Bernie completed his Zen studies with Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi, a Soto priest and founder of the Zen Center of Los Angeles, in 1967. Through this priestly transmission Bernie was introduced to the Sotoshu in Japan: the headquarters of Soto Zen Buddhism, a prevalent Zen sect. Bernie served as the first President of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of America. Later, he decided to concentrate on developing new ways to teach Zen Buddhism, including the Three Tenets, social engagement, and the Zen Peacemakers, and he disrobed as a priest. Following Bernie’s passing on November 4th 2018, Sotoshu dispatched the communication above to the Zen Center of Los Angeles.