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EAR Council Members

Korin Charlie Pokorny (EAR Council Chairperson)
Charlie was ordained as a priest by Reb Anderson in 1999. He practiced as a resident at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm for 12 years, including serving as tenzo and director at Tassajara. He is a member of the SFZC Board of Directors and is co-chair of the Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee with Tova Green. He is currently director of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and teaches at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley. He resides with his family in Sebastopol.

Gail Claspell
Gail Claspell has had a life-long interest in understanding how we organize ourselves in community and how to live a life of integrity and compassion.  She has been a student and practitioner of Nonviolent Communication since 2004 and a student and practitioner of Restorative Justice since 2007. Gail has explored residential practice at City Center and Tassajara off and on since 2008. After working as a product manger for software startups for over a decade, she is currently focused on helping teams working with Agile methods.

Dr. Grace Dammann
Grace Dammann has lived at Green Gulch Farm for 20-plus years with her family, Fu Schroeder and Sabrina Schroeder-Dammann.  She is a physician who has treated persons with HIV disease since the early days of the epidemic.  She was in a head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008, and is adjusting to a “new body,” running a Pain Clinic at Laguna Honda Hospital, and working in the Office at Green Gulch.  She received Jukai from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1989.

Qayyum Johnson
Qayyum Johnson began practicing Buddhism with Garchen Rinpoche, a Tibetan teacher in the Drikung Kagyu lineage, in 2001. He came to practice residentially at Green Gulch Farm in 2006 so he could practice in an English-speaking community. He is lay ordained and currently serving as Farm Manager at GGF.

Lee Lipp
Lee Lipp began practicing the Buddha's teaching in 1989, continuing her practice in 1993 as a member of Thich Nhat Hanh's Tiep Hien Order. She has been a resident of Green Gulch Farm and City Center from1998 to 2005, and received lay ordination in 2000. Presently she serves as SFZC’s Cultural Awareness Advocate. In 2012 Spirit Rock Meditation Center authorized her to teach the Theravadan tradition in the community. Lee lives in San Francisco and has a private psychotherapy practice there. She served as Shuso (head student) for the Winter Practice Period at City Center in 2013.

Michael McCord
Michael started practicing at City Center in 2007 and has lived at Zen Mountain Center since 2009.  He was lay ordained by Ryushin Paul Haller in 2011 and currently serves as the Tassajara Ino.  Michael completed a BA in Theology at Ambassador University in 1993, and worked for their Ambassador Foundation in the Middle East, specializing in industrial vocational training for those with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.  Michael worked in the technology sector as a product manager and was a founding member of Exatt.net—an internet service provider in Bangalore, India.  In the years just prior to residential practice he was the manager of retail lending for Citibank San Francisco.

Kanzan David Zimmerman
Kanzan David Zimmerman has been practicing Zen for 20 years and was ordained by Rev. Teah Strozer in 2006. Having spent eight years at Tassajara, where he held a number of positions, including guest manager, meditation hall manager and director, he now lives at City Center where he is Program Director. He also served as Head Monk (Shuso) at Tassajara in the winter of 2010 and as Zen Center Corporate Secretary prior to joining the programming department. David currently serves on the SFZC Diversity and Multiculturalism Committee, is a co-facilitator of Queer Dharma, and supports Dr. Lee Lipp with classes and workshops on "Transforming Depression and Anxiety."