Hoitsu Suzuki Hoitsu Suzuki is the son of San Francisco Zen Center's founding teacher, Shunryu Suzuki. He visits Zen Center intermittently, often to assist with formal ceremonies, such as the Mountain Seat (installation of abbots/abbesses) and events related to the history and teachings of Suzuki Roshi. He is generally addressed as Hojo-san.
Sojun Mel Weitsman Sojun Mel Weitsman is a San Francisco Zen Center senior dharma teacher and Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center. He received priest ordination from Suzuki Roshi in 1969 and in 1984 he received dharma transmission from Suzuki Roshi's son, Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi.
Zentatsu Richard Baker Zentatsu Richard Baker received Dharma Transmission from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1971 and was the second abbot of Zen Center, serving from 1971 until 1983. He was instrumental in the purchase of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Green Gulch Farm. He was also the leading force in setting up Zen Center's financial base of support, including Greens Restaurant at Fort Mason and Tassajara Bakery in San Francisco. Although the circumstances leading to his resignation in 1984 were difficult and complex, there has been a renewal of friendship and Dharma relations. In his teaching, Baker emphasized Zen's yogic teachings and the relevance of Zen to contemporary philosophical and social issues. After leaving SF Zen Center in 1984, he subsequently founded Dharma Sangha in Crestone, Colorado and a Dharma Sangha Center in Germany.
Dairyu Michael Wenger Dairyu Michael Wenger received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman and is the author of Thirty Three Fingers, a collection of modern American koans, and editor of the book Wind Bell. He practiced at SF Zen Center from 1972 and is now the guiding teacher at Dragons Leap in San Francisco. His expanded collection of modern American koans, 49 Fingers, was published in 2011.
Myozen Joan Amaral began Zen practice in 1998, received priest ordination from Darlene Cohen in 2004, and was head student at San Francisco Zen Center with Zenkei Blanche Hartman in 2009. Her interest in zazen grew out of a background in dance and she continues to be interested in the ways that movement and the cultivation of energy can support the practice of stillness.
Daigan Gaither Daigan Gaither began Buddhist practice in 1995 as an Vipassana practitioner, and began to study Zen in 2003 with Ryushin Paul Haller. He received Lay Ordination in 2006 and Priest Ordination in 2011. His work and practice include many hours devoted to community service as one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and a volunteer caregiver with Zen Hospice Project .
Lucy Xiao, L.Ac. Lucy Xiao, L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in both California and nationally, and a resident and ordained priest at San Francisco Zen Center. She is currently running a private practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine in San Francisco and pursuing a doctoral program in Oriental Medicine at the Five Branches University.
Dainin Marsha Angus Dainin Marsha Angus received Jukai in 1979, was shuso at City Center in 2007 and was given Lay Entrustment by Dairyu Michael Wenger in 2010. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Mill Valley since 1975. She leads three meditation groups in the Bay Area.
Ayya Anandabodhi Ayya Anandabodhi has been practicing meditation since 1989. She first came across the Buddha's teaching on the Four Noble Truths at the age of 14 and felt a deep confidence that the Buddha knew the way out of suffering. She has lived in Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in the UK from 1992 until 2009, training with the Community of Siladhara under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Sucitto.
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.
Based in San Francisco, Jennifer is a nationally recognized educator and consultant to many organizations and businesses, conducting workshops that bridge spiritual, hospice, and contemplative care modalities.
As one of the first Buddhist chaplains in the country, Jennifer brings 12+ years of hospice, grief, and chaplaincy experience to her work with caregivers, clinicians, chaplaincy students, and especially those who are facing the spiritual and emotional issues related to aging, sickness, dying and grief. Her skills as an engaging teacher and facilitator are matched by the ease and authenticity of her caregiving practice.
Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge is the resident minister of the Buddhist Church of Oakland. Ordained in the Nishi Hongwanji branch of Jodo Shinshu, Rev. Bridge received his education at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California, and Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan. As a multiracial person of both Anglo-American and Japanese heritage, he tries to live up to his family name by navigating between both cultures.
Dr. Ernest Brown Dr. Ernest Brown received a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology from the Institute of Integral Studies. He has held leadership roles in many Go organizations, and is the clinical director of a day treatment program for adolescents in San Francisco.
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.
Fugan Eugene Bush, D.D. Fugan Eugene Bush, D.D. began formal practice in 1982 and received Dharma transmission from Katherine Thanas in 2010. Gene currently serves as the Administrator of Santa Cruz Zen Center. He also teaches the traditional practice of sewing Buddha’s Robe (rakusu and okesa). His paid work is as teacher in a public alternative high school in Santa Cruz, California. He is most interested in the ways in which formal practice trains us for everyday life.
Junsei Jana Drakka Junsei Jana Drakka is a disciple of Zenkei Blanche Hartman. She became a priest in 2001, was Head Student in 2005, and became a practice leader in 2007. Jana ministers to low-income and homeless people and is on the board of Religious Witness with Homeless People. She received Dharma Transmission from Zenkei Blanche Hartman in May 2009.
Anushka Fernandopulle Anushka Fernandopulle has trained in meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition for over 20 years in the US and Asia. Other influences have been mystics from various cultures and traditions, creative arts, nature, service work, progressive social change movements, and modern urban life. Anushka teaches retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, and around the country.
Senior Dharma Teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet and Zen Buddhist priest. For many years he has taught at the San Francisco Zen Center, the oldest and largest of the new Buddhist organizations in the West, where he served as Co-abbot from 1995-2000. He is presently a Senior Dharma Teacher there as well as the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen Foundation, an organization dedicated to adapting Zen Buddhist teachings to Western culture.
Ryuge Gil Fronsdal Ryuge Gil Fronsdal was ordained as a Zen priest at SFZC and received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. He has a doctorate in Buddhist Studies from Stanford University. He is a guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City. His translation of the Dhammapada is published by Shambhala Publications.
Issho Fujita Issho Fujita was born in Japan in 1954. He studied developmental/clinical psychology at Tokyo University. When he was a PhD student, at the age of 27, he attended a week-long Zen sesshin at Enkaku-ji, a traditional Rinzai monastery in Kamakura. Eventually he dropped out of graduate school to study Zen full time and entered Antai-ji, a Soto Zen monastery. In 2010, he was assigned to be Director of Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. Issho is interested in inventing new and fun ways to articulate the depth of the simple practice of shikantaza (just sitting).
Philippe Goldin, Ph.D. Philippe Goldin, Ph.D., spent 6 years in India and Nepal studying various languages, Buddhist philosophy and debate at Namgyal Monastery and the Dialectic Monastic Institute, and serving as an interpreter for various Tibetan Buddhist lamas. He has since become a noted researcher in Clinical Psychology at Stanford University.
Destiny Goldsberry Destiny Goldsberry teaches yoga in ways that support and empower people in believing in themselves. She is a pioneer of Forrest Yoga and teaches with grace, dignity, and compassion. She teaches from a place of intuition, compassion, and wisdom and continues to call upon Spirit for guidance into her teaching. Destiny creates a sacred hoop for her students to explore what is truth for both their life and mat practice and gives tools for one to walk with courage into their authentic self.
Jody Greene Jody Greene has been a zen practitioner since 2001, practicing in both lay and monastic settings. She teaches Vinyasa Flow yoga and meditation at Yoga Tree in San Francisco.
Jody Greene came to the practice of Vinyasa Flow yoga in 2002, initially with the sole intention of finding greater ease in her meditation practice. She got more than she bargained for, and now teaches yoga and meditation both privately and at Yoga Tree in San Francisco.
Rita M. Gross Rita M. Gross is internationally known for her innovative work on gender and religion. She is also a Buddhist Dharma teacher, having been appointed to that position by Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. Rita Gross gives original engaging talks on a wide variety of topics and can lead meditation retreats of varying lengths. She specializes in bringing together the values and perspective of academic research and Buddhist Dharma teachings.
Lisa Hoffman Lisa Hoffman studied with and received Zen priest ordination from Darlene Surei Kenpo Cohen in the Shunryu Suzuki Roshi lineage at Russian River Zendo and San Francisco Zen Center. Lisa integrates compassion and awareness practices as she teaches mindfulness and meditation to groups and offers spiritual guidance to individuals. Lisa’s passion is to offer classic teachings in ways that are relevant and helpful to the complexities and challenges of 21st century life, from navigating complicated relationships with ourselves and others, to handling 24/7 communications and information overload. Lisa also brings 25 years of experience and enthusiasm to nonprofit fund and board development, facilitation, and coaching.
Michael Hofmann Michael Hofmann recently moved to Sonoma County from Kyoto, Japan, where he lived for more than 30 years as an artist and a disciple of the master Nanga painter and Zen priest, Jikihara Gyokusei. Jikihara Sensei, who died in 2005 at age 101, was famous for his series of ox-herding pictures and the sliding doors he painted in temples throughout Japan.
Michael has had solo exhibitions of his work in galleries and museums throughout Japan. He has illustrated various Buddhist classics, including The Hojoki and The Sayings of Layman P'ang, as well as Liza Dalby's novel Hidden Buddhas. He painted the sliding doors of Sowing the Moon teahouse at Green Gulch. Michael offers classes at various cultural centers including the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum.
Jamie Howell Jamie Howell, Kogen Seido, began his Zen Practice with Joshu Sasaki Roshi in 1979 at the Mount Baldy Zen Center. In 1983, when he was living in San Francisco and his eldest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, Jamie began to study with Michael Wenger at the San Francisco Zen Center. He was Chairman of the Board of San Francisco Zen Center in 2004 and 2005 and was shuso at City Center in 2006. In 2011, Jamie received lay Dharma Entrustment from Michael Wenger.
Rik Isensee Rik Isensee, LCSW, is the author of three self-help books for gay men. He also wrote Shift Your Mood, which looks at the intersection between mindfulness and personal growth. Rik was initially exposed to mindfulness in a workshop with Joseph Goldstein during Naropa’s first summer institute in 1974. Rik practices psychotherapy in San Francisco.
Ryotan Cynthia Kear Ryotan Cynthia Kear (Horyu Ryotan-Dharma Stream Completely Overflowing) has been practicing Soto Zen Buddhism for over twenty years. She received Jukai (lay ordination) from Zen Center Abbot Paul Haller in 2004. In 2008 she was given Shuke Tokudo (priest ordination) by Darlene Cohen, her heart teacher, from who she also received Dharma Transmission in December 2010.
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.
Marcia Lieberman Marcia Leiberman is a lay-ordained practitioner who has been affiliated with SFZC since 1989. A staff gardener at Green Gulch Farm, she is currently head gardener at City Center where she oversees the Gardening at the Urban Temple project, is environmental steward, and beekeeper of rooftop hives. She works with landscape architects documenting public spaces and is an aesthetic pruner (anything under six feet tall). Her career as a photographer has included academic positions at University of California, Berkeley, and California College of Art teaching about time and space.
Dr. Lee Lipp Lee Lipp, Ph.D. 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. 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.
Dr. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel Dr. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author, visual artist, drummer, and Zen Buddhist priest, lives in Oakland, CA where she teaches at East Bay Meditation Center and leads a small practice group in her home. She was ordained by Blanche Hartman and her priest training is being guided by Abbess Kiku Christina Lehnherr. Zenju was shuso/head student for the Fall 2012 Practice Period at City Center, which is being led by the Abbess.
Denkei Raul Moncayo Denkei Raul Moncayo was born and raised in Chile as a Chilean-American citizen. He has engaged in continuous and intensive practice since 1978 under Sojun Roshi at the Berkeley Zen Center, where he is a practice leader. Lay ordained in 1985; head student during the 1992 practice period; priest ordination in 1999; and Dharma Transmission in 2010.
Denkei Raul Moncayo es de origen Chileno-Americano y ha practicado en el Berkeley Zen Center desde 1978 con el maestro Sojun Roshi, quien fue discipulo directo de Suzuki-Roshi. Denkei recibio la transmision del dharma en el 2010.
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.
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.
Robert Rosenbaum Robert Rosenbaum, Ph.D., Meikyo Onza (Clear Mirror Calm Sitting), began Zen practice in 1971 with Joshu Sasaki Roshi and has been practicing at Berkeley Zen Center since 1988. Bob is also a senior teacher of dayan (wild goose) qigong.
Ed Sattizahn After meeting Suzuki Roshi in 1970, Ed Sattizahn lived at Tassajara from 1973 to 1977. He spent the next five years at City Center, serving as Zen Center's Vice President and President. From 1983 to 2000 Ed held various executive positions in the microcomputer software industry and developed familiarity with how the world works. In 2003, he was Shuso at Green Gulch Farm and in the same year co-founded Vimala Sangha in Mill Valley with Lew Richmond.
Laurie Schley Senauke Laurie Schley Senauke, Ekai Uji (Cherishing Ocean Being Time), started formal Zen practice in 1980 at San Francisco Zen Center; she worked at Greens restaurant back in the day, and lived at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center for three years.
Keiryu Liên Shutt Rev. Keiryu Liên Shutt, was ordained in 2005 with Zenkei Blanche Hartman. Born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam, she began her meditation practice in the Insight tradition of Spirit Rock and later trained at Tassajara and Asian monasteries. She is a founding member of the Buddhists of Color (founded in 1998). Liên offers retreats, workshops and practice discussions at SFZC and East Bay Meditation Center, where she is also one of the teachers of the Alphabet Sangha.
Zachary Smith - Anshi Daigi Zachary Smith, Anshi Daigi, has been practicing since 1993, took jukai in 1995, and was shuso under Abbot Paul Haller in Fall of 2007. He currently directs North Mountain Zendo, a zazenkai group in North Beach. In addition to his involvement with Zen, Zachary is a husband and father (of 4), an engineer, a musician, a bike fanatic, and an avid but mediocre poet. He may be the only person in the history of Zen in the West to have interrupted a residential practice period to tour with a rock band.
Myogen Kathryn Stark Myogen Kathryn Stark, M.A., M.Div., began Zen practice 22 years ago at Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Zen Centers. In 2003, she received priest ordination from Sobun Katherine Thanas, Abbot of Santa Cruz Zen Center. She has trained both in Japan and at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Kathryn recently completed studies at the Graduate Theological Union and Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley receiving both a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies and a Master of Divinity in Buddhist Studies with a specialty in Buddhist Chaplaincy. She is currently employed full-time at Hospice of Santa Cruz County as an Interfaith Chaplain.
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.
Ko Shin Steven Tierney Ko Shin 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. He is also a certified addiction specialist. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Educational Officer of the San Francisco Mindfulness Foundation, providing relapse prevention and mindfulness-based services to individuals and families.
Steven has been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 20 years and been a member of the SFZC for 15 years. He has been teaching on topics of meditation, mindfulness, addiction and mental health for more than a decade and is a regular teacher at the Sangha at the Center, and the meditation for people in recovery programs at SFZC.
Ikushin Dana Velden Ikushin Dana Velden was ordained by Ryushin Paul Haller in 2002. She lived and practiced at San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara for over 16 years and recently moved to the East Bay where she continues to sit, teach and write. You can read her thoughts about food, cooking and practice on her Weekend Meditation blog in The Kitchn.
Tim Wicks Born in Utah and raised in London, Tim Wicks studied fine art at San Francisco State University and received his MFA with distinction from California College of Arts and Crafts. He studied for four years with Spirit Rock teacher Eugene Cash. Impressed with Mahayana Buddhism and the bodhisattva ideal he studied with Michael Wenger, received lay ordination (jukai) in 2006, and is now preparing for priest ordination. He has worked with Buddhists in recovery at San Francisco Zen Center for over ten years and has led the Friday night recovery meeting at Hartford Street Zen Center for two years.
Liping Julia Zhu Liping Julia Zhu, L.Ac., founder of Qi Dragon Healing Center and a gold medalist in the 1996 International Martial Arts Tournament, is a certified Qigong and Taichi instructor from China and teaches Qigong at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Renshin Bunce Renshin Bunce, a former resident of Zen Center, and currently a sewing teacher and photographer,
was priest ordained with Zenkei Blanche Hartman in 2003; was Shuso with Myogen-roshi at Tassajara in 2008; and received Dharma Transmission from him in 2013. She currently works as a hospice chaplain.
Gib Robinson Gib Robinson is a retired professor of Renaissance English Literature who came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1976. He is a founding director of Vimala Sangha in Mill Valley, where Lew Richmond is the founding teacher.
Arinna Weisman Arinna Weisman has studied insight meditation since 1979 and has been teaching since 1989. Her root teacher is Ruth Denison, who was empowered by the great teacher U Bha Khin. She is the founding teacher of Insight Meditation Center of the Pioneer Valley. Her Dharma practice and teaching have been infused with her political and environmental activism. She was the first out queer teacher with Eric Kolvig to lead Insight meditation retreats for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Queer community. She also leads "Uncovering the Heart Retreats," integrating the practice of awareness of the social dynamics of inequity with the Dharma practice of liberation.