Updated January 15, 2016.
Roshi Tetsugen Bernie Glassman is in stable condition after suffering a stroke earlier in the week, according to an update from the Zen Peacemaker Order.
After 36 hours in intensive care, Glassman is in a regular hospital room. He has very little movement in the right side of his body, and family and friends are only able to understand about 20 percent of his speech.
He is expected to start rehab next week, which could last for two weeks to a month. His prognosis is “good” to “very good,” according to his doctors.
“Bernie has his struggles,” Zen Peacemakers wrote. “His understanding of words, too, is diminished but doctors expect that to be fully remedied. We hear ‘too many people’ a lot from him, a lifetime refrain, and wants everybody to leave him alone. As usual, nobody listens. But yesterday, the day after his stroke, our alarm went off for the noon minute of silence for peace. He lay quietly, and then, with difficulty, raised his good hand in half-gassho.”
At the hospital is Glassman’s wife and daughter, his assistant Rami Efal, and members of Zen Peacemaker Order and Green River Zen communities.
You can leave a message for Glassman on his Caring Bridge page. His 77th birthday is on Jan. 18. Birthday and get-well cards can be sent to: Zen Peacemakers, ATTN: Bernie, PO Box 294, Montague, MA, 01351.
From January 13, 2016:
Tricycle has learned that Roshi Tetsugen Bernie Glassman suffered a stroke on Tuesday afternoon and is being treated in the intensive care unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He is awake but not able to feel or move the right side of his body due to a hemorrhage in the center of his brain. His blood pressure is being monitored and more tests are scheduled for Thursday.
He is unable to take calls or see visitors, according to a family representative.
Glassman is perhaps best-known for co-founding the Zen Peacemaker Order in 1996 with his wife, Roshi Sandra Jishu Holmes, as well as his immersive retreats at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Glassman, who was born in Brooklyn, started studying Zen in 1967 with Taizan Maezumi Roshi.
Here are some of our favorite teachings from Glassman on Tricycle:
- Working in the Cracks: An interview with Bernie Glassman
- Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman: The Dude and the Zen Master
- Bernie Glassman’s Excellent Adventure: The famed American Zen teacher, clown, and social worker is thinking big—again
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