Kurt Spellmeyer, Kankan Roshi trained with Takabayashi Genki and Kangan Glenn Webb, founders of the Seattle Zen Center. In 1985, Kankan completed his training under Webb Roshi and was authorized to teach. He received the dharma name Kankan (Ch. Guan Han, “Sees the Cold”), at a private ceremony with Webb in 1991. In March 2010, Webb Roshi gave Inka, his personal seal of final approval to Kankan.
Kankan Roshi has practiced Zen meditation for 35 years. He has directed the Cold Mountain Zen since 1994, and supports himself by working as a professor in the English Department at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Cold Mountain (Kanzan) lineage of Rinzai Zen can be traced back to the Han Shan Temple in Suzhou, China. After Webb Roshi received dharma transmission from Miyauchi Kanko Roshi in Japan, he and his teacher made a journey back to the Han Shan Temple on the Chinese mainland. There Kangan’s transmission was acknowledged by the abbot.
Kurt has written several books. His latest book Buddha at the Apocalypse: Awakening from a Culture of Destruction takes a critical look at the role western religions have played in shaping the modern worldview. The book challenges our assumptions about time, about religion, and about the nature of “progress,” and invites us to explore the vantage point of Buddhism where the complexity and circularity of life are embraced.