May 16, 2016
Zenkei Leaves City Center for the Last Time

Blanche with her favorite portrait of Suzuki Roshi. Photo: Alison Bank

For the last three days, through the weekend, many people have been sitting with Blanche’s body in the Buddha Hall at City Center. Day and night, members of her family, residents, and students who traveled from all over the country to be here sat quietly with their friend, mother, teacher. At 7:30 am this morning, the body was taken to the crematorium. More than 50 people stood in the hallway and on the sidewalk to bid her farewell. As the vehicle moved away, some bowed in the traditional farewell gassho and some waved their hands and said, “Bye, Blanche!” The cremation will be a private ceremony on Tuesday morning at 11 am; everyone is invited to attend the full memorial service in early July, approximately 49 days after her death. For the next 49 days, there will be a memorial service at City Center every seven days on Fridays.



  1. E Net Arch

    Safe Journey. You will be missed.

  2. E Net Arch

    Send us a card when you get to your destination.

  3. zenrei washin

    It’s all about love and joy … deep bows, great gratitude. peaceful crossing. Say hi to Suzuki Roshi for us!

  4. Gita Gayatri

    Holding memories of this wonderful courageous person deep within my heart. She was a great teacher. Our prayers and chants are with you dear Zenkeisan, as you transition into the realm beyond name and form. Gassho ~

  5. Tracy Cramer

    Your compassion and steadfastness remain with all of us.

    Thank you Blanche,

    Ji zan Jo do

    (Tracy Cramer, Austin, Texas)

  6. Colleen Crivello

    Blanche, I wish you a light-filled journey in the great leap. I have tremendous gratitude for your teaching, your wisdom, your boundless compassion.

    With warm bows,

  7. Tozan Hardison

    I have always felt a profound gratitude for Blanche, the first teacher I met when I came to study at SFZC in the late 1980s. She was always ‘there’ at City Center, and at Tassajara, and I would see her at Green Gulch too when I went there.
    It was such a comfort for a new student to have this presence in our midst. I was not young but I was new, and needed this encouragement and wisdom which Blanche showered on all of us. Lou always worked in the kitchen and it was a joy to help him do pots and dishes.

    Blanche was one of the really important people in my life. We visited in Japan too while I was living and practicing there. She came to Seidoan when I opened that small zendo in Blowing Rock. It was a great experience for us all.

    There was a nobility about her which earned respect from everyone. It was a sense of pride I felt when I would see articles about her or that she contributed to the Shambhala Sun and other journals. To feel like a friend to this amazing compassionate woman is still a joy to me.
    She was a real Dogen person!

    I light incense for her and all the sangha who will sorely miss her presence.

    Gate, Gate, Gate,
    Para Sam Gate
    Bodhi Svaha

    With palms together,
    Tozan Hardison

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