SOJUN MEL WEITSMAN grew up in Southern California. He became one of the first Americans to train with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. In 1967, he founded a zendo in Berkeley which, under Suzuki’s guidance, became the Berkeley Zen Center. As Abbott of Berkeley Zen Center, he practiced and taught there for fifty five years. Sojun Mel Weitsman died at home in January of 2021, leaving more than thirty dharma heirs, and hundreds of devoted students.