No Birth, No Death

Essays, Poetry, and Calligraphy by Rev. Nonin Chowaney

ISBN: 979-8-3507-3277-1
By: Chowaney, Nonin


No Birth, No Death - Essays, Poetry, and Calligraphy by Rev. Nonin Chowaney


Nonin Chowaney

Nonin grew up in a tiny house in the finger lake district of New York state. His father worked in a carpet factory. Ukrainian was spoken at home when his parents didn’t want his sister and him to know the subject of the conversation. He played guitar and sang in a rock band. When applying to graduate school, he made the top grade on the English part of the exam and the lowest score possible on the math. His thesis was on Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Nonin was an avid reader of Chinese and Japanese poetry, and the beat poets of America. He found himself called to leave the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to seek out the Zen Buddhist teacher in Minneapolis, Roshi Dainin Katagiri. Nonin ordained with him in 1983, then studied with Mel Weitzman at San Francisco Zen Center and Reb Anderson at Tassajara. Katagiri sent him on to study with Ikko Narasaki at Zuio-ji and Shogo-ji monasteries in Japan. Returning to Minneapolis when Katagiri was dying of cancer, Nonin received dharma transmission in 1989. He went down to Hokyo-ji monastery in southeastern Minnesota, to lead practice there until Nebraska Zen Center asked him to come to Omaha in 1991 to be their abbot. After eight years of mostly monastic training, with the finest teachers in both America and Japan, Nonin had his own temple: a derelict, four-bedroom house in the Bemis Park neighborhood of Omaha. He would be there for the next twenty-five years. In 1998, Nonin founded the Zen Center of Pittsburgh - Deep Spring Temple in Bell Acres, Pennsylvania, and appointed Rev. Ky?ki Roberts as the head priest. In 2001 he gave dharma transmission to her. Nonin was also an accomplished brush calligrapher. His calligraphy hangs on the walls of temples and homes all over the world.