Zentatsu Richard Baker is the Founder and Head Teacher of the Dharma Sangha centers in the United States and Europe. In the United States he lives at the Crestone Mountain Zen Center in Colorado; and in Germany, at the ‘Dharma Zentrum Quellenweg’ in the Black Forest.
He is the Dharma Successor of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the first Zen Master to establish residential and monastic practice for laypeople and monks in the West. In 1966, with and for Suzuki Roshi, Baker Roshi co-founded the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, the first traditional Zen monastery outside of Asia.
From 1968 to 1971, he studied in Japan at Antaiji, Eiheiji, and Daitokuji Zen monasteries. He became Suzuki Roshi’s Dharma Heir in 1969 and was installed by Suzuki Roshi as the second Abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center in 1971.
Baker Roshi subsequently founded the Green Gulch Zen Practice Community and Farm in Marin County, California in 1972. During the ’70s, he pioneered a number of businesses related to Zen practice. In 1983, he founded the Dharma Sangha.