Saturday, February 20, 2021

Remembering My Father


Hey everyone,

My name is Angus Fisher and I am Adam (Genkaku)'s elder son. I regret to inform anyone reading that my father passed away in his sleep early yesterday morning. He was 80 years old.

My father always loved writing his blog and it brought him great joy. I thank you all for reading and allowing him to keep his passion for writing and story telling well after he stopped working at the newspaper.

Unfortunately I don't have the writing bug like my father, so I just wanted to come on here and thank all of you personally. If you'd like to reach out to me after I post this, my email is

I won't be able to login to this site after today, but I will be monitoring comments.

We have also started a GoFundMe page for prepaid funeral expenses:

If you choose to donate, thank you very much, if you don't, still thank you for reading this post.


  1. Rest in peace.

    Angus, after reading about you for so many years, it's nice to meet you. I know your father loved you all, and may you all be well. Condolences.

  2. This is very sad news. Condolences to the family.

    I've been reading and following along for 15 years. His writings were part of my morning coffee routine.

    He had a knack for turning the mundane into poetry and make life seem worth living.

    Rest in peace.

  3. Sweet dreams, Adam. I shall miss you.

  4. Such sad news. I "met" Adam on NewBuddhist many many years ago and shared many a debate or laugh with him there. I send much metta to the family and wish him a peaceful and happy rebirth ������️‍♂️

  5. Had dreaded this announcement. What a loss of wit and wisdom, and splendid writing as well. And always his irony was softened by a tender nature. Rest in peace, Adam. Blessings on those who loved you.

  6. Dear Angus, Thank you for letting us know. My condolences to you and your family. I enjoyed Genkaku's posts on the old Zen Forum International and elsewhere. His humor and straightforwardness were important to me and helped me maintain perspective on many issues that were facing the Zen Community at the time. Genkaku gave me many good laughs in this serious matter of life and death.

  7. Thank you for the notice Angus, I am so sorry for your loss.

    I would like to extend my sympathies to everyone here whose life was touched as mine was by Adam's life and presence in life, if only though his words.

    Adam, rest in peace, and thank you for all your efforts, often long but sometimes short, sometimes blunt but often sharp, sometimes soft and sometimes hard stories, reflections, lessons, reminders.

    So many it's hard to pick my favourites...

    "When the hammer hits the finger, ouch (or fuuuuuck) is the answer." (something like that)

    "I like chocolate. I don't like anchovies."

    "Answer your love letters."

    But my favourite above all his wisdom pearls, his signature in the old e-sangha forum:

    "Smile, just one smile. :)"

    I will miss his wit and presence, but may he continue living through us, and may we never forget to smile, just one smile, most especially when we remember Adam.

    My kindest and warmest regards to all.

  8. Thanks for letting us know Angus, condolences to you and all your family.

    Your father often mentioned his children and how very proud he was of you all.

    He will be sorley missed but never forgotten, he touched the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

    His amazing wit,humour, insights and often blunt truths were exactly what we all needed.

    I have valued his words and wisdom for the last 15 years or so and whatever we chewed over, no matter how trivial or silly, in the final analysis he was always right.

    Simply put Adam was a truly decent guy and one that I am so very glad to have been able to talk with.

    I was thinking about the Zen tradition of writing a last Haiku or death poem, there are many examples to be found online;

    Breathing in, breathing out,
    Moving forward, moving back,
    Living, dying, coming, going —
    Like two arrows meeting in flight,
    In the midst of nothingness
    Is the road that goes directly
    to my true home.

    – Gesshu Soko


    Like dew drops
    on a lotus leaf
    I vanish.

    – Shinsui


    Since time began
    the dead alone know peace.
    Life is but melting snow.

    – Nandai


    I pondered Buddha’s teaching
    a full four and eighty years.
    The gates are all now
    locked about me.
    No one was ever here –
    Who then is he about to die,
    and why lament for nothing?


    The night is clear,
    the moon shines calmly,
    the wind in the pines
    is like a lyre’s song.
    With no ‘I’ and no other

    who hears the sound?

    – Zoso Royo


    Empty handed I entered the world.
    Barefoot I leave it.
    My coming, my going-
    Two simple happenings
    That got entangled.

    – Kozan

    But having read them I can imagine Adam simply saying " Just noodling" and putting down his pen.

    Blessings to you all.


    1. Adrian, Edvard Grieg's last words come to mind...

      "Well, if it must be so."

      I'm seriously considering stealing them for my epitaph.

      Blessings to you.

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  10. Just learned that Adam is gone. Knew him briefly way back when, before his zen days. Found him crusty but gentle, trying to escape from his little-boy self. Hope that he is at peace now.

  11. I'm very sorry to hear about your Dad. I worked with him for several years at the newspaper. He was a great guy and always interesting to talk to. Just got his book in the mail and it is reminding of some of the conversations we had.

  12. Lionel Lin RongxiangMarch 8, 2021 at 7:21 AM

    Dear Angus,
    My sincere condolences to you and your family. There is so much I wish to say but yet so little comes to mind. I still remember buying Adam's book "Answer Your Love Letters" and asking him to autograph it, and he wrote a note regarding me as a "brother this life". I felt at home with his teachings even though I have never met him in person. Of the many teachings he taught me, I have forgotten most by now, but I appreciate it that you leave this blog in its original state as a form of archival for his many years of noodling. I wish you and your family all the best in moving forward. Rest in peace, Adam.

  13. Happy Birthday, Adam. You would have liked today's weather.

  14. The creek fire took me offline until today. We lost the house, barn, everything but the henhouse. But the greatest loss of all was this. Adam was my friend.

    1. Olcharlie, you came to my mind immediately as soon as I got these news and noticed your absence in the comments. At the time, I thought the worse and, despite the losses to the fire you now reported, I'm glad to learn that my thoughts were wrong. So sorry for your losses, Adam above all. I always thought of you two as one inseparable unit, despite your great differences in writing (Adam with his ramblings and you with your quick lightning bolts), when we all posted at e-sangha. I hope you can find a reason to smile, just one smile. Blessings to you.

      And Nora and Mario, me too... I catch myself coming back, as if maybe it was all just a bad dream... I lost two of the most important references I had in this life in these past two months, one who taught me to get a hold of my tickles but never my laugh, another to get a hold of my laugh but never my smile.

      Missing them both.

  15. Thank you and my condolences to you and your family. Again, your father spoke often and highly of you.

    I had reached out at some points in my life many years back, when things in life were challenging for me, and he was a great help.

    Upon his transition from this world, I am reminded of this quote from Pericles "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone, but what is woven into the lives of others." Know that many of us have a bit of wisdom woven in here and there from your father. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I have written to Angus at the email he provided as I don't think he is checking back here so hopefully he will see that :)

    For those of you here. I actually logged on here today to inform Adam of my own Dad's passing. He was Hughie or Hugh on the forum but hadnt posted for a long time due to illness. Him and Adam were great friends. The weirdest thing is he passed away on the 19th March so exactly 1 month after Adam. 70 so 10 years younger. Adam guided him in life maybe he will also guide him in death

    Lots of love to everyone x

  17. I still check in from time to time. Missing Adam's noodling.

    1. I check in as well, just in case. Hard to believe that he is now silent.

  18. Practiced with Adam a few times up at your place; talked BS, had a smoke. Learned so much from him over the years on the various forums and always considered him a teacher way more than he ever considered me a student.

    I actually found myself quoting him a few weeks back to a friend who was having a hard time dealing with the various assholes of the world. Adam's advice, "Just don't you do it" is so appropriate for today's world.

    Hope you and your family are doing OK.

  19. To HUGHIE'S son - was he shoey on the forums? If so can you light some incense for me? Hughie was one of the kindest people I ever met. He was so beautiful. I hope that he didn't suffer much.

    OLCHARLIE - can you please post your details here or on

    Can we set up a GoFundMe for you, my dear friend? Keep well.


    Much love


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  20. This is a NewBuddhist thread on Adam's passing:

    I don't think Angus is actually responding to any of our emails.

  21. Dear olcharlie,

    There are some good people on NewBuddhist who have agreed to help out (as much as we can)

    Here is the thread:

    *You have to sign in to access the above thread*

    olcharlie - if you are able to please feel free to edit or delete your personal details above, including your email. Once an email is posted on the WWW it is likely to attract a lot of spam.
    A kind poster on New Buddhist has already taken your details down over there.

    Floating Abu

  22. Dear olcharlie, I remember you well ... wondered why your reply's to Adam's noodling's had stopped, sounds like a rough patch you guys are in .. I'll register in to NewBuddhist and join you there. Take care and wishing well to you and your wife. Love to all reading here and missing Adam's voice in your day. Person in Netherland

  23. Here is the announcement on Dharma wheel:

  24. Remembering Adam fondly today. Thank you thank you thank you

  25. Time flys … and it drags.
    Love to all of us missing dear Adam …

  26. Nice article I was really impressed seeing this article, it was very interesting and it is very useful for me. You might want to check out short prayer for grieving friend

  27. Today i am weak, but happy for you. But mostly, today i am missing you, just oh so much.

    1. I too miss Adam -- every day. He used to be my morning stimulant. Even now, months after his departure, I sometimes wonder how he might have responded to this or that. And I do regret not having seen him again, fifty years later.

    2. Today Adam visited in my thoughts too... As did my long late grandmother... Blessings to you both and all.

    3. p.s. "Smile, just one smile. :)"

    4. Happy Birthday, Adam. You are missed.

  28. I am only seeing this now. This is sad news - Adam was a friend and companion to me on the path, even though we only knew each other online.

  29. Posting here with the sole purpose of spamming this blog is utterly despicable.

  30. may his soul rest in peace. We shall meet them we we meet in the spiritual world

  31. Happy Birthday, Adam. You are missed.