Resident Teachers, Instructors, and Practice Leaders
We encourage all regular practitioners to discuss their practice with practice leaders. Teachers are available for either formal or informal discussion. They may be contacted either in person or through the front office at 415.863.3136.
Central Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky Myogen Steve Stücky has been practicing Zen since 1971 with various teachers including Richard Baker, Dainin Katagiri, Robert Aitken, and Tenshin Anderson. He received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1993. He became co-Abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center in February 2007 and in 2010 became Central Abbot as a part of restructuring the abbacy.
City Center Abiding Abbess Kiku Christina Lehnherr Kiku Christina Lehnherr became City Center Abbess in February 2012. She has degrees in physical therapy and Clinical Psychology and practiced both in Switzerland. Ordained as a priest by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1993, she received Dharma Transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2005. From 2003 to 2006 she served as Head of Practice (Tanto) at City Center. Between 2006 and 2012, Christina lived in Marin where she continued to support sitting groups and students as a non-residential teacher.
Senior Dharma Teacher Zenkei Blanche Hartman Zenkei Blanche Hartman began sitting in 1969 at the Berkeley Zen Center with Sojun Mel Weitsman and in San Francisco with Suzuki Roshi. She was priest ordained in 1977 by Zentatsu Baker and received dharma transmission with Sojun in 1988. Zenkei was the first woman Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, serving in that position from 1996-2003.
Senior Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller Ryushin Paul Haller is a dharma heir of Sojun Mel Weitsman and has taught at Zen Center for over 20 years. He teaches throughout the U.S. and Europe and has led mindfulness programs to assist with depression and recovery. Paul has also taught in prisons and has a long involvement with the Zen Hospice Project. He has been practicing yoga for 25 years.
Anshin Rosalie Curtis Anshin Rosalie Curtis came to Zen Center for the first time on January 2, 1982 for a Saturday Dharma talk. She has held various staff and officer positions and was Zen Center's graphic designer for ten years in the 1990s. She completed her shuso training as a lay practitioner in 2004, was ordained as a priest a year later, and received Dharma transmission from Michael Wenger in 2011. Currently she is the tanto, head of practice, at City Center.
Shosan Victoria Austin Shosan Victoria Austin began practicing both Zen and yoga in 1971. In the Soto Zen tradition, she is entrusted as a Dharma heir in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, an international priest of the Soto School, and a Dharma teacher at San Francisco Zen Center. She trained in the U.S., in India, and in Japan. In the Iyengar tradition, she is certified as an Intermediate teacher.
Kyosho Valorie Beer Kyosho Valorie Beer has practiced Zen Buddhism since 1991, and was ordained as a priest by her teacher, Edward Brown, in 2005. She is currently the City Center ino.
Jisan Tova Green Jisan Tova Green, LCSW, currently serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President of San Francisco Zen Center. Before being named vice president, she served as the Director. She received priest ordination from Eijun Linda Cutts in 2003. Tova is a practice leader at San Francisco Zen Center and co-founded Zen Center's Queer Dharma Group. Tova received her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and completed Smith's certificate program in Contemplative Social Work in 2008. Tova was a social worker at Hospice by the Bay until April 2011.
Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster is a Zen teacher in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi. He teaches and works for San Francisco Zen Center as Human Resources Director-People Development. Mark has been teaching at City Center since 1998.
Kyoshin Wendy Lewis Kyoshin Wendy Lewis has been practicing at Zen Center since 1987, including living for six years at Tassajara. She was ordained by Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1997and completed Dharma Transmission with Eijun Linda Cutts in December 2012. In January 2013, she began as Curriculum Coordinator in Zen Center's Abbots' Department.
Ze Sho Susan O'Connell Ze Sho Susan O'Connell is a Zen teacher with 25 years of meditation experience. She has lived at Zen Center since 1995, and was ordained as a priest in 1999 by Tenshin Reb Anderson. After serving in many key positions at Zen Center, she was invited to be Vice President in 2006. She started, with two other partners, her own business as an independent feature film producer with offices in San Francisco and L.A., and continued that business for 25 years. She has helped to produce over 10 video/film projects about Zen Center and its teachers.
Teah Strozer Teah Strozer is a dharma heir in Suzuki Roshi's lineage. She is a practice leader and member of the Elders Council at the San Francisco Zen Center. Until recently she taught meditation and ethics at the Bay School high school as the school's Chaplain. She is the Guiding Teacher at the Brooklyn Zen Center.
Do-On Robert Thomas Do-On Robert Thomas has been practicing Zen Buddhism since 1993, was ordained as a Zen priest in 2000, and received dharma transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2009. He served as president of San Francisco Zen Center for seven years, overseeing the three temples. Since 2004 Robert has led retreats that combine the complementary practices of Zen and Yoga.
Shokan Jordan Thorn Shokan Jordan Thorn has been a student at Zen Center for 30 years. Ordained by Richard Baker in 1977, he lives at City Center. He has lived at all three practice centers, has served in a variety of roles on senior staff and as an officer, and was shuso at Tassajara. He served as City Center Tanto (Head of Practice) and became SF Zen Center's Treasurer/CFO in September 2011.
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 supports Dr. Lee Lipp with classes and workshops on "Transforming Depression and Anxiety."