Many that follow Soto Zen or are involved in Soto Zen practice are aware of Shohaku Okumura the abbot of Sanshin Zen Community.
Shohaku Okumura is one of the most well known students of the famous zen master Kosho Uchiyama. When Kosho Uchiyama retired Shohaku Okumura left Antai-ji and was one of the first Zen masters in the west.
Shohaku Okumura is known as one of the primary Zazen and Dogen teachers in the West. His students have established many sitting groups, zen centers, and even a American version of the well known Antai-ji Buddhist Temple - Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery whos abbot Shoryu Bradley is one of Shohaku Okumura's main students, having received Dharma Transmission in 2010.
To be honest I am really saddened to hear about Shohaku Okumura retiring. This is a giant in Zen practice and a man widely respected in both Rinzai and Soto communities.
When I was a younger man in my early and mid 20's I desperately wanted to train at Sanshin Zen Community.
The new abbot is a woman named Hoko Karnegis. I was wondering if anyone knows of Hoko Karnegis or has run into her in the Soto Zen Community? I am sure if she has been chosen by Shohaku Okumura she will be a great successor.
Thankfully I have heard that Roshi will continue to publish and expand on Dogen. There has been in a sense a call for this.
All in all I guess we are turning a page but still kind of saddened to see it happen. Thankfully his students have done an excellent job in expanding authentic Zen practice in many spots and in a lineage dedicated to Zazen and truly knowing ones self.