My dear friend and colleague, Rev. Francisco Lugoviña, recently received Dharma Transmission from his teacher, Roshi Bernie Glassman of the Zen Peacemaker Order, making him Senior Teacher in the Soto Zen Lineage. Paco, or Genkoji, as he is generally known, is also one of very few Latino/a Zen priests.
I happened to meet Paco, along with Rev. Hilda Gutierrez Baldoquín, another one of those few Latino/a Zen priests, at a gathering of spiritual activists at Garrison Institute in June 2005. The three of us met again last fall when, together with several other veteran spiritual activists, we facilitated a retreat for community organizers and activists organized by another dear friend, Rose Sackey Milligan, director of the Social Justice Program of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. In fact, next week Paco, Rose, the group and I will be meeting again to plan our next retreat for People of Color scheduled for this fall.
My congratulations and heartfelt embrace to Sensei Paco. I look forward to our continued friendship and our work together toward growing this liberation spirituality movement both in the US and here in Puerto Rico.
Buddhist Priest is Successor in Ancient Lineage
February 26, 2007, New York, NY — Rev. Francisco Lugoviña, long-time resident and businessman in the Bronx, New York, was conferred succession in the Soto Zen Lineage and the Zen Peacemaker Order upon receiving Dharma Transmission as Senior Teacher, from his teacher of twelve years, Roshi Bernie Glassman in a ceremony that took place in Montague, Massachusetts at the Mother House of the Zen Peacemaker Order on Sunday, February 25, 2007.
“For me it is the bringing of vocation and avocation together within a spiritual practice that accommodates all paths. My teacher, Bernie Roshi, has charged me with developing a track for social enterprise, drawing on my many years of work as a social activist and as a businessman. The difference is that now there is a deliberate effort to integrate the two streams. It is a sign of the times as I see more and more businesses seeking to recognize that the workplace needs to be more than just a place to make money. People need a deeper gratification and Corporate America seems poised to take this next step,” stated Rev. Lugoviña.
Rev. Lugoviña, generally known as “Paco,” was ordained as a Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen lineage and in the Zen Peacemaker Order in 1996; is a member of the Zen Peacemaker Circles and Peacemaker International; and is the founder of the Hudson River Peacemaker Center-House of One People in Yonkers, New York where he conducts weekly meditation on Mondays and Thursdays, with his associate, Lay Senior Teacher, Grover Genro Gaunt, III. Rev. Lugoviña has participated in pilgrimages—or plunges—to Tibet, to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and in the streets of New York City. He is a member of the Board of the Greyston Foundation, serves on the Executive Committee, and chairs the Pathway Committee.
He arrived in New York at the age of six with his parents from Bayamón, Puerto Rico; attended St. Augustine Elementary School and Morris High School in the Bronx; and graduated from Iona College in New Rochelle. Rev. Lugoviña is in the process of developing an interfaith spiritual retreat center in the hills of Cayey, Puerto Rico on a property imbued with history having once belonged to Dr. Ricardo AlegrIa, the Father of Anthropology of Puerto Rico. Rev. Lugoviña has had his Property Management offices in the Bronx on East 149th Street in “The Hub” for over 30 years. He is also a Governmental Relations and Organizational Development Consultant to various firms.
The Zen Buddhist Branch of which Rev. Lugoviña is a member, was started by Taizen Maezumi Roshi in 1978 as the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Maezumi Roshiis student, Bernie Glassman from Brooklyn, New York, who was at the time employed as an Electronics Engineer with a PhD, became his successor and is best known for taking Engaged Buddhism into the streets, departing from the traditional practice of “just sitting.” Roshi Bernie moved east and founded the Zen Center of New York and later founded the Zen Peacemakers that is dedicated to realizing and actualizing the interconnectedness of life. The effects of Zen practice unfolds in the meditation halls, at work, within families and within community. For the past 25 years Zen Peacemakers have been developing new forms, methods and structures in the areas of peacemaking, social enterprise and Zen practice, emphasizing the transformation of the individual and society. Within this, they work on developing social enterprise structures that are self-sustaining, holistic and address important individual and community needs. Beginning with the Greyston Mandala of social service companies in 1980 in Yonkers, New York, they have built innovative nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that integrate individual transformation along with community growth and that function interdependently to create a balanced and harmonious whole. The key Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers are: Not-knowing, Bearing Witness, and Loving Action.
For more information, you can visit Reverend Lugoviña’s website: “http://www.zenhoop.org” and/or “http://www.zenpeacemakers.org” and search “Paco.”