Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts (Central Abbess)
Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1971, where she practiced with Zentatsu Baker and Tenshin Reb Anderson. She was ordained as a priest in 1975 and has lived at Tassajara and City Center. Since 1993 she and her family have lived at Green Gulch Farm. In 1996 Linda received dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson. Having served as abbess of San Francisco Zen Center from 2000 to 2007, in 2010 Linda was invited to serve as abiding abbess of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, as a part of the abbacy restructuring, and appointed central abbess in 2014. She continues to teach and lead practice periods and retreats at Tassajara, Green Gulch, and elsewhere.
Brian McCaffrey, Board Chair
I completed Establishing the Path of Practice in 2009, which was an experience that not only deepened my practice but made me want to find a way to be more deeply involved in the sangha. Consequently I enrolled in the one year Leadership Program, which gave me the opportunity to begin to understand the structure of our organization and some of the issues that we are currently facing. ...
Educated with a BS in Management with a concentration in Business, Eli has spent time working in the secular world holding positions in new home construction management and most recently working in for-profit education at the University of Phoenix as a Senior Transition Advisor, as well as a benefit liaison for their health and wellness program for employees. After encountering intense life situations that provoked deep self inquiry, Eli and his wife Cat took a break from the corporate world in 2012. He was looking into how to bring forth true authenticity, live more connected to self and to others, as well as reassess right livelihood. After serving in preliminary training-temple positions, Eli served as the City Center Work Leader. He is currently the Director of Work Practice, overseeing policy development, diversity/inclusion, various trainings, conflict resolution, and other areas of Human Resources. He is also the acting Principal Designated School Official for Zen Center School and the SFZC International Student Program.
Larry works as a Senior Fellow in Public Health at NORC at the University of Chicago. He leads NORC’s San Francisco office and directs health marketing/communications and policy studies. Larry serves on the board of the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation, a national philanthropy focused on the needs of the LGBT community. He has also served on the board of the (LGBT) Movement Advancement Project, a national funder’s collaborative working to advance the cause of LGBT civil rights. Larry served on the Zen Center board from 2004-2010. During these years he also served as chair of the board’s development committee. He rejoined the board in June of 2013. ...
I was born, raised and educated in Germany, receiving my engineering degree in architecture from the Technical University at Darmstadt. Since 1990, I have worked as an architect with Zen Center, together designing and completing approximately 10 projects, in Tassajara, Green Gulch and at Greens Restaurant. In addition to working with SFZC, my firm, JSWD Architects, has worked extensively with a number of other spiritual communities: Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Abhayagiri and the Berkeley Society of Friends. Another important focus of our firm’s work is affordable and senior housing. I consider myself very fortunate in having worked with Zen Center for all these years because it has taught me, among other things, how to listen closely, work in a mindful way within a diverse community and be aware of one's own expectations.
Julia Ten Eyck
I am a relationship and child welfare attorney, mediator and Zen priest in San Francisco. I have had an active spiritual and meditation practice of one form or another for more than three decades. In 2004, I found Zen practice (or Zen practice found me) and I became a student of Zen and a practicing member of Hartford Street Zen Center. I began studying with my heart teacher, the late Surei Darlene Cohen, in 2004, received jukai in 2006, and priest ordination in 2010 with Darlene. I also served as a Board member and past president of the Hartford Street Zen Center Board of Directors from 2005 to 2012, guiding the Board through a host of the challenges faced by a small temple and sangha.
I was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the United States (Minneapolis) at age 11. I received my undergraduate degree in Accounting at the University of Minnesota, passed the CPA exam and worked in audit and finance before moving to the Bay Area in 1991. I had my first introduction to Zen practice at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in the late 80s. I have worked in accounting and finance in the Bay Area and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business. I have worked as an investment manager and a financial and business advisor since 1999. I served on the board of Maitri Compassionate Care, an HIV and AIDS hospice, for 6 years and still continue to serve on their investment foundation board.
Living in the neighborhood around City Center when it first was established in the late 1960s, it only took me 40 years and many miles traveled to get through the front door. Long a student of spiritual pursuits and community-based activities, from the moment I came to Zen Center it felt like home. I began practicing in 2007 and received jukai from Shosan Victoria Austin in 2009. ...
George has more than three decades of executive-level leadership experience and has been a member of San Francisco Zen Center since the mid-Seventies. He has previously served six years as a Board member, and, as Chairman of the Board, championed the approval and launch of our Capital Campaign. He has many, many years of active involvement with Zen Center, including the finance, vision/strategic planning, fundraising/development and healthcare task force committees. He also regularly attends Spring Work Period at Tassajara...
Albert Kutchins has been a Zen student—and a member of San Francisco Zen Center—since the mid-Eighties and was shuso at Green Gulch Farm in the fall of 2012. Throughout his training, Albert has remained a householder, practicing law. He previously served on the Zen Center Board for several years in the Nineties ...
Alicia Liu is a seasoned software engineer and entrepreneur with over a dozen years of experience building web and mobile applications. Most recently, Alicia was the CTO of Coach.me, a company that helps people reach their goals through behavior design, community, and personal coaches. Previously, Alicia has held various leadership roles at early-stage startups, including cofounding two companies, in both the enterprise and consumer space. Alicia holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo and started her career at Amazon.
I first encountered Buddhism many years ago while researching a biography of Jack Kerouac, but only established my own practice four years ago, when I began to sit at City Center. Without any particular conscious plan, I became increasingly involved, first in Saturday Sangha, then in the evening zazen doanryo, then as a student of Jordan Thorn. I took the precepts at my jukai in the Fall of 2011. ...
Piper Murakami, a third-generation Japanese American (sansei) and graphic designer, lives and works in San Francisco. Since 1980 she has worked for top design firms and agencies before going solo in 2003. Her clients are mainly from the non-profit sector in the arts and education fields, as well as foundations advocating for social change. Previous board memberships include the San Francisco chapter of AIGA, a professional association for design ...
Margie O’Driscoll has a BA in Political Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in Public Management from Columbia University. Prior to joining AIA San Francisco, she held senior leadership positions in the Mayor’s Office and in philanthropy. Margie has been a writer in residence at Headland Center for the Arts and has taught at Stanford University and San Francisco State University. In 2009, she was voted “Executive of the Year” by her colleagues at CACE (other AIA chapters).
(Personal statement follows.) ...
In 2005, after having explored several other Buddhist traditions, I was encouraged to meet with then-Abbott Paul Haller, to see if SFZC might become my spiritual home. My talk with Paul was warm and cordial. He invited me to stay a while and see if the place grew on me. He also asked to see my sitting position when I meditated, and then made some adjustments to my alignment, opening up my chest. Paul’s concluding words to me were, “We practice zazen with our hearts open in order to take this stance and spirit into our everyday lives.” That stuck with me. ...
I have practiced law for 30 years; for the past 10 years, specializing in tax matters, at Foley & Lardner LLP. Most of my tax work is in the area of exempt organizations, primarily health care providers, and partnerships. I serve on the Finance Committees of the Boards of Blood Centers of the Pacific and Blood Systems, Inc. ...
Rinso Ed Sattizahn (Abiding Abbot, City Center.)
After meeting Suzuki Roshi in 1970, Ed Sattizahn lived at Tassajara from 1973 to 1977. He spent the next five years at City Center, serving as Zen Center's vice president and president. From 1983 to 2000 Ed held various executive positions in the microcomputer software industry and developed familiarity with how the world works. In 2003, he was shuso at Green Gulch Farm, and in the same year co-founded Vimala Sangha in Mill Valley with Lew Richmond. ...
Furyu Nancy Schroeder (Abiding Abbess, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center)
A resident of Zen Center for over 35 years, in 2014 Furyu Nancy Schroeder became abiding abbess at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, where she lives with her partner, Dr. Grace Dammann, and their daughter, Sabrina. Fu has held most of the monastic positions at Zen Center and has been an active supporter of programs for children, people of color, the gay and lesbian community, and the interfaith community. In 2008 she was elected to the Marin Women's Hall of Fame, and in 2010 she was appointed to the Board of the Marin Community Foundation. She received dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1999.