Kendo Richard Hart – founder
CMZC was founded by Kendo Richard Hart in Chatham, New York in the early 1970’s. Kendo had been a USMC drill instructor before setting off into spiritual pursuits. His spiritual journey began with him being an assistant Methodist minister in Brooklyn in the early 1960’s.
He then continued his spiritual exploration through yoga and Hinduism and finally in Zen Buddhism. It was in zen that he settled into practice that carried him for the rest of his life.
In the mid 1980’s Kendo relocated to the village of Malverne, Long Island to care for his elderly father. With that move, CMZC also relocated to Malverne. For the next 20 years CMZC had taken residency in Seaford, Hempstead, Baldwin, and West Hempstead. In that time span CMZC began what became known as “the roadshow” – packing Kendo, and/or cushions into a vehicle and conducting zazen and lectures throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk.
On May 7,2018 Kendo succumbed to old age and sickness. Up until his final breath he never stopped his generosity and teaching.
Kengaku Donald Zezulinski – Abbot
Donald was born and raised on Long Island. He met Kendo in the summer of 1989 by being invited by a friend to go meditate. Even though he was not in search of a spiritual practice or teacher, Kengaku quickly through himself into the practice and became a student and friend of Kendo’s till Kendo’s death in the Spring of 2018.
After the death of Kendo Rich Hart, knowing that his training was incomplete, and a year of contemplation of where (and with whom) to continue training, Kengaku met Meido Moore Roshi at Korinji monastery in Wisconsin.
Kengaku very quickly asked Meido Roshi be become his teacher during that first weekend meeting.
Since early 2021 Clear Mountain Zen Center has been an affiliated center with Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery.