Joko Dave Haselwood
He first studied with Suzuki Roshi in 1963 and told us many times how much he loved Suzuki Roshi. He mentioned, among other things, Suzuki Roshi’s ability for “spiritual Jujitsu” i.e. effortlessly diffusing a conflict situation and turning it into wisdom, opening the heart and mind of everyone involved on the spot. - Kaveh Moezzi
1-01-15 - It's 1am in Bali on the first day of 2015 and just had time to look at email learning that Dave Haselwood, early Suzuki student and publisher of Beats, died last night. Not unexpected. Dear friend gya te gya te. More later. - DC - thanks Elizabeth Sawyer
Empty Bowl Sangha was the group he started in Cotati. Used to meet in Cotati, then Penngrove, then Sebastopol
From Empty Bowl Sangha site (no more) page for Joko Dave - Joko Haselwood began practicing Zen with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1963 but remained with him for only one and a half years. Later, he resumed practice with Jakusho Kwong Roshi at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, and remained with him for fifteen years and was ordained as a Zen priest. He left Sonoma Mountain in 2000 and began studying at Stone Creek Zen Center with Jisho Warner Roshi. He received dharma transmission (permission to teach) from her and became Associate teacher at Stone Creek. He has led the Empty Bowl Sangha for many years. He emphasizes the practice of "just sitting" (Shikantaza) and the need to reconnect our body and mind in the practice of being present to life as it arises moment by moment.
Audio for Daves lectures here on the Internet Archive. If you know where we can get his lectures to post on cuke other than there please let us know at dchad @ cuke.com.
Empty Bowl Sangha page on Stone Creek site as an affiliate zendo
Joko Dave Haselwood Interview on Sweeping Zen (also available below)
Dave Haselwood cuke interview - from 1999
The Moon Eye and other poems by Dave - with an old photo
A note on Dave's publishing with links here.
Much more about Dave and publishing on the Internet.
Dave, as I knew him, started studying with Shunryu Suzuki in 1963 and left after a year and a half. He said that a lot of grief started coming up during that time and he finally went to Shunryu Suzuki to mention he needed to leave, that he could not take the grief anymore and was surprised that Suzuki didn't oppose his desire to leave and told him “you try and try and fail and fail and then you go deeper”. Later he studied with Jakusho Bill Kwong for 15 years, was ordained as a priest, and then with Jisho Carey Warner for the past 14 years from whom he got re-ordained and eventually received Dharma transmission. He lived in Sonoma County where I was for sixteen years and I sat with his group every year or so and I'd drop by his funky little sheep farm in Cotati to chat with him. A son and a daughter lived with him there. There were two houses and a barn and over twenty sheep in the field. Continued seeing him after moving to San Rafael. Took Richard Baker by for a visit a couple of years ago. Saw him shortly before leaving for Asia a year ago.
Dave was a publisher in the fifties and sixties, the first to publish Michael McClure, whom he came to California with from the Midwest, and Philip Whalen. He'd been in close touch with McClure in recent years and said that McClure read and listened to his lectures. Dave was a soft-spoken, gentle, humble, insightful person. Farewell Dave. - DC, 1-01-15
In 59 or 60 Dave Haselwood was working on my book, the Memoirs on an Interglacial Age, and he told me he'd been going over to Sokoji to sit with Suzuki Roshi and that he'd been doing dokusan with him but then I saw him later and he said he'd had one interview in which the old man told him, You don't ask enough questions. And this sort of crushed David and he kind of dropped out at that point. Not long after that he got involved with Alex North which cost him $300 a month that he didn't have and somehow he got it for the privilege of pruning vines or something at that neo-Gurgieffian heaven that North had set up in Sonoma or somewhere. Davey was up there for a long time and in recent years he got into Bill Kwong's garden and sesshin and he's going to have tokudo [ordination] up there.
[DC note: David Schneider confirms that Dave was working on this book of Philip's in 59 and 60, but Dave's period of sitting with Suzuki was 63-4.]
From Philip Whalen on Bill McNeill memorial- 6/17/02
I made a big magic memorial service for him at RCA Beach. Steve Allen and Mike Jamvold, Shunko, were my assistants. Issan, Joanne, Glenn [Todd], and Dave Haselwood were there.
[I was there too. - DC]
7-15-07 - Congratulations to Hakuun Joko, Dave Haselwood, on the final phase of transmission, the Bestowing of the Robe Ceremony, from Jisho Warner on Sunday July 15, 2007. Dave studied with Shunryu Suzuki in 1963-64 period at Sokoji in San Francisco. He was ordained as a priest by Jakusho Kwong in Oct. 1996 at Sonoma Mountain Zen Center then re-ordained by Jisho Warner in June 2003 at Stone Creek Zen Center in Sebastopol, CA. [later moved to Gratin] He received dharma transmission from Jisho Warner in June, 2007. His Cotati Sitting group is called Empty Bowl Sangha.
A recent photo taken not far from his home in
Cotati, CA by Eva Moezzi.
The little park in the background was designed by Joko who was also a
landscape architect and the fountain was designed by someone he called his
I woke up early this morning and this verse came about Joko who was from Kansas and had told me Kansas was his favorite place on earth and also that he was sad he would not see it again. I really hope he has seen it again now.
Hope it is possible to publish below as well. I want to also send it to his Polish friends who loved him (and he them). He had a love affair with Poland, from the time he went there with Kwong Roshi about 20 years ago.
The white cloud intermingles
With the vast bright sky
Dissolving into clear light
At night the moon is reflected
In a field in Kansas
All ancestors welcoming home
The tired old man
What stays is the wonder
I met Joko Dave Haselwood in the mid 1990’s in Sonoma Mountain Zen Center. He was a senior student of Kwong Roshi at the time who later was ordained as “Joko”, clear or pure light, by him. Joko mentioned to me that the name was suggested to Kwong Roshi by Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi.
Joko led the study group at SMZC. He was a genuine scholar with a vast knowledge and deep love of Zen. I asked him once what his favorite Dharma books were and he mentioned Uchiyama Roshi’s Refining Your Life and Opening the Hand of Thought first along with Dogen. He made Uchiyama Roshi’s books the topic of his course in SMZC along with a host of other books, among them Joko Beck’s “Nothing Special”. He really liked Joko Beck’s clear non-mystical approach even though he also loved the zen koan’s and poems by the old masters, most notably Dogen and also Joshu who he mentioned was his favorite Zen Master of all. He admired Joshu’s commitment to practice as he studied till he was 80 years old before starting to teach and then taught till he was 120 apparently. He first studied with Suzuki Roshi in 1963 and told us many times how much he loved Suzuki Roshi. He mentioned, among other things, Suzuki Roshi’s ability for “spiritual Jujitsu” i.e. effortlessly diffusing a conflict situation and turning it into wisdom, opening the heart and mind of everyone involved on the spot.
Joko had a deep love of Poland and Polish people. He went to Poland with Kwong Roshi about 20 years ago and fell in love with the people and the place. He gave multiple Dharma talks, private Dharma interviews and traveled extensively in Poland staying with Sangha friends. My wife who is Polish recalls that his talks were very heart warming, jovial and full of earthy humor. Wherever he went, he was very warm with the people and also learned a decent amount of Polish due to his curiosity and intellect. He spoke of this love for Poland and the Polish to the end of his life.
Joko also had a vast knowledge and love for nature. He loved birds, trees, flowers, plants, animals, enjoyed hiking by the ocean, in forests and every year loved to go to the mountains in Arizona with his old Dharma friend, Charles (I don’t know his last name).
DC note: He also went on regular nature walks with Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, and Sterling Bunnell.
He also loved poetry, was a publisher of books and the Beat poets in the 60’s. He was like a walking encyclopedia and the river of his life had wide and deep banks, running for a long way.
He left Sonoma Mountain in 2000 and started studying with Jisho Warner from whom he received dharma transmission in 2007. He had a sitting group for years in various places in Cotati and just a couple of months ago the sitting group moved to Sebastopol. Many of his Dharma talks are on the web on the Empty Bowl Sangha web site.
Stated in advertisements appearing in Evergreen Review, Poetry, City Lights Journal and Big Table magazines, the press’s goal was “to re-marry good printing and writing,” and to this end the Auerhahn published 28 letterpress-printed titles between 1958 and 1964. Most were chapbooks handset by Haselwood, later with Andrew Hoyem, in a creative and subtle variety of fonts. Its first title was The Hotel Wentley Poems by John Wieners.
The press was based in San Francisco and published the first books of many emerging and soon-to-be influential poets, including Wieners and Lew Welch. Its catalogue, uniformly out of print, includes works by Jack Spicer; Diane DiPrima; Philip Lamantia; Michael McClure; Philip Whalen; David Meltzer; William Everson (Brother Antoninus); Charles Olson; and the first edition of Exterminator, an early collaboration in cut-ups by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. These among others were the “insurgent American writers” that the press detected in its search for the “bold, free and courageous in modern writing.”
Thanks to the printer’s touch as much as to the collaborative energies of artists like Bruce Conner, Ray Johnson, Robert LaVigne, Robert Ronnie Branaman and Wallace Berman, the Auerhahn’s books—and its ephemera—seem to float in the shadows between high art and faded handbill.
“The first & final consideration in printing poetry is the poetry itself,” Haselwood wrote in 1960. “If the poems are great they create their own space; the publisher is just a midwife during the final operation & if he has to do a lot of dirty work that’s the way it should be. Contrary to what a lot of people including publishers think, publishing is not a gentleman’s profession, it is the profession of a crook or a madman.”
As the press grew influential, if not solvent, artistic conflict followed, most notably with DiPrima, Robert Duncan (who canceled his book in mid-production), early collaborator Jonathan Williams, and Spicer, who in an occasional poem dated October 1, 1962, wrote: “This is an ode to John Wieners and the Auerhahn Press / Who have driven me away from poetry like a fast car.”
In 1964, Haselwood turned production and last rites of the Auerhahn Press over to his partner Andrew Hoyem and started Dave Haselwood Books.
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