present were Ananda's wife Vera, daughters Diane and Laura, brother David Dalenberg, Blanche, and me. Jerry chanted for about twenty minutes (beautiful and melodic), we offered incense to Buddha and Ananda and then hung out in the tiny room and told stories about Ananda. My mate Katrinka had just picked up son Clay at the Oakland airport and they came and sat with Ananda for a while. Katrinka had seen Ananda before he left the hospital and Clay had visited him at the hospice on Thursday on the way to fly out. He was happy to have had a last visit in which he said that Ananda looked him in the eye and nodded. I didn't want to leave Ananda alone so I stayed there all night, sitting and sleeping, had the staff and guest breakfast which included Eggs Benedict, and left soon after Vera and Diane arrived to unpack the room in preparation for Ananda's body being transported to the crematorium, Pacific Internment.  Now I'm back at the barn in Bennett Valley and have to look for some material from Buddha's first sutra to read at the funeral. When asked if he'd like anything read at his funeral, Ananda had whispered, "First sermon." If you have any suggestions as to a good modern English translation let me know. - dc

2-18-08 - Ananda Dalenberg died this morning. I learned as I was writing a note to Gary Snyder. Here is that note:


Today is the sixth day that Ananda has been off of fluids. He stopped solid food about ten days ago. Yesterday the only communication coming from his were the slightest nods. As I may have mentioned, he was not sick, he was just sick and tired of being mostly paralyzed, lying in bed for three and half years, going from the convalescent home to the hospital when he got infections, plus whatever other brain damage his strokes have had. He’s said at various times that he wanted to die but then would decide he wanted to live. One thing I’ve thought is that he deeply appreciated what he’s been read – Buddhist, Advaita, your latest book, the bio on RFSasaki. He was quite attentive to The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I think that Sri Ramana Maharshi was his favorite in the last year – and mine too. So I experienced him as clear in terms of listening but not in how he dealt with his strokes. [as he came to be quite uncooperative with his therapists] His decision to stop eating and drinking he made and has stuck with with a fierce determination.

Just got word he has died. I’m off to San Francisco to sit with him at the Coming Home Hospice.

Be well.


12-17-08 - As of last night Ananda remained quiet and peaceful. His brother David from Chicago was at the hospice to join Vera, Diane, and Laura. Blanche returned. Ed Brown came earlier. Jerry Bolick who used to run the Buddhist Book Store at the headquarters of the (Jodo Shinshu) Buddhist Churches of America came. As far as I know Ananda has received no fluids since last Tuesday. He is weaker. It wasn't that long ago that he beat both daughters with his good side in arm wrestling.

Revisiting Andrew Main's correspondence of July '07 about Ananda's introducing the Pali refuges to us at Zen Center.

12-16-08 - Ananda continued to lie peacefully and quietly in his hospice bed. His wife Vera and daughters are with him a great deal. Blanche Hartman visited yesterday, thanked Ananda for teaching us the refuges in Pali  years ago, and recited them.

Also yesterday retired Jodo Shinshu priest, Laverne Sasaki (that's a man) visited.

Yesterday I read him the Shoshinge and the day before the introduction to it below. - dc

An Introduction to the Shoshinge - by Rev. Marvin Harada

Shoshinge - "The Hymn of True Faith" by Shinran

12-15-08 - Yesterday Ananda went into the Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco at 115 Diamond at 18th St. As of last night at nine he was quietly perservering, hadn't had any fluids since Tuesday.

12-14-08 - The plan is for Ananda to leave Davies Hospital go to the Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco at 115 Diamond at 18th St.

12-13-08 - Not sure what's happening yet. Ananda was off liquids when I left yesterday and may go into hospice today.

This is from an email I wrote today to Gary Snyder. Gotta run. - DC

A few days ago Ananda Claude Dalenberg decided to stop eating. He hadn't been eating really but being fed through a tube.

It's been three and a half years since he had the big stroke that left him somewhat paralyzed. Since then he's had other strokes, has been diagnosed with Multiple Infarct Dementia, and has never returned home. I happened to be at his house with DT Suzuki filmmaker Michael Goldberg who interviewed Claude just after his stroke - the last time he sat up and talked as far as I know. I talked him into going with Vera to the hospital - by using a totally illogical story - and Michael and I helped him to the car. Since then he's been either at Davies Hospital or mainly at the Central Gardens Convalescent Hospital. He’s at Davies now but will likely move to the Coming Home Hospice today.

I was alone with him yesterday when a nurse took his IVs out that provided him with fluid. The doctor had approved it. Claude nodded yes he wanted it done.

Vera and their twins, Diane and Laura, came back and showed Claude photos of the hospice. His main concern was the bed. He loves the bed he has at Davies. Doesn’t give him sores or aches. A social worker came in. She made it clear to Claude that he couldn’t stay in the hospital without receiving treatment. She said the bed at the hospice would be almost the same. Vera and the daughters told him that the staff at the hospice know just what to do. So he nodded he’d go there.

Now we’re just waiting for a test that assures he doesn’t have anything contagious and then he’ll go to the hospice. I’ve connected Vera with one of the founders of hospice work in this area as an advisor. If he continues not taking in fluids he won’t last long. But he’s not really sick – just tired of being partially paralyzed and bedridden and getting infections. So he could change his mind at any time. It’s not your normal hospice situation. But he really doesn’t want to go back to the convalescent hospital.

Yesterday I read him your poem, Parting with Claude Dalenberg. An orderly accidentally took it so I’ve reprinted it. I’ll read it to him again today. And probably I’ll read some more Ramana Maharshi which is about his favorite. - DC

2-12-08 - Several days ago Ananda Claude Dalenberg asked that he be given no more food or medicine. Both have been administered through tubes which are now disconnected. His wife Vera told me that several options are being considered for today. One is to move him to a hospice which the hospital has suggested and the other is to discontinue fluids as well. I visited Ananda yesterday evening and he was weak but in good spirits. I'm returning tomorrow. For those who know him and who wish to visit, he is in room 471 of Davies Campus of the California Pacific Medical Center where Divisadero changes into Castro at Duboce. But he may not remain there for long. I'll try to keep this updated. - DC

Ananda in the Zen Aluminati who - photo

8-05-05 Aluminati update

Cuke interview with Ananda - with a new brief history at the top

Read “Parting with Claude Dalenberg” by Gary Snyder

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