The Life and Work of Issan Dorsey
Drag queen. Prostitute. Drug addict. American bodhisattva.
These words describe the unlikely persona of Issan Dorsey, one of the most beloved teachers to emerge in American Zen. From his early days as a gorgeous female impersonator to the LSD experiences that set him on the spiritual path, Issan's life was never conventional. In 1989, after twenty years of Zen practice, he became the Founding Abbot of San Francisco's Hartford Street Zen Center, where he established Maitri Hospice for AIDS patients. Featuring Bernie Glassman's foreword to the second edition, as well as a new foreword by Koshin Paley Ellison, Street Zen paints a vivid portrait of a teacher whose creativity, honesty, joy, and compassion awakened new possibilities for American Buddhism.