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Guest Teachers & Lecturers

The following list includes upcoming guest teachers and lecturers, as well as those who have taught or offered dharma talks at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center within the last 12 months.


Jennifer Block
Jennifer Block is an Interfaith minister and Buddhist chaplain who has practiced Zen, Insight Meditation, and Yoga since 1988. Her life’s work is providing spiritual care to people in crisis, mentoring caregivers, and teaching people how to access their innate capacity for caring and healing.



Lauren Bouyea
Lauren Bouyea began residential practice at Green Gulch Farm in 2003 as a farm and garden apprentice, and is currently Garden Manager. She received lay ordination in 2005 from Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts, and practiced at Tassajara for three years.



Ingen Breen
Ingen Breen received Dharma transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer. Ingen has been practicing Buddhism for over 20 years and lived in community for about 14 years. He has led sesshin and retreats in England, Sweden, Italy, Ireland and California, and is a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of America.



David Bullard, PhD
David has had a psychotherapy practice in San Francisco with individuals and couples for over 35 years, and enjoys writing and providing workshops about couples and intimacy for other therapists and health professionals. He is grateful for having had the opportunity of learning about Tibetan Buddhism from Robert Thurman , and about the poetry of life from David Whyte. He is clinical professor in medicine and medical psychology (psychiatry) at UCSF.



Laura Burges
Laura Burges is a lay entrusted teacher in the Soto Zen tradition. A teacher of children for 27 years, her work has been featured in the PBS special The Digital Divide and in the book Teach Our Children Well. She is active in bringing mindfulness practices into elementary classrooms. Laura co-founded the Sangha in Recovery program at the San Francisco Zen Center and lectures and leads retreats at different practice centers in Northern California.



Seido Lee deBarros
Seido Lee deBarros is a Dharma teacher in the Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage. He serves as a Buddhist chaplain at San Quentin prison and is a minister to the homeless and to hospice patients.



Jaune Evans
Jaune Evans has studied Zen since 1978. She was ordained as a priest by Bernie Glassman Roshi in 1983 at the Zen Community of New York. She continued studying Zen with Joko Beck, Robert Aitken, George Bowman, and Trudy Goodman. Her interest in ecumenicism has included religious study with Lex Hixon, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Mata Amritanandamayi, T.K.V. Desikachar, Joseph Goldstein, and Deena Metzger. Now a student of Norman Fischer and a priest in the Everyday Zen lineage, Jaune works as the Managing Director of Tamalpais Trust, which supports the protection of sacred lands and waters, cultural and human rights, gender empowerment and global alliance-building through the work of indigenous-led organizations.



Zoketsu Norman Fischer (Senior Dharma Teacher)
Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet, priest, and a former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center. He is founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation dedicated to sharing Zen teaching and practice widely with the world.



Chris Fortin
Chris Fortin is a Zen priest who has received Dharma transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer. She is a teacher in the Everyday Zen sangha, a MFT psychotherapist and Spiritual Counselor. She is co-founder of Honoring the Path of the Warrior and leads the women's Lotus Sangha in Sebastopol.



Lisa Myobun Freinkel
Lisa Myobun Freinkel received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a dissertation with Stephen Greenblatt on Renaissance literature. She received her lay ordination as a Zen Buddhist at Butsugenji Temple in Eugene, Oregon. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Freinkel is also a volunteer medical chaplain and a meditation instructor in university, prison and hospital environments. She teaches English and Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon where she also serves as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies.



Steve Gross
Steve Gross has worked as a financial planner for more than 25 years. His Buddhist practice began in 1994 and he has been a student of Zoketsu Norman Fischer since attending Company Time in 1996. He received lay ordination from Norman in 2006 and is an active member of the Everday Zen community.



Steven Harper
Steven Harper is a wilderness guide, author, and consultant. He has taught at Esalen Institute for over 25 years. A student of Buddhism since 1972, Steven has an M.A. in psychology. His work focuses on wild nature as a vehicle for awakening.



Alan Hawkins
Alan Hawkins received the bodhisattva precepts (jukai) in 1992 and works with bees at Green Gulch and in Tracy. In 2011, he facilitated the establishing of hives and harvesting honey at City Center in San Francisco.



Roger Housden
Roger Housden is an inspirational speaker and author of twenty books on art, travel, and poetry, all of which ask deep questions about the way we live and encourage us to live up to the best that we are. His latest book is Twenty Poems to Bless Your Marriage and One to Save It (Shambhala, December 2012). His work has been featured often in Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. You can find him at www.rogerhousden.com



Rev. Jiko Jane Lazar, SEP
Rev. Jiko Jane Lazar, SEP*, was ordained as a Zen Priest in 2005 by Tenshin Reb Anderson and has trained residentially at Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara for eleven years. She served as shuso with Abbot Steve Stücky in the Fall of 2009. Having discovered her own unresolved trauma through zazen, she found Somatic Experiencing® (SE) to be of profound help and a strong complement to Zen practice. Now a certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner*, she sees her work as helping others to develop the capacity to face difficult karma with presence and compassion. Jane was a certified trainer in Nonviolent Communication between 1995 and 2000.



Marc Lesser
Marc Lesser is the CEO and a co-founder of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), a company dedicated to promoting world peace through transforming organizational culture and supporting the development of enlightened leaders worldwide. The core program, developed at Google, offers training in mindfulness-based emotional intelligence grounded in science.



David Levy
David Levy, one of the founders of Company Time, is a technologist who worked at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) for many years. David now teaches at the University of Washington’s Information School, where he focuses on bringing mindfulness training and other contemplative practices to address problems of information overload and acceleration.



Lee Lipp
Lee Lipp, PhD, has a therapy practice in San Francisco and supervises at Haight Ashbury Psych Services. She has been a member of Thich Nhat Hahn’s Order of Interbeing, practicing Zen and Vipassana since 1990. She served as shuso (head student) at San Francisco Zen Center for the 2013 Winter Practice Period. Having taught in psychology graduate programs for 16 years, her most recent work has included being Diversity Coordinator at SFZC. She has taught Transforming Depression and Anxiety classes in venues that include Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, Zen Hospice Project, Tassajara Mountain Center, San Francisco Zen Center, East Bay Meditation Center, Gay Men’s Buddhist Sangha, SF Mental Health Association and San Francisco Department of Mental Health.

Patricia Meadows, SEP
Patricia Meadows, SEP*, is a certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner* and a holistic nurse counselor. She brings 40 years experience in nursing, nursing and healthcare education, counseling, healing and trauma resolution work. Currently, in her integrative private practice, she facilitates a somatic and process-oriented approach to healing and living more fully and authentically in the present.



Shohaku Okumura
Rev. Shohaku Okumura is the founding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, located in Bloomington, Indiana. He is one of the world's foremost teachers on Dogen's practice and philosophy.



Lane Olson
Lane Olson, MA, Faculty Emeritus at Sonoma State University, worked in higher education for over 25 years. With research interests in feminist spirituality, her university courses included Female Images of the Divine and Women in Theology, and her master’s thesis focused on the work of artist and activist Mayumi Oda. She has had a meditation practice since 1975.



ARobin Orden
ARobin Orden is a Senior Management Analyst with the City of Berkeley, currently in Public Works, and formerly in Finance as well as an Assistant to the Mayor. She was ordained as a Zen priest in 2008 by Norman Fischer.



Samantha Ostergaard
Samantha Ostergaard is a Zen student and yoga teacher who has used yoga to support her zazen practice for almost fifteen years. Her teaching of yoga is deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism, and in her retreats she teaches yoga as a meditative practice of paying close attention to the body, the breath, and the mental and emotional processes. Samantha lived and practiced at Tassajara for three years, receiving lay ordination from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2000.



Korin Charlie Pokorny
Korin Charlie Pokorny 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 holds a master’s degree from Stanford University in Religious Studies, and he has brought a breadth of perspective on the direction that Soto Zen is taking in the world today through his recent position as director of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.



Erica Reischer, PhD
Erica Reischer, PhD, is a local psychologist, mom and parent coach in private practice in Oakland who is passionate about helping moms and dads be mindful, loving and effective parents. She received a PhD in psychology/human development from the University of Chicago, and was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Grant, a National Institutes of Health Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship for her research. For more information, please visit www.DrEricaR.com.



Martina Schneider
Martina Schneider, MS, trained by Jack Kornfield, has taught at a variety of meditation centers across the US. She brings nonsectarian mindfulness practices to businesses, her social justice work, and her psychotherapy practice.

Annie Somerville
Annie Somerville, a former resident of SF Zen Center, is currently the Executive Chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, and has earned a national reputation for her imaginative approach to vegetarian cooking. Somerville is a popular teacher of cooking classes throughout the Bay Area, and is the author of Fields of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant and Everyday Greens. Her work and recipes have been featured in many publications, including Gourmet, Food and Wine, Ladies Home Journal, and Vegetarian Times.



Patricia Sullivan
Patricia’s teaching arises from 40 years of practice, and includes many streams of study. Her exploration of yoga began in 1971, and she studied in India with the Iyengars on three occasions in the 1980s. She taught Advanced Studies (teachers-in-training) throughout the 1990s and early 2000s before embarking on her own independent studies.



Michael Joshin Thiele
Michael Joshin Thiele lived and practiced at Green Gulch Farm for 8 years and received lay ordination in 2001. In 2007 he co-founded The Melissa Garden, one of the first Honey Bee Sanctuaries in the US. He created Gaia Bees as an educational & resource platform in 2009 and teaches Apiculture classes in the US and abroad.



Sojun Mel Weitsman
Sojun Mel Weitsman began practice at the old Sokoji Temple in San Francisco in 1964 with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He received priest ordination from Suzuki Roshi in 1969 at Berkeley Zendo which he founded in 1967 with Suzuki Roshi's blessing. In 1984, he received dharma transmission from Suzuki Roshi's son, Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi. From 1988 to 1997, he was co-abbot of San Francisco Zen Center. He is currently a San Francisco Zen Center senior dharma teacher and continues as Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center.



Nina Wise
Nina Wise is an artist who has invented a compelling form of physical autobiographical theater. She is a teacher of improvisation and also teaches contemplative practice at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Her performance works have garnered seven Bay Area Critics’ Circle Awards, and she has received, among other prestigious honors, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. She wrote the book, A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life.



Liping Julia Zhu
Liping Julia Zhu, LAc, is a certified qigong instructor from China and a disciple of Taoist Master Yu Anren. She is the qigong instructor at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a licensed acupuncturist, and a former resident of San Francisco Zen Center.