Remembering Blanche Roshi – A Dharma Talk by Rev. Daigan Gaither

Saturday, May 16th at 10am, in the AZC Online Zendo

Join us in remembering & honoring AZC’s primary founder (and the namesake of our temple: Zenkeiji, or Inconceivable Joy Temple), Shunbo Zenkei Blanche Hartman Roshi (May 8, 1926 – May 13, 2016), the first woman to lead a Soto Zen Training Monastery in the United States.  Blanche was also a beloved sewing teacher, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and dear friend to so many.  The stories of her influence on Zen in America are as boundless as her heart. 

We are delighted to offer visiting teacher Daigan Gaither for this Saturday’s Dharma Talk. Daigan was her caretaker & friend for the last several years of her life, and brings many lovely stories to share about her life and practice.

Please help support the Austin Zen Center and our teachers by making a donation below:

Rev. Daigan Gaither began Buddhist practice in 1995 in the Vipassana (Insight) tradition, and then began to study Zen in 2003 with Ryushin Paul Haller Roshi. He received Lay Ordination in 2006 where he was given the name Daigan or “Great Vow”, and received Priest Ordination in July 2011. Daigan speaks internationally on a variety of topics particularly around gender, sexuality, social justice and their intersections with the Dharma. He also sits or has sat on a number of boards and committees that serve community needs and further social justice causes.

Daigan has a BA in Philosophy and Religion from San Francisco State University, and an MA in Buddhist Studies (with a chaplaincy certificate and a certificate in Soto Zen Buddhism) from the Graduate Theological Union and the Institute of Buddhist Studies. You can find out more via his podcast at (free versions are available) or at his website He identifies as a disabled, queer, white, cis male and uses he/him pronouns.