Eli Brown-Stevenson

Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Greeting the world with a warm bow, Eli has spent the past decade living at the San Francisco Zen Center’s Tassajara and City Center. He is currently a resident priest in the city and serves as the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the three temples.

Prior to joining SFZC, Eli worked in the secular world, most notably in for-profit education and as a benefits liaison for employee wellness programs. After a decade of exploring various practices, he decided to leave the corporate world and immerse himself in formal residential practice.

Eli’s Zen practice is deeply influenced by his main teacher, Maya—his daughter whom he met when she was born in 2017. In 2019, Eli received priest ordination from Abbot Ed Sattizahn and was given the Dharma name So-On Gen Kan, which means "Ancestor Warmth Present Completely." Eli was the shuso (head student) for the Fall 2022 practice period at City Center.

In addition to his work at SFZC, Eli is dedicated to serving the surrounding communities. He teaches mindfulness to BIPOC grade school children and regularly instructs at SFZC's Young Urban Zen, a group for young adults.

His heart is deeply committed to the communities of which he is a part.