Retreat Leaders

Eijun Linda Cutts

Eijun Linda Cutts

Eijun Linda Cutts is Central Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center. She has been practicing Zen since 1971, and was ordained as a priest in 1975 and received Dharma Transmission in 1996 from Tenshin Reb Anderson. She has lived at all three temples, and has resided at Green Gulch Farm since 1993. She has been co-leading yoga and Zen retreats for many years at both Tassajara and Green Gulch.

Britt Fohrman

Britt Fohrman

Britt Fohrman has taught yoga since 1997, with a foundation in Iyengar yoga and specialties in restorative, therapeutic and prenatal yoga. Her teaching emphasizes individualized alignment, meditative focus and breath-guided movement, and is infused with levity, compassion and honesty.

MyoE Doris Harder

MyoE Doris Harder

Rev. MyoE Doris Harder is an ordained Soto Zen priest in the lineages of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Kobun Otogawa Roshi. She practiced for six years between 2002 and 2009 at San Francisco Zen Center, where she completed her studies by serving as shuso, or head monk. For the next six years Doris lived and worked in Vienna, Austria, where she directed plays and was an active member of the umbrella organization of Austrian Buddhists. In Europe, she taught Zen, wrote articles, and led Zen retreats. Now, happy to be back at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, she is serving as Tanto, Head of Practice.

Purusha Hickson

Purusha Hickson

Purusha Hickson has been teaching Hatha Yoga for over 40 years. His principal spiritual teacher is Swamini Turiyasangitanandaji, also known as Alice Coltrane. He has studied extensively in India with great Hatha Yoga masters such as Swami Satchidananda, the Iyengars, and Pattabhi Jois. His classes are characterized by a unique blend of spirit, technique, and humor.

James Higgins

James Higgins

James Higgins interweaves a slow, steady, and engaged Vinyasa Yoga practice with his Vipassana meditation experience to offer a unique, appealing, and challenging class for all. He has been a presenter at Kripalu, Omega Institute, Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conferences, and Tassajara. He teaches yoga and meditation worldwide.

Lee Klinger Lesser

Lee Klinger Lesser

Lee Klinger Lesser has been leading workshops in Sensory Awareness for over 40 years. She led workshops together with Charlotte Selver, founder of Sensory Awareness in the United States, and the first person invited by Suzuki Roshi to teach at Tassajara. Lee began studying Zen in 1978 and appreciates the deep interconnectedness of these practices. She co-founded Veteran’s PATH, offering mindfulness and meditation retreats for returning veterans.

Yo-on Jeremy Levie

Yo-on Jeremy Levie

Yo-on Jeremy Levie studied philosophy and theater at Yale University. He was ordained in 2005 and served as Director and Head of Practice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. He is now the Corporate Secretary of San Francisco Zen Center and lives in the city with his wife and teenage daughter.

Djuna Mascall

Djuna Mascall

Djuna Mascall teaches Prajna Yoga nationally and internationally. Her primary influences are Tias and Surya Little. She is also a certified yoga therapist in private practice. Her highly accessible approach illuminates the depths of the yoga practice. She was featured in Yoga Journal in 2012. www.djunamascall.com

Nancy Petrin

Nancy Petrin

Nancy Petrin began Zen practice in 1996 through the Organic Farm and Garden Apprenticeship at Green Gulch Farm, where she lived and practiced for nine years. She served as head student (shuso) with City Center Abiding Abbot Ed Sattizahn in the fall of 2014. Nancy works in Zen Center's Development Department fundraising for the Dharma and San Francisco Zen Center’s three temples, and resides in SF with her teenage daughter.

Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan’s 40-year experience teaching yoga enables her to bring forth a natural joy and ease of being through an emphasis on process, explorations, and individual attention. She contributes this depth of experience in retreats for various institutions, in teacher trainings, and in one-to-one therapeutic sessions. 2018 will be Patricia’s 31st year co-leading retreats at Tassajara.

Unzan Mako Voelkel

Unzan Mako Voelkel

Unzan Mako Voelkel began practicing at San Francisco Zen Center in 1997. In 2002, she ended a teaching position in philosophy to enter 10 years of monastic practice at Tassajara. Ordained by Ryushin Paul Haller in 2004, Mako is currently the Tanto (Head of Practice) at Austin Zen Center.

Myoju Erin Merk

Myoju Erin Merk

Myoju Erin Merk is a Zen priest, yoga teacher, and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. A teacher at Lick-Wilmerding High School since 2006, Erin was ordained by Eijun Linda Cutts in 2005, and served as head student at Tassajara in 2012. Erin has lived and practiced at City Center, Tassajara, Green Gulch Farm, and No Abode, and received yoga teacher certification through Yoga Room Berkeley. Erin is a Relax and Renew™ trainer.

Rosemary Garrison

Rosemary Garrison

Rosemary Garrison began her study of yoga in the traditional Ashtanga style with Tim Miller. She has since worked with several Vinyasa instructors including Shiva Rea and Dharma Mittra. She incorporates creativity and grace into her teachings and beckons her students into the deeper layers of practice, encouraging greater awareness, transformation, and peace.

Jiryu Rutschman-Byler

Jiryu Rutschman-Byler

Jiryu Rutschman-Byler is a priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi with Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. He lives, works, and teaches at Green Gulch Farm and is the head teacher of the Buddhadharma Sangha at San Quentin State Prison. www.shoresofzen.com

Onryu Mary Stares

Onryu Mary Stares

Onryu Mary Stares first came to Zen Center in 2000, following a period of residential practice at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada. A carpenter by trade, Mary was ordained as a priest in 2010 by Arlene Lueck and Myogen Steve Stücky. Mary was shuso (head monk) for the Winter 2015 Practice Period at Tassajara, and has served in various roles at all three temples of San Francisco Zen Center.

Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin

Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin is the Resident Teacher of Houston Zen Center. She was ordained by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1991 and received Dharma Transmission from him in 2003.

Kanzan David Zimmerman

Kanzan David Zimmerman

Kanzan David Zimmerman has been practicing Zen for over 25 years, was ordained by Rev. Teah Strozer in 2006, and spent eight years at Tassajara. He currently lives at City Center where he serves as the Head of Practice, is a co-facilitator of Queer Dharma, and co-leads workshops on Transforming Depression and Anxiety.

Jisan Tova Green

Jisan Tova Green

Jisan Tova Green, a Zen priest with dharma transmission from Eijun Linda Cutts in 2015, resides and teaches at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center. She co-founded the SFZC Queer Dharma Group in 2009 and the group “Unpacking Whiteness – Reflection and Action.” Tova has worked as a hospice social worker, plays the cello, and writes poetry.

Dana Takagi

Dana Takagi

Rev. Dana Takagi, PhD, is a professor and professional sociologist who has worked at UC Santa Cruz for 30 years, as well as with the National Institutes for Health (NIH). She has been engaged in a dharma practice life for 18 years, receiving lay ordination and priest ordination from Katherine Thanas, and most recently dharma transmission from Eugene Bush.

Shosan Victoria Austin

Shosan Victoria Austin

Shosan Victoria Austin offers decades of experience in both yoga and Zen practice. She is a senior Iyengar teacher, and has received Soto Zen dharma transmission. She has studied with the Iyengars and others in both traditions in order to cultivate integrity and depth of practice for joy and freedom. www.victoriaaustin.org

Ann Averbach

Ann Averbach

Ann Averbach is committed to helping others transform their lives through yoga. Founder of DiviniTree Yoga Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, her mission is to build conscious community. When she is not on her yoga mat, Ann can be found hiking in nature, traveling the world, gardening, or gathering with friends and family over farm to table meals.

Letitia Bartlett

Letitia Bartlett

Letitia Bartlett has been teaching yoga for 20 years. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Iyengar Institute and studied in Pune, India with the Iyengar family. In addition to teaching yoga, Letitia works as a clown, mime and acting teacher in San Francisco. She has taught at American Conservatory Theater, The Academy of Art University, and Stanford University.

Michelle Becker, MFT, MA

Michelle Becker, MFT, MA

Michelle Becker, MFT, MA, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, utilizing mindfulness and compassion based approaches to psychotherapy. In addition, she is a certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, Compassion Cultivation Training, and The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ programs. She is also co-developer of the new Mindfulness-Based Compassion for Couples program. Michelle is a senior teacher trainer, mentor, and co-founder of the teacher-training program in Mindful Self-Compassion and is also on staff at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. She teaches and speaks on the topics of compassion for self and others nationally and internationally.

Teja Fudo Myoo Bell

Teja Fudo Myoo Bell

Teja Fudo Myoo Bell teaches Aikido, Qigong, and Healing Arts always connected to the Dharma. Teja has taught over 90 residential retreats at Spirit Rock, and continues to practice and teach across the traditions to bring about well-being thru the embodied synthesis of modern knowledge with the wisdom of the ancient ways.

Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block is a Buddhist chaplain who provides care to individuals facing the spiritual and emotional issues related to aging, sickness, dying, and grief. She teaches spiritual care, contemplative care, and chaplaincy in various settings.

Chosetsu Lauren Bouyea

Chosetsu Lauren Bouyea

Chosetsu Lauren Bouyea has been a residential practitioner since 2003 at all three temples of San Francisco Zen Center. She received a degree in environmental studies with a concentration in Eastern religious traditions in 2002. Lauren has served in many temple positions, including garden manager at Green Gulch Farm from 2010-2014. She currently lives at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, where she served as head student (shuso) in fall 2016 with her teacher, Eijun Linda Cutts.

Ingen Breen

Ingen Breen

Ingen Breen received dharma transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2009 and now has his own temple in Co. Clare, Ireland. Ingen has practiced Buddhism for over 25 years. He has led sesshins and retreats in Europe and California and is a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of America.

Christy Brown

Christy Brown

Christy Brown, E-RYT 500, has studied with Pattabhi Jois, S.N. Goenka, Sarah Powers, Paul Grilley, and H.H. the Dalai Lama. Combining mindfulness, breath, alignment, Buddhism, Taoism, and other wisdom traditions, Christy weaves a creatively flowing, invigorating yet calming, centering yet expanding exploration of self through asana—dedicated to the highest well-being of the Earth and all beings. ChristyBrownYoga.com

Edward Brown

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 Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s lectures entitled Not Always So. Ed is the founder and teacher of the Peaceful Sea Sangha.

Nomon Tim Burnett

Nomon Tim Burnett

Nomon Tim Burnett is a Soto Zen Priest and Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham, WA. A Dharma Heir of Zoketsu Norman Fischer, he became interested in the mindfulness movement in 2008 as a way to bring the benefits of meditation and the wisdom and compassion meditation training supports to a wider audience.

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan has been teaching Yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988. She began her Yoga studies at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco, studying for many years with Judith Lasater. She graduated from the Advanced Studies Program at The Yoga Room, Berkeley. Shokuchi has practiced at San Francisco Zen Center since 1984, when she attended a Yoga and Zen retreat at Green Gulch Farm, co-led by Tenshin Reb Anderson and Donald Moyer. She was ordained by Tenshin Roshi in March of 2010. She has recently moved to Brooklyn, New York, where she has joined the Brooklyn Zen Center sangha in the position of Tanto (Head of Practice), as well as teaching yoga classes at Yogasana.

Sally Chang

Sally Chang

Sally Chang brings over 20 years of martial arts experience and is dedicated to the practice of internal cultivation from a Daoist perspective. Her experience as an Acupuncturist and Herbalist also integrates principles of classical Chinese medicine into these self-care practices. Sally brings a warm, focused presence to these healing arts.

Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins regularly leads Wild Heart Writing workshops in San Francisco. A former journalist, she is a blogger, novelist and student of writing. She is a graduate of Interchange Counseling Institute and formerly served as SF facilitator for The Hoffman Institute.

Grace Dammann, MD

Grace Dammann, MD

Grace Dammann, MD, was a long time resident of Green Gulch Farm. Her life changed one afternoon when she experienced a head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge. After 45 days in a coma, Grace miraculously awoke. Once honored by HH the Dalai Lama, she now runs a pain clinic from a wheelchair.

Shogen Danielson

Shogen Danielson

Shogen Danielson began practicing Zen in 1997 and was ordained as a priest in 2008 by Teah Strozer. Before becoming a resident at Zen Center, he worked with the Peace Corps in Africa for four and a half years teaching science, math, and life skills. Shogen holds an M.S. in Physics and Astronomy and loves spending time in nature with his two children.

Laura Davis

Laura Davis

Laura Davis is the author of seven non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, and I Thought We’d Never Speak Again. Laura’s groundbreaking books have sold more than 1.8 million copies around the world. She is currently working on performance pieces and a memoir based on letters to her dead mother, who passed away in the summer of 2014.

Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain received dharma transmission in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Greg is married and currently serves as tanto.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet, writer, priest, and a former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center. He is founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation.

Shinchi Linda Galijan, PhD

Shinchi Linda Galijan, PhD

Shinchi Linda Galijan, PhD, was ordained by Sojun Mel Weitsman in 2004 and received dharma transmission from him in 2012. A professional musician, massage therapist, and licensed clinical psychologist, she has practiced yoga for over 20 years. She currently serves as President of San Francisco Zen Center.

Djinn Gallagher

Djinn Gallagher

Myogan Djinn Gallagher has been meditating since 1992, but it wasn’t until 2007 that she finally decided to leave her career as a newspaper journalist in Ireland to plunge into monastic life in Tassajara. As someone who had always been intensely cerebral, she reveled in the discovery that she had a body. She was ordained as a priest by her teacher Ryushin Paul Haller in 2013, and was head monk in Tassajara for the Fall 2015 practice period. She recently returned to live in Ireland where she takes care of the community of meditators at Ryushin Paul Haller’s Black Mountain Zen Centre in Belfast.

Jim Gallas

Jim Gallas

Jim Gallas has been teaching yoga, qigong and shiatsu for over 20 years. He teaches at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, at Five Branches University Santa Cruz, and at Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico. Jim loves his work, and aims to meet the needs of each student with compassion, humor, and extensive experience.

Jody Greene

Jody Greene

Jody Greene first encountered Zen Buddhism at the Tassajara work period in September 2001 and came to the practice of Vinyasa Flow yoga in 2002. Since then, she has consistently practiced in both traditions, while teaching meditation to yogis and yoga to meditators. Jody completed her first Tassajara practice period in 2008. Since 2009, her primary focus in yoga has consisted of assisting her teacher, Janet Stone, at retreats and workshops around the world. Jody is Professor of Literature, Feminist Studies, and the History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz.

Ryushin Paul Haller

Ryushin Paul Haller

Ryushin Paul Haller, former City Center Abbot, has taught Zen, mindfulness, and meditation for over 25 years throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has created programs that assist with depression and substance abuse, has taught in prisons, and has a long involvement with the Zen Hospice Project. He has been practicing yoga for over 25 years.

Steven Harper, M.A.

Steven Harper, M.A.

Steven Harper is a wilderness guide, consultant, author, and artist. He has led both traditional and experimental wilderness expeditions in the North America and internationally for over 40 years. With an MA in psychology, Steven focuses on wild nature as a vehicle for awakening, and his work is inspired by a deep connection to inner wild nature. He has contributed to and written in the emerging field of ecopsychology, and has taught workshops at Esalen Institute and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and other retreat venues for over 35 years. A long-time student and facilitator of Gestalt Practice he continues to be curious about the inner wilds and wellbeing through somatic psychology and practices from a variety of wisdom traditions and cultures.

Shundo David Haye

Shundo David Haye

Shundo David Haye began practicing in 2000 and lived at San Francisco Zen Center for 15 years. Ordained as a priest in 2009, he served as shuso (head monk) in 2012 and served in numerous traditional temple administrator roles at Tassajara and City Center. He loves to be in the outdoors—usually either riding a bike or taking photographs.

Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield, an internationally renowned poet, received lay ordination in the Soto Zen tradition in 1979. She appeared in the 2010 PBS documentary “The Buddha” and she is the author of eight collections of poetry, including the new The Beauty, long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award, Come, Thief, published in August 2011, After, (shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and named a “best book of 2006” by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the London Financial Times).

Brian Hogencamp

Brian Hogencamp

Brian Hogencamp is a dedicated yoga practitioner and senior certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. He travels annually to India for extended study with the Iyengar family. Brian is devoted to sharing the art, science and philosophy of yoga according to the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. www.iybrian.com

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is the author of twelve books, on subjects ranging from Sufism and the XIVth Dalai Lama to the Cuban Revolution and our global lives. He gave talks for TED.com in both 2013 and 2014—one on movement and one on stillness—and each has been viewed more than 2 million times. For more than a quarter-century he has been a constant essayist for Time, The New York Times, Tricycle, Shambhala Sun and many others.

Leslie James

Leslie James

Leslie James is the Abiding Teacher at Tassajara and has practiced at San Francisco Zen Center since 1971. She received lay dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2001. Leslie has two grown children and has lived at Tassajara with her husband, Keith Meyerhoff, for 30 years.

Seiho Qayyum Johnson

Seiho Qayyum Johnson

Seiho Qayyum Johnson received Zen Buddhist precepts from Myogen Steve Stücky in 2009 and served as head monk with Abbess Fu Schroeder in 2015. He is also a poet, artist, and writer exploring the intersections of Buddhism, ecology, social justice, and peace activism. He currently serves as Head Farmer at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson has practiced Zen and organic horticulture for more than 35 years. She received lay dharma entrustment from Eijun Linda Cutts in 2006 and is also a lay-ordained dharma teacher in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Wendy is author of the recent San Francisco Zen Center book Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate.


Ryotan Cynthia Kear

Ryotan Cynthia Kear

Cynthia Kear has been practicing Soto Zen Buddhism for twenty-five years. As a full-time employee with an active family, she appreciates how demanding life can be. “Everywhere practice,” infusing the everyday “marketplace” of our lives with space, awareness, stability and ease, is her primary interest.

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is CEO of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) an organization committed to effective leadership and happiness, using the tools of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. He was a part of the team that developed and taught Search Inside Yourself within Google. Marc was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for ten years and former director of Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center.

Sessei Meg Levie

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 also is a certified executive and life coach and has taught programs in mindfulness in the workplace, with clients from Genentech, Twitter, Zynga and Google. She currently lives with her family at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County.

David M. Levy

David M. Levy

David M. Levy is Professor at the Information School, University of Washington. At UW since 2000, he has focused on bringing mindfulness training and other contemplative practices to address problems of information overload and acceleration.

Lirio

Lirio, MA, ERYT 500, has taught meditation, pranayama, and yoga asana postures for the last 20 years. Her goal is to make yoga available and accessible to people regardless of physical ability or aptitude. She enjoys bringing humor, warmth, and creativity to her classes.

Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie, RYT-500, CST, Reiki Master, and founder of PremaYoga. With 32 years of experience in practice, and 20 years as a teacher she integrates Hatha Yoga and Reiki in her sessions. Her style is accessible to all levels of students.

Daniel Matt

Daniel Matt

Daniel Matt is a teacher of Kabbalah. He recently completed an 18-year project of translating the Zohar, the masterpiece of Jewish mysticism.

Zenki Mary Mocine

Zenki Mary Mocine

Mary Mocine is a Zen priest who trained at San Francisco Zen Center and was ordained in 1994. She received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 2005. Mary practiced law for 18 years and now leads a dharma group for lawyers.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye's poetry reflects a world vision, and attests to our shared humanity. Author or editor of over 30 books, her new books include Transfer, There is No Long Distance Now, and Voices in the Air – Poems for Listeners.

Zesho Susan O’Connell

Zesho Susan O’Connell

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. In June 2017, she received Dharma transmission from Tenshin Anderson. After serving in many key positions at Zen Center, she was invited to be President in 2012 and completed her term at the end of 2016.

Laura O’Loughlin

Laura O’Loughlin

Laura O’Loughlin is co-founder and lay teacher at Brooklyn Zen Center. She is currently also a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, San Francisco Zen Center and Austin Zen Center where she served as director.

Stacie Overby

Stacie Overby

Stacie Overby views yoga as a spiritual, psychological, and energetic journey that inspires greater understanding of and connection to the true Self within. She believes in the potency of breath as the most powerful natural resource for deep transformation and connection to spirit. Her vigorous Vinyasa-style classes emphasize the integration of breath and movement, meditation and pranayama transforming the practice into a holistic exploration of the mind, body and soul. She also draws on her background as a dancer to evoke inner grace and balance in a safe, creative environment.

Athena Pappas

Athena Pappas

Athena Pappas has been immersed in the study, practice and teaching of yoga since 1989. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher whose practice emphasizes alignment and awareness. Athena believes that yoga is a multi-faceted gem that supports our ability to experience peaceful and contented lives.

Diane Renshaw

Diane Renshaw

Diane Renshaw began Zen practice at Tassajara in 1978, received lay ordination in 1993, and is working with Tassajara on a native plant project.

Cloud Mountain Graham Ross

Cloud Mountain Graham Ross

Cloud Mountain Graham Ross practiced residentially at Tassajara from 2004 to 2012. He was ordained by Ryushin Paul Haller in 2007 and was Shuso (Head Monk) in 2010. Graham was one of the five people who met the fires at Tassajara in 2008. Graham received a 1st degree black belt in 2002 in the Saito Sensei lineage of Aikido.

Furyu Nancy Schroeder

Furyu Nancy Schroeder

Furyu Nancy Schroeder, a resident of Zen Center for over 35 years, became abiding abbess at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in March 2014. She has directed the Children and Family programs at Green Gulch Farm and has held most of the monastic positions at Zen Center. She has been an active supporter of programs for children, people of color, the gay and lesbian community, and the interfaith community.

Laurie Senauke

Laurie Senauke

Laurie Senauke began formal Zen practice in 1980, served as shuso at Berkeley Zen Center and received lay recognition in 2006. She was editor of Windbell for three years, assisted in writing/editing two Zen Center-related books, and was a contributor to Dharma Family Treasures and The Hidden Lamp..


Keiryu Liên Shutt

Keiryu Liên Shutt

Rev. Keiryu Liên Shutt, LCSW, was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam. Her meditation practice began in the Insight tradition and led her to co-founding the Buddhists of Color. She started her Soto Zen training at Tassajara, San Francisco Zen Center's monastery. Ordained and Dharma transmitted by Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Liên has practiced monastically in Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Having worked for many years as a social worker in the field of homelessness, Liên’s teachings are focused on making Zen accessible to all, bringing the deep settledness of traditional practices into everyday life.

Rex Stromness

Rex Stromness

Rex Stromness had the good fortune to be introduced to both yoga and Zen meditation while studying at Sonoma State College in the mid-70s. After graduating he spent 10 years in Boulder, Colorado where he was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga and the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche. He and his wife Michele lead International yoga, meditation, and culture retreats in Bali, Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Kazuaki Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi is a calligrapher, painter, Zen scholar, and writer. Originally from Japan, he has had solo exhibitions worldwide. As a peace worker, Kaz is founding director of A World Without Armies. He is the editor of a recently published two-volume translation of Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Treasury of the True Dharma Eye as well as Heart of the Brush: The Splendour of East Asian Calligraphy and Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis, forthcoming from Shambhala Publications in March 2018.

Ango Sara Tashker

Ango Sara Tashker

Ango Sara Tashker has been a residential practitioner at San Francisco Zen Center since 2002. In 2011, she served as shuso (head student) at Tassajara with Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky and Sojun Mel Weitsman, and in 2013 was ordained as a priest. She currently serves as Director of Green Gulch Farm.

Koshin Steven Tierney

Koshin Steven Tierney

Koshin Steven Tierney, Ed.D. LPCC, is Professor of Counseling Psychology and Chair of the Community Mental Health Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. A certified addiction specialist, he is the Co- Founder of the San Francisco Mindfulness Foundation. Steven has been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 20 years. He was ordained by Dairyu Michael Wenger and served as shuso in 2013.

Kate Weese

Kate Weese

I grew up in a family that highly valued creativity and from an early age, my eyes were trained to see the beauty around me. Everything was scrutinized with sharp focus—composition, color, proportion were common words in our family’s vocabulary. I received an MFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design and practiced graphic design for many years before starting to paint. I was introduced to watercolor painting by my mother who took it up in her seventies, painting passionately for the remainder of her life. She taught me that it’s never too late to learn something new.

Pamela Weiss

Pamela Weiss

Pamela Weiss is an executive coach and the Founder and Chief Wisdom Officer of Appropriate Response. She is a pioneer in translating meditative practices into leadership development and organizational transformation. Pamela lived at SF Zen Center from 1987-1991, is trained by Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock, leads a weekly sitting group through San Francisco Insight and offers meditation retreats internationally.

Sojun Mel Weitsman

Sojun Mel Weitsman

Sojun Mel Weitsman is Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center, and a former Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center. He began practice with Suzuki Roshi in 1964, and was ordained as a priest in 1969. He received dharma transmission from Suzuki’s son Gyugaku Hoitsu Roshi in 1984. He has led many practice periods, ordained many students, given dharma transmission to a number of priests, and enjoys spreading Suzuki Roshi’s teaching. He especially welcomes beginners.


angel Kyodo williams

angel Kyodo williams

Called "the most intriguing (and vocal) African-American Buddhist" by Library Journal, angel Kyodo williams is an author, activist, master trainer and founder of the Center for Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of transformation and justice since her critically acclaimed book Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, and "a classic" by Buddhist pioneer Jack Kornfield. She is one of only two black women Zen "Senseis" or teachers. She applies wisdom teachings and embodied practice to intractable social issues at the intersections of climate change, racial and economic justice, and is a preeminent thought leader of Transformative Social Change. Her 27 Days of Change online program and 3rd Way Leadership supports changemakers in inner meets outer change worldwide. Her work has been widely covered, including in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Ms., and Essence. Her newest book collaboration is Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. angel notes: Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.

Dr. Lucy Xiao

Dr. Lucy Xiao

Dr. Lucy Xiao is a Zen priest and a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine. She started practicing at San Francisco Zen Center in 2000 and was Shuso (head monk) at Tassajara during the winter practice period in 2014. She lives at City Center and has an acupuncture practice in San Francisco.

Liping Julia Zhu

Liping Julia Zhu

Dr. Liping Julia Zhu, DAOM, L.Ac., founder of Qi Dragon Healing Center and Heavenly Essence Qigong Institute, has received direct transmission of Qigong and Taichi from her masters in China. She is the Qigong instructor at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and San Francisco State University and also has an acupuncture practice in San Francisco. www.qidragon.com