a1 Russell Tolson Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at the Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union. He is also the interim codirector for the Initiative for Spirituality and Aging at the Graduate Theological Union.
In an interview just before his death, Issan Dorsey, an American Zen priest and abbot of the Hartford Street Zen Center, stated, “AIDS is not fatal. Life is fatal. If you have AIDS, you are alive.” Although infected with AIDS, Issan worked to establish the Maitri Hospice for those dying from complications related to AIDS in the San Francisco Castro District, the heart of the gay and lesbian community. His efforts reflect the statement–although the body may be diseased, one can continue to give abundantly and tirelessly, articulated by Vimalakirti in the Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra (Sutra on the Teaching of Vimalakirti).