The blazing fire that was the life of Martin J. Mosko (Roshi Hakubai Daishin) has been extinguished.

Martin’s nature was fire: wild and unpredictable. Though born in Denver, he explored far-away places in his life and mind. His family was Jewish and he had a Bar Mitzvah, but he also secretly practiced yoga and meditation starting as an eight-year-old. He graduated from Yale, where he switched his major from Spanish to physics to art, and began a Master’s degree in the study of languages because he wanted to read ancient Indian poetry in Sanskrit. 

He served in the Peace Corps in India, where he first discovered the power of a garden project to inspire people and bring them together. Later in his life he lived and studied in Japan. He started Marpa Landscaping with his first wife, Sabine Mosko, using a wheelbarrow, some tools, and an old truck. Now his legacy of superbly designed gardens scattered across Colorado, America, and elsewhere in the world will live long beyond him. Photos of them are featured in the books he co-authored with his second wife, Alxe Noden, that try to explain these sacred spaces.

Fatherhood was immensely important to Martin. He used to bemoan the degenerate dark age we live in, but seeing the brilliance of his three children and the different ways they manifest goodness and joy in the world convinced him there is hope for humanity.

He took great pride in the people who studied with him at Hakubai Temple. He gave generously of his knowledge, wisdom, and experience to anyone who asked. He was without pretense but loved the rituals and beauty of the Zen tradition.

He created great warmth and vivid illumination. He lived fully and intentionally. His life was a torch held up in the darkness, and that light lives on in those who knew and loved him.

See more about his life and work on his website: