Dōshin Mako Voelkel began formal practice at San Francisco Zen Center Beginner’s Mind Temple in 1997 and entered residency in 2001. In 2002, they left a philosophy teaching position at City College of San Francisco in order to enter monastic practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Mako received priest ordination from Ryushin Paul Haller in 2004 and was Shuso in 2009. After ten years at Tassajara serving in a variety of positions, including Fire Marshall, Work Leader, Tenzo, Ino, and Director, Mako departed for a year-long pilgrimage through Asia and Europe. In 2013, they moved to Austin Zen Center to become Tanto, and in 2017 became the Head Teacher there. Mako received Dharma transmission from Ryushin Paul Haller in 2018. In 2022, Mako accepted the invitation from the SFZC Board of Directors to become Abiding Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center Beginner’s Mind Temple. Mako formally ascended the mountain seat in March 2023 and is now the City Center Abiding Abbot.
Mako is a full member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA), the American Zen Teachers Association (AZTA), and the GenX Buddhist Teachers Sangha.