Maurine Stuart

Year of birth : 1922
Place of birth : Keeler
Teacher/Guru : Soen Nakagawa, Eido Tai Shimano, Hakuun Yasutani
Education : University of Manitoba


“ Don't waste any time trying to be someone else...We are not here to have someone else's experience. ” 

“  Let go. Don't let up. 

“ Do not judge today by yesterday. Let us just live today to the fullest! Moment after moment, each sitting is the only sitting.”

Books by the Master

'' Subtle Sound:The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart ''


Maurine Stuart or Mother Roshi, was a Canadian Rinzai Zen rōshi who was one of the first female Zen masters to teach in the United States. Stuart was born in Keeler, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1922. She studied music and graduated from the University of Manitoba.

Stuart moved to Paris, France in 1949 to study piano under Nadia Boulanger, Robert and Gaby Casadesus, and Alfred Cortot. While there she developed her interest in Zen Buddhism. In 1966, Stuart joined the Zen Studies Society in New York, then led by Eido Tai Shimano. She also practiced under Haku'un Yasutani for some time during this period. In 1970 she moved to Newton, Massachusetts and opened the Chestnut Hill Zendo-joining the Cambridge Buddhist Association not long after. She was ordained as a priest by Shimano in 1977.

In 1979, Stuart became president and spiritual director of the Cambridge Buddhist Association. Stuart was granted her teaching title during an informal ceremony in 1982 held by her teacher Soen Nakagawa. Nakagawa, who had given Dharma transmission previously to five individuals (all male), granted Stuart the title in defiance of convention. While she had accepted the roshi title, she never declared to be a Dharma heir or lineage holder. The title was conferred upon her independent of her previous Zen practice and 1977 ordination as a Zen priest by Eido Tai Shimano. In 1985, Stuart ordained Sherry Chayat as a Zen priest.