"Ruth Fuller Sasaki was a pivotal figure in the emergence and development of Zen Buddhism in the United States. Colleague of Burton Watson, mentor to Philip Yampolsky and Gary Snyder, and mother-in-law of Alan Watts, she influenced countless students and seekers. This is the first biography of her remarkable life." "A society matron in Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century, Ruth Fuller was not alone in following a trend of wealthy women who saw a spiritual path in Eastern religion - but few devoted their lives to Zen Buddhism as she did. Her journey began in 1930, when she was introduced to D.T. Suzuki on a trip to Japan. Two years later, at the age of forty, she began her studies with Zen master Nanshinken in Kyoto." "Later, as a senior student of Sokei-an Sasaki in New York, Ruth helped him develop the infrastructure of what would eventually become the First Zen Institute in New York City. She married Sasaki in 1944, but he died within the year. Subsequently, it became her mission to maintain the First Zen Institute and later, to establish the First Zen Institute of America in Japan. Her legacy remains today in the Zen facilities she helped build and in the many texts she saw through translation, published from the 1950s to the 1970s. She died in Japan in 1967. For the first time in book form, three of her writings are included here - Zen: A Religion, Zen: A Method for Religious Awakening, and Rinzai Zen Study for Foreigners in Japan." "She is the only Westerner - and the only woman - ever to be made a priest of a Daitoku-ji temple in its many centuries. Ruth Fuller Sasaki forever changed the face of Zen Buddhism."--Jacket.