Roshi Ryodo Hawley is the originator of the 3 step zen method. He began practicing Zen in 1978 and entered formal Zen Buddhist studies at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1980. He worked directly with Charlotte Joko Beck and Genpo Merzel Roshi as well as Taizan Maezumi Roshi, the founding Abbot of ZCLA. In 1997 he began his studies with ZCLA's incoming abbot, Roshi Egyoku Nakao, and in 1999 began assisting her as as a lay instructor. This training culminated with Ryodo's Dharma Transmission in 2007, when Roshi Egyoku gave him full empowerment as a Zen teacher, or Sensei. Roshi Egyoku empowered Ryodo as a lay preceptor in 2015, and in 2019 gave him inka shomei, marking his final certification as Zen master with the title Roshi.
Roshi Ryodo has had a life-long interest in the spiritual path, beginning with his readings of the Tao Te Ching at age eleven, The Religions of Man by Huston Smith, and Philip Kapleau’s The Three Pillars of Zen, which sparked his interest in Zen.
After attending the composition program at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he also studied Philosophy of Religion under Dr. Peter Kreeft, Ryodo spent many years as a professional musician. From 1988 until his retirement in 2018 he made a living as a software developer, winning PC Magazine Editor’s Choice award for his groupware application “TeamTalk” along the way. He lives in Westchester, CA with his wife and son.
Ryodo has led workshops on the 3 step zen method and Zen Mindfulness since 2002. He serves as a member of the Zen Center of Los Angeles Teachers Circle and has led the Westchester Zen Circle, a ZCLA-affiliated sitting group near Los Angeles International Airport, since he founded it in 2009. He is president of the White Plum Asanga, the peer group of teachers in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, as well as being a member of the American Zen Teachers Association and the Lay Zen Teachers Association.