SHUNRYU SUZUKI ROSHI Lew Richmond's first Buddhist teacher, and the one who ordained him as a Zen Priest, came to San Francisco in the late 1950's to lead a Japanese-American temple, Sokoji. Soon Western students began to appear asking Suzuki Roshi to teach them Zen meditation; from those beginnings, the San Francisco Zen Center grew, with its Tassajara monastery--the first Zen monastery America--City Center in San Francisco, and Green Gulch Zen farm and temple in Marin County. Although Suzuki Roshi's formal lineage was the Soto branch of Zen, emphasizing the practice of shikantaza or "just-awareness-sitting", Suzuki himself said he was just teaching fundamental Buddhism, what he called the "original undivided teaching." .
KHABJE KALU RINPOCHE, a Karma Kagyu lineage holder, and the primary Shangpa lineage holder was the root teacher (tsawai lama) of Lama Palden Drolma, causing Sukhasiddhi Foundation to be a natural center for the study and practice of both the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu traditions in the West. Kalu Rinpoche came to the West a little after Suzuki Roshi, but with the same intent--to transmit the original, authentic teaching of Buddhism to Westerners such as Lama Palden Drolma. a.