Bruce Seiryu Blackman

Teacher Picture


Organization Zen Community of Baltimore


Bruce Seiryu Blackman is a lay Zen teacher in the White Plum lineage established by the late Taizan Maezumi-roshi. He began meditation practice in 1981, and went on to train several years in Southeast Asia with Sr Elaine MacInnes-roshi of the Sanbo Kyodan, and later with the Diamond Sangha of Robert Aitken-roshi. In 1996 Bruce became a student of Sr Janet Richardson-roshi and joined ZCB/Clare Sangha. He was named a dharma holder in 2001 and received transmission from Richardson-roshi in 2004, after 23 years of Zen training. He is the spiritual director of Clare Sangha and a storyteller in the koan tradition. Stories that correspond help to reduce the gravity and lighten us up, Sensei says of their value in Zen training. His dharma name is Seiryu (“clear stream”).

Bruce worked 25 years in East Asia, Latin America, and the senior foreign service, specializing in economic program development. Fluent in Spanish, he received master's degrees from UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University. Since 1995, he transports special needs children to school, and volunteers with a restorative justice agency – on the board and in the jails teaching emotional awareness and yoga/meditation to inmates. Bruce was also elected to the board of an international adoption agency. He and his wife, Joan, reside in Northern Virginia.


Retreats and Events