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Retreat Leaders

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.



Eijun Linda Cutts

Eijun Linda Cutts came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1971 and was ordained as a priest in 1975. She has lived at Tassajara and City Center, and has resided at Green Gulch since 1993. She served as Abbess of SFZC from 2000 to 2007, and as Abiding Abbess of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center from 2010 to 2014. She is currently SFZC's Central Abbess. She has been co-leading Yoga-Zen retreats for many years at both Tassajara and Green Gulch.



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. She has two grown children and lives at Tassajara with her husband.



Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet, author, Zen priest, and former Abbot of Zen Center. He is founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation, dedicated to sharing Zen teaching and practice widely in the world. He is the guiding teacher to several Zen groups, including in the Bay Area, Washington state, Vancouver, B.C., New York City, and Mexico. He co-founded Makor Or, a Jewish Meditation Center in San Francisco, with the late Rabbi Alan Lew. His most recent books are The Strugglers, a collection of long poems(Singing Horse Press, 2012), and Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong(Shambhala, 2013).



Kiku Christina Lehnherr

Kiku Christina Lehnherr, City Center Abiding Abbess, has a degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a psychotherapist in Switzerland before becoming a resident at San Francisco Zen Center in 1988. Ordained as a priest in 1993, she received Dharma Transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2005. She leads the Mountain Source Sangha in San Rafael and the Tiburon Sitting Group and is available for Practice Counseling and Buddhist Ceremonies.



Sojun Mel Weitsman

Sojun Mel Weitsman is Abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center, and a former Abbot of the 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.




Shosan Victoria Austin

Shosan Victoria Austin came to Zen practice in 1971. She was ordained by Zentatsu Richard Baker in 1982 and received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1999. Since her first Iyengar Yoga practice in 1978 and her first “Yoga for Sitters” class offering in 1984, she has explored how these two disciplines of mindful action support and sustain each other. She currently teaches at San Francisco Zen Center, the Iyengar Yoga Institute, Abode of Iyengar Yoga, and other venues around the country.




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.



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.



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.



Christine Bailey

Christine Bailey received her Master's of Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has been exhibited in venues including The Baltimore Contemporary Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the New Museum, NY. Awards include Maryland State Arts Council grants for Drawing and Photography, a Faculty Development Grant from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and a Semifinalist award for the Sondheim Prize. She believes that everyone can learn to draw and has taught art to all ages and levels.



Christy Brown

Christy Brown has studied with Pattabhi Jois, S.N. Goenka, Sarah Powers, Paul Grilley, John Friend, Desikachar, and the Dalai Lama. Emphasizing mindfulness, breath and alignment, cultivating one's highest wellbeing for the benefit of all beings, and drawing on various yoga traditions and Buddhist philosophy, Christy weaves a creatively flowing, invigorating yet calming, centering yet expanding exploration of Self through Asana. ChristyBrownYoga.com



Nomon Tim Burnett

Nomon Tim Burnett is a Zen priest and dharma heir of Zoketsu Norman Fischer. He is the guiding teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community, a Zen sangha in Bellingham Washington he co-founded in 1991. Tim is the Executive Director of Mindfulness Northwest and teaches mindfulness classes at the University of Washington Medical School and in the Bellingham and Seattle communities

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Zenshin Florence Caplow

Zenshin Florence Caplow is an itinerant Soto Zen priest, Vipassana practitioner, editor, and writer. Her most recent book is Record of the Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women.



Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan has been teaching Yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988 and was a professional dancer for 27 years. Shokuchi received priest ordination from Tenshin Reb Anderson in March 2010 and currently serves as the Conference Coordinator at Green Gulch Farm.



Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain received dharma transmission in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi from Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi. Greg is married and currently serves as tanto (head of practice) at Tassajara. His intention is to encourage you in your practice.



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.



Shinchi Linda Galijan, Ph.D.

Shinchi Linda Galijan, Ph.D., was ordained by Sojun Mel Weitsman in 2004 and received Dharma Transmission from him in 2012. She has been a professional musician, a massage therapist, and a licensed clinical psychologist, and has practiced yoga for over 20 years. She currently serves as Director of Tassajara.




Rosemary Garrison

Rosemary Garrison brings ten years of teaching experience and over 15 years of practice to her students. She offers a gentle, yet strong touch and consistently beckons her students into the deeper layers of the practice, encouraging a pathway to greater awareness, transformation and peace.



Lisa Hardmeyer Gray

Lisa Hardmeyer Gray is a senior student of Shodo Harada Roshi having practiced with him for 25 years. Lisa teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at counseling centers, to young parents, and to veterans through Mindfulness Northwest and other agencies. She is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.



Dario Doshin Girolami

Dario Doshin Girolami is a Zen Teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He founded Centro Zen L’Arco in Rome, Italy, where he teaches Zen and Tai Chi Chuan. He holds a Degree in Indian and Eastern Religions and Philosophies, and is an authorized teacher of Tai Chi Chuan.



Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Jimmie Dale Gilmore has spent a lifetime performing, recording, songwriting with his longtime partners the Flatlanders. Thrice Grammy nominated, he has been twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone. He practices Buddhism with his wife Janet, and Anam Thubten Rinpoche.



Steven Harper, M.A.

Steven Harper is a wilderness guide, author, and consultant. He has taught at Esalen Institute for 30 years and is a resident of Big Sur. A student of Buddhism since 1972, he also has an M.A. in Psychology.




Shundo David Haye

Shundo David Haye came from England to Zen Center to begin his practice in 2000. Since then he has lived at City Center and Tassajara, following the traditional monastic training path. He has served as work leader at Tassajara, tenzo (head of the kitchen) and ino (head of the meditation hall) at City Center, and currently holds the position of director at City Center. He was ordained as a priest in 2009 by Ryushin Paul Haller, and was head monk at Tassajara in the fall of 2012. He helps to run the Young Urban Zen group in the city, and loves to be outdoors, either on a bicycle or taking photographs.



Seido Jamie Howell

Seido Jamie Howell is a dharma entrusted teacher in the Suzuki lineage and former musician who had played the Avalon and written songs.



James Higgins

James Higgins composes mindful yoga practices with his vipassana meditation experience. Offering a unique, appealing class focused on the integration of physical, mental and emotional wellness, each class holds the intention for peaceful healing, personal evolution, and a deeper understanding of the heart.



Jane Hirshfield

Internationally renowned poet Jane Hirshfield received lay-ordination in Soto Zen in 1979. She appeared in the 2010 PBS documentary The Buddha and her work appears in the 2013 editions of The Best Spiritual Writing, The Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her most recent book is Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011).




Lisa Jansen

Lisa Marie Jansen, CYT, has 30 years experience as a yogi, with 14 years experience as a teacher and energy facilitator. She includes Hatha, Yin, & Therapeutic Yoga in her classes. Her style is warm and supportive, offering a practice for everyone. Find out more by visiting lisayoga.com.



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.



Rusan Dale Kent

Rusan Dale Kent, author of Tassajara Dinners & Desserts, lived and practiced at Tassajara for many years. He spent much of his time in the kitchen cooking and serving as tenzo (head cook). Currently he is a resident priest at City Center, and is employed as a professional chef.




Denise Kirpal Lapides

Denise Kirpal Lapides fuses her life on and off the mat by balancing study, family, spiritual practice, work, play and stillness. Decades of practice, learning to see challenges as opportunities, and humor inspire her instruction. Denise teaches yoga, is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, and the Director of Teacher Training for DiviniTree Yoga and Arts Studio.



Jeremy Levie

Jeremy Levie has lived and practiced at San Francisco Zen Center since 1995. He was ordained by Eijun Linda Cutts in 2005 and trained as shuso with her in 2009. He currently serves as tanto at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, where he lives with his wife and daughter.




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.



Lee Klinger Lesser

Lee Klinger Lesser has been leading workshops in Sensory Awareness for over 30 years. She led workshops together with Charlotte Selver, founder of Sensory Awareness in the United States. Lee began studying Zen in 1978 and appreciates the deep interconnectedness of these practices. She co-founded Honoring the Path of the Warrior, offering mindfulness retreats for returning veterans.




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.



Darcy Lyon

Darcy Lyon is a certified Anusara Yoga instructor and a Marriage and Family Therapist intern. Reflecting an exuberant playfulness, her classes are based in Anusara's Principles of Alignment which support body, mind and heart to live with deep strength, wisdom and ease.



Jackie McGrath, MA

Jackie McGrath is an executive coach committed to supporting leaders toward greater authenticity, presence, and power. She has lectured extensively on the topic of personal creativity and innovative leadership, and has been a guest lecturer at Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Engineering. Jackie holds a BS in Engineering and a Master’s in Organizational Psychology, and is a Certified Professional Coach.




Andrew Mellen

Andrew J. Mellen is an author, speaker, and professional organizer. He can be found on the web. He’s been called “The Most Organized Man in America,” for good reason—as an organizer and workshop leader, he has helped thousands of people across the U.S. to unclutter their lives and gain time for the things that are really important … which often aren’t even things at all.



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.




Djuna Mascall

Djuna Mascall illuminates yoga through her extensive knowledge of anatomy, alignment, and the wisdom of yoga and Buddhist dharma. She is a Prajna Yoga Senior teacher (Tias Little) with 10 years’ experience and offers Prajna workshops nationally.



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 and There is No Long Distance Now.




Lirio Ohlson

Lirio Ohlson M.A., E-RYT 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.



Samantha Ostergaard

Samantha Ostergaard’s yoga teaching is deeply influenced by the transformational three years she spent living and practicing at Tassajara. She has been practicing Iyengar yoga for 20 years and teaching it for 9 years, and specializes in therapeutic yoga for back and neck pain. Samantha is a licensed acupuncturist with a private practice in San Francisco.




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 has been immersed in the study, practice and teaching of yoga since 1989. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher; her classes emphasize alignment and awareness. Athena believes that yoga is a multi-faceted gem, offering skills that inspire practitioners toward experiencing peaceful and contented lives.



Korin Charlie Pokorny, M.A.

Korin Charlie Pokorny was ordained as a priest by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1999. He practiced as a resident at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center for 12 years. Charlie and his partner, Dojin Sarah Emerson, are head priests at Stone Creek Zen Center. He also teaches at the Institute of Buddhist Studies.



Daiyu Judith Randall

Daiyu Judith Randall came to Zen Center in 2000 after working in Quaker organizations and hospice social work. She was ordained as a priest by Paul Haller in 2004 and lived and practiced at Tassajara for 10 years. Currently she is assistant to the Abiding Abbot at City Center.



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. Diane lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a professional consulting ecologist.




Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler

Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He has trained full time at Zen temples in the U.S. and Japan since the age of 20, in 1996.



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.




Al Staehely

Al Staehely’s songs have been recorded by Spirit, Keith Moon, Marty Balin, John Cipollina, Nick Gravenites, Bobbie Gentry, and Peter Cox (Go West singer), the Staehely Bros., as well as his solo albums. He is also a music attorney. Clients: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Paul Kantner, Johnny Nash, Doug Sahm, Blue October.



Brother David Steindl-Rast

Brother David Steindl-Rast (Christian) is a life-long Benedictine monk. His Zen teachers include HakuunYasutani Roshi, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and Eido Shimano Roshi. Brother David serves a worldwide Network for Grateful Living.




Janet Stone

Janet Stone traveled to India in 1996 where she met a powerful yogi and became dedicated to a conscious evolution through yoga. As one of San Francisco's premiere yoga instructors, Janet blends a wealth of knowledge and yoga experience to create a unique, vigorous-yet-sumptuous approach to Vinyasa yoga that effortlessly melds awareness with movement and breath. She also teaches workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats all over the world.



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.



Sarita Tamayo-Moraga

Sarita Tamayo-Moraga, Ph.D. is a Zen priest and Dharma heir in the Suzuki-roshi lineage. She began practicing meditation and studying with Darlene Cohen in 1999. Sarita was debilitated by a chronic repetitive strain injury soon after she began sitting. This life-changing injury led her to connect with Darlene’s emphasis on chronic illness as a way to penetrate suffering. She continued to work with Darlene until her death around the transformation of suffering in the body and through the body with zazen as the primary focal point.



Ango Sara Tashker

Ango Sara Tashker has been an organic farmer and 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 Soto Zen Priest. She currently serves as Director of Green Gulch Farm, where she lives and practices with her family.



Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan’s 37 years of experience teaching yoga bring a natural joy and ease of being through emphasis on process, exploration, and individual attention. She contributes this depth of experience in teacher trainings and retreats for various institutions, and in one-to-one therapeutic sessions. Patricia has been co-leading Tassajara Yoga-Zen retreats for 27 years..




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. Kaz is the editor of a two volume translation of Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Shobo Genzo, published in July 2011. His book Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan was published in October 9, 2012.

For more information on Kaz and his other publications, visit his web site:
www.brushmind.net



Ko Shin Steven Tierney

Steven Tierney, Ed.D. CAS 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 and was ordained by Michael Wenger on January 6, 2013.



Do-On Robert Thomas

Do-On Robert Thomas is a Zen priest and teacher with Dharma Transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer. His teaching is focused on helping people extend the deeply grounded yet expansive awareness of Zen meditation into the activities of daily life. He is also a visiting Dharma teacher at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM.




Jisan Anna Thorn

Jisan Anna Thorn has been practicing at all three temples of San Francisco Zen Center since 1995. She received priest ordination in 2003 from Tenshin Reb Anderson and was shuso (head monk) in 2007 under Abbot Ryushin Paul Haller. She was an assistant teacher for the Program Establishing the Path of Practice at City Center and has been a practice leader at City Center. Anna currently lives at Green Gulch Farm, where she is a practice leader and serves as Guest Program Manager.



Unzan Mako Voelkel

Unzan Mako Voelkel has been practicing at San Francisco Zen Center since 1997. In 2002, she ended a teaching position in Philosophy at the City College of San Francisco to become a full time resident at Tassajara. Ordained by Ryushin Paul Haller in 2004 and Shuso at Tassajara in 2009, she has served in several senior staff positions, most recently as the Tassajara Director. In 2012 she and her partner Graham Ross took a year of travel in Asia and Europe before becoming co-Tantos at the Austin Zen Center, where they now live and practice.




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 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.



Liping Julia Zhu

Liping Zhu L.Ac. is a certified Qigong and Taichi 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 former resident of SF Zen Center and currently has an acupuncture practice in San Francisco.




Kanzan David Zimmerman

Kanzan David Zimmerman has been practicing Zen for over 20 years, was ordained by Rev. Teah Strozer in 2006, and spent 8 years at Tassajara. He currently lives at City Center where he serves as SFZC Program Director, is a co-facilitator of Queer Dharma, and co-leads workshops on "Transforming Depression and Anxiety" with Dr. Lee Lipp.