Heather Shoren Iarusso first moved to Tassajara in June 2008 thinking she’d stay for six months. Her spiritual sabbatical morphed into a way of life, residing amid the peace and beauty of the monastic valley for seven years aggregate. Heather was ordained as a Zen Priest in October 2014 by Teah Strozer, who served as the guiding teacher for Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) for many years. Heather worked at BZC for two years as the Ino (Head of Meditation Hall), program director, communications coordinator, and the interim executive director.
Heather has served in various practice roles at Tassajara including the Ino, Tenzo (Head Cook), Shika (Guest Manager), and the Shuso (Head Student) with Senior Dharma Teacher Paul Haller. She’s completed twelve, 90-day practice periods at Tassajara and has also participated in meditation intensives with Pema Chodron, Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi, Shohaku Okumura Roshi, and Shodo Harada Roshi. Heather holds master’s degrees in communications, creative writing, and English literature. She’s currently the director and head of practice for San Francisco Zen Center’s online practice center.