Peter "Paul" Hughes was born on July 1, 1936 in Madison Wisconsin, and grew up in Highland Park, Illinois just outside Chicago.
He received BA and MA degrees in English Literature from Northwestern University, and also studied acting at the Art Institute of Chicago.
His main vocation was teaching in underserved communities in Los Angeles and for a short time in New York City.
For all of his adult life Paul had an overarching interest in spirituality. He was born into the Episcopal Church, and after an extended and trying period in his life in the 1970's, embraced and was embraced by the Roman Catholic Church.
Being the spiritual searcher he was, in the mid 1980's he began exploring Zen Buddhism. He studied with many Zen teachers from the Robert Aitken lineage, most notably Fr. Patrick Hawk, a direct Dharma heir of Robert Aitken, and a Redemptorist priest. Paul participated in literally scores of retreats with Fr. Pat beginning around 1990 until Fr. Pat's death in 2012.
While through all his spiritual practices, he embraced in equal measure the teachings of Zen and Christianity, Christ remained the exemplar for him.
Paul began to share his deep knowledge of Zen with inmates at the Multnomah County Jail in the mid 1990's and continued this work at the Oregon Correctional Institution until the time of his death.
We know from messages he left on his phone that Paul died a peaceful death after becoming lost on a walk from a camp he had made with a friend in the Ochoco Mountains of Central Oregon.
Paul is survived by his wife Laura, his spiritual son Emmanuel Ananda, and his cousin Harriette Crunk.
A funeral mass, memorial and potluck will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 5:00 PM at Cook Park, 17005 S.W. 92nd Ave in Tigard.
There will also be sitting meditation beginning at 4 PM at the park.
Whispering Pines Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
To send flowers to Peter "Paul" Beach Hughes' family, please visit our floral section.