Photo by Kathy Morris

Yoshin David Radin was born in 1946 to a seventh-generation Lithuanian rabbinical family in New York City. He attended Cornell University, but after traveling around the world, abandoned his plans to become a lawyer and joined a hippie commune instead. He began studying with Zen master Joshu Sasaki Roshi in 1976 and trained with him until Roshi’s death in 2014. Radin was ordained by Roshi as a monk in 1982 and an Oshō in 1989, and received the name Yoshin, which means “Light of the Heart-Mind.”

Radin founded Ithaca Zen Center in Ithaca, NY, in 1978, and moved the center to the nearby town of Spencer in 1987. Today he gives regular dharma talks there and intermittently at Rinzaiji Zen Center in Los Angeles, his teacher’s home temple. Radin’s writings, which attempt to express the love between the spiritual seeker of light and the light itself, have been recorded in four collections of songs and spoken-word poems, including Love Songs of a Zen Monk. He has also edited two books on Joshu Sasaki Roshi, including The Great Celebration. He lives in Spencer, NY, with his wife Marcia, who is a Zen Buddhist nun.