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HomeGreen GulchTeachers Zen Teachers & Practice Leaders at Green Gulch

Zen Teachers & Practice Leaders at Green Gulch

The following Zen teachers are regularly available for practice discussion at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. If you are new to practice or have an ongoing meditation practice, you are encouraged to speak regularly with one of our practice leaders. For first-time practice discussions, contact the office at 415.383.3134.

Tenshin Reb Anderson (Senior Dharma Teacher)
Tenshin Reb Anderson practiced with Suzuki Roshi, who ordained him as a priest in 1970 and gave him the name Tenshin Zenki ("Naturally Real, The Whole Works"). He received dharma transmission in 1983 and served as abbot of San Francisco Zen Center from 1986 to 1995. Tenshin Reb Anderson continues to teach at Zen Center and lives at Green Gulch Farm.

Edward Brown
Edward Brown has been practicing Zen since 1965. Ordained as a priest by Suzuki Roshi in 1971, he received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman in 1996. He is the author of several books and also has edited a book of Suzuki Roshi lectures, Not Always So. Ed is the founder and teacher of the Peaceful Sea Sangha.

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan
Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan is an ordained Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, founder of San Francisco Zen Center, and has been teaching yoga since 1989. She met her teachers, Zen Master Tenshin Reb Anderson and Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Donald Moyer, in a Zen and yoga retreat at Green Gulch Farm 30 years ago and has been practicing both Zen meditation and yoga in the Iyengar tradition since that time. She has been living at Green Gulch Farm since 2007 and has been co-leading Zen and yoga retreats at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center since 2001.

Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh
Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh is currently the garden manager at Green Dragon Temple. She has lived between Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center since 2000. She was ordained as a priest by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2007 and was shuso at Tassajara in 2010.

Eijun Linda Cutts (Central Abbess)
Eijun Linda Cutts came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1971, was ordained as a priest in 1975, and has resided at Green Gulch Farm since 1993. In 1996 Linda received dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson. Having served as Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center from 2000 to 2007, she was appointed Abiding Abbess of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in 2010, and Central Abbess of SFZC in 2014. She continues to teach and lead practice periods and retreats at Tassajara, Green Gulch, Mexico, Italy and elsewhere, and has been leading Yoga-Zen retreats and workshops for many years.

Sangetsu Kathy Early
Sangetsu Kathy Early has been living and practicing at Zen Center, alternating between Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm, since the fall of 2000. She was ordained as a priest by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2005 and is now living at Green Gulch Farm.

Sonja Gardenswartz
Sonja Gardenswartz began practice in 1981 and came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1991. She has practiced continuously at both Green Gulch Farm and Zen Mountain Center, Tassajara.

Reirin Gumbel
Reirin Alheidis Gumbel has been a resident at SFZC since 2003, was ordained as a Soto Zen priest by Furyu Nancy Schroeder in 2007, and was Head Monk in 2012. She held several senior staff positions at Green Gulch Farm and is currently Ino there.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson lived and trained at Green Gulch Farm from 1975-2000. She is one of the founders of the Organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch, a lay dharma teacher, and the author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate (Bantam, 2008). Wendy is a garden mentor to the Edible Schoolyard program and a College of Marin instructor in the Environmental Landscape program at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden project.

Yo-on Jeremy Levie
Yo-on Jeremy Levie currently serves as head of practice (tanto) for Green Dragon Temple at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, where he offers talks, works individually with students, and leads sittings, classes and study groups. Prior to being tanto, he served as director at Green Gulch from 2009 to 2012. He has trained in residence at San Francisco Zen Center since 1995, having lived at each of the Center’s three temples. He was ordained by Eijun Linda Cutts in 2005 and trained as head monk (shuso) in 2009. In addition to his service on the SFZC Board of Directors, Jeremy has also served on the Board of the Marin Interfaith Council. Jeremy studied philosophy and theater at Yale University and trained as a teacher of Motion Theater improvisation. He continues to be interested in the intersection of Zen practice with Western thought and culture, and co-leads retreats on the meeting of Zen with other disciplines. He currently lives with his wife, Meg, and daughter, Elizabeth, at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

Sessei Meg Levie
Sessei Meg Levie, MA, has been practicing Zen for over 20 years and received ordination as a Zen priest in 2003. She holds degrees in English from Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin. Currently she serves as the Program Development Director for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

Arlene Lueck
Arlene Lueck recently served as Tanto, or head of practice, at Green Dragon Temple. She was ordained in 1996 and received Dharma Transmission from Norman Fischer in 2005.

Daigan Lueck
Daigan Lueck, a Zen Buddhist priest, poet, and painter, was a long-time resident practitioner, having lived at all three San Francisco Zen Center locations. He passed away in residence at Green Gulch Farm on April 26, 2015. The following is what he wrote for his bio on the website in 2011.

Sukey Parmelee
Sukey has lived at Green Gulch for many years and serves as “land advocate,” caring for the watershed and the grounds.

Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler
Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler entered residence at SFZC at the age of 20, in 1996, and has trained full time in Zen since, primarily at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm. He was ordained as a priest in 2002 by Seido Lee deBarros, was shuso under Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky in 2008, and currently trains under Sojun Mel Weitsman. He spent 2002-2003 at two Zen monasteries in Japan, Bukkokuji and Hokyoji, and has spent time at a variety of American temples as well, receiving teachings from Joshu Sasaki Roshi, Shohaku Okumura, Toni Packer, and the monastics of Shasta Abbey.

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.

Mick Sopko
Mick Sopko started practicing at Zen Center in 1977. He received lay dharma entrustment from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2005 and has held various positions at Green Gulch including head of the meditation hall, co-director, and, currently, bread baker.

Sara Tashker
Sara Tashker has been an organic farmer and residential practitioner at San Francisco Zen Center since 2002. From 2007 she has helped lead Green Gulch Farm’s six-month Organic Farm and Garden Apprenticeship for people interested in integrating residential Zen Buddhist practice and hands-on training in organic farming and gardening. She loves that her every activity is the fertile ground of Zen practice: growing food, relating to community, being a mother, appreciating the breath and body. In fall 2011 she served as Head Student (shuso) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center with Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky and Sojun Mel Weitsman. She currently lives and practices at Green Gulch Farm with her husband and their son Frank.

Jisan Anna Thorn
Jisan Anna Thorn lives at Green Dragon Temple and is the current guest program manager at Green Gulch. Born and raised in Germany, she graduated from college as a teacher for German literature and politics. She also graduated as a metal designer from an Arts and Craft College in Cologne and had a career as a jewelry designer in the '80s. ...

Steve Weintraub
Steve Weintraub was ordained as a Zen priest in 1973, and he has been teaching Buddhism at San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, and Green Gulch Farm for over 30 years. In 1994, he received Dharma transmission - full authorization as a teacher - in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. Steve is the guiding teacher for Presidio Hill Zen Group, which meets weekly on Thursday evenings in San Francisco. Steve also has an MFT license, and a private psychotherapy practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley.

Meiya Wender
Meiya Wender has practiced at Zen Center since 1972 and received Dharma Transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2002. She has held many monastic positions at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Green Gulch, including director, ino, tenzo, and tanto. She has studied the Way of Tea for many years, including a year at the Urasenke Midorikai program in Kyoto, and teaches Tea in Sowing the Moon Teahouse at Green Gulch.