Retreat Leaders

Shosan Victoria Austin

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

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.

Letitia Bartlett

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.

Michelle Becker, MFT, MA

Michelle Becker, MFT, MA

Michelle Becker, MFT, MA, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, utilizing mindfulness and compassion based approaches to psychotherapy. In addition, she is a certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, Compassion Cultivation Training, and The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ programs. She is also co-developer of the new Mindfulness-Based Compassion for Couples program. Michelle is a senior teacher trainer, mentor, and co-founder of the teacher-training program in Mindful Self-Compassion and is also on staff at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. She teaches and speaks on the topics of compassion for self and others nationally and internationally.

Teja Fudo Myoo Bell

Teja Fudo Myoo Bell

Teja Fudo Myoo Bell teaches Aikido, Qigong, and Healing Arts always connected to the Dharma. Teja has taught over 90 residential retreats at Spirit Rock, and continues to practice and teach across the traditions to bring about well-being thru the embodied synthesis of modern knowledge with the wisdom of the ancient ways.

Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block

Jennifer Block is a Buddhist chaplain who provides care to individuals facing the spiritual and emotional issues related to aging, sickness, dying, and grief. She teaches spiritual care, contemplative care, and chaplaincy in various settings.

Ingen Breen

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.

Christy Brown

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

Edward Brown

Edward Brown

Edward Brown has been practicing Zen since 1965. Ordained as a priest by Suzuki Roshi in 1971, he received dharma transmission from Mel Weitsman in 1996. He is the author of several books and also has edited a book of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s lectures entitled Not Always So. Ed is the founder and teacher of the Peaceful Sea Sangha.

Nomon Tim Burnett

Nomon Tim Burnett

Nomon Tim Burnett is a Soto Zen Priest and Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham, WA. A Dharma Heir of Zoketsu Norman Fischer, he became interested in the mindfulness movement in 2008 as a way to bring the benefits of meditation and the wisdom and compassion meditation training supports to a wider audience.

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan

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.

Sally Chang

Sally Chang

Sally Chang brings over 20 years of martial arts experience and is dedicated to the practice of internal cultivation from a Daoist perspective. Her experience as an Acupuncturist and Herbalist also integrates principles of classical Chinese medicine into these self-care practices. Sally brings a warm, focused presence to these healing arts.

Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins regularly leads Wild Heart Writing workshops in San Francisco. A former journalist, she is a blogger, novelist and student of writing. She is a graduate of Interchange Counseling Institute and formerly served as SF facilitator for The Hoffman Institute.

Eijun Linda Cutts

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.

Grace Dammann, MD

Grace Dammann, MD

Grace Dammann, MD, was a long time resident of Green Gulch Farm. Her life changed one afternoon when she experienced a head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge. After 45 days in a coma, Grace miraculously awoke. Once honored by HH the Dalai Lama, she now runs a pain clinic from a wheelchair.

Shogen Danielson

Shogen Danielson

Shogen Danielson began practicing Zen in 1997 and was ordained as a priest in 2008 by Teah Strozer. Before becoming a resident at Zen Center, he worked with the Peace Corps in Africa for four and a half years teaching science, math, and life skills. Shogen holds an M.S. in Physics and Astronomy and loves spending time in nature with his two children.

Laura Davis

Laura Davis

Laura Davis is the author of seven non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be and I Thought We’d Never Speak Again. Laura’s groundbreaking books have sold more than 1.8 million copies around the world. She is currently working on performance pieces and a memoir based on letters to her dead mother, who passed away in the summer of 2014.

Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain received dharma transmission in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Greg is married and currently serves as tanto.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet, writer, priest, and a former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center. He is founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation.

Britt Fohrman

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, PhD

Shinchi Linda Galijan, PhD

Shinchi Linda Galijan, PhD, was ordained by Sojun Mel Weitsman in 2004 and received dharma transmission from him in 2012. A professional musician, massage therapist, and licensed clinical psychologist, she has practiced yoga for over 20 years. She currently serves as President of San Francisco Zen Center.

Djinn Gallagher

Djinn Gallagher

Myogan Djinn Gallagher has been meditating since 1992, but it wasn’t until 2007 that she finally decided to leave her career as a newspaper journalist in Ireland to plunge into monastic life in Tassajara. Ordained as a priest by Paul Haller in 2013, she recently returned to live in Ireland where she is enjoying her re-entry into the marketplace and working towards creating a community of meditators.

Jim Gallas

Jim Gallas

Jim Gallas has been teaching yoga, qigong and shiatsu for over 20 years. He teaches at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, at Five Branches University Santa Cruz, and at Haramara Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico. Jim loves his work, and aims to meet the needs of each student with compassion, humor, and extensive experience.

Rosemary Garrison

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.

Jisan Tova Green

Jisan Tova Green

Jisan Tova Green, a Zen priest with dharma transmission from Eijun Linda Cutts in 2015, resides and teaches at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center. She co-founded the SFZC Queer Dharma Group in 2009. Tova has worked as a hospice social worker, plays the cello, and writes poetry.

Jody Greene

Jody Greene

Jody Greene first encountered Zen Buddhism at the Tassajara work period in September 2001 and came to the practice of Vinyasa Flow yoga in 2002. Since then, she has consistently practiced in both traditions, while teaching meditation to yogis and yoga to meditators. Jody completed her first Tassajara practice period in 2008. Since 2009, her primary focus in yoga has consisted of assisting her teacher, Janet Stone, at retreats and workshops around the world. Jody is Professor of Literature, Feminist Studies, and the History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz.

Ryushin Paul Haller

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.

Steven Harper, M.A.

Steven Harper, M.A.

Steven Harper is a wilderness guide, author, and consultant. He has taught at Esalen Institute for over 35 years and is a resident of Big Sur. A student of Buddhism since 1972, he also has an MA in Psychology with a focus on wild nature as a vehicle for awakening.

Shundo David Haye

Shundo David Haye

Shundo David Haye began his practice in 2000 and lived at City Center and Tassajara for 15 years. He was ordained as a priest in 2009, served as shuso (head monk) at Tassajara in fall 2012, and performed a number of the traditional temple administrator roles at Tassajara and City Center. He likes to be outside, either riding a bike or taking photographs; his photography is a mainstay of Zen Center publications, and can be seen at shundophoto.tumblr.com. He also writes a blog about practice: shundo.wordpress.com.

Purusha Hickson

Purusha Hickson

Purusha Hickson has been teaching Hatha Yoga for over 35 years. His principal spiritual teacher is Swamini Turiyasangitanandaji, also known as Alice Coltrane. He has studied extensively in India with great Hatha Yoga masters such as Swami Satchidananda, the Iyengars, and Pattabhi Jois. His classes are characterized by a unique blend of spirit, technique, and humor.

James Higgins

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

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 poems are featured in seven editions of The Best American Poems, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Orion, Poetry, and Tricycle. Her two new books are The Beauty and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform The World (both Knopf, 2015).

Brian Hogencamp

Brian Hogencamp

Brian Hogencamp is a dedicated yoga practitioner and certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. He travels annually to India for extended study with the Iyengar family. Brian is devoted to sharing the art, science and philosophy of yoga according to the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. www.iybrian.com

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is the author of twelve books, on subjects ranging from Sufism and the XIVth Dalai Lama to the Cuban Revolution and our global lives. He gave talks for TED.com in both 2013 and 2014—one on movement and one on stillness—and each has been viewed more than 2 million times. For more than a quarter-century he has been a constant essayist for Time, The New York Times, Tricycle, Shambhala Sun and many others.

Leslie James

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. Leslie has two grown children and has lived at Tassajara with her husband, Keith Meyerhoff, for 30 years.

Seiho Qayyum Johnson

Seiho Qayyum Johnson

Seiho Qayyum Johnson received Zen Buddhist precepts from Myogen Steve Stücky in 2009 and served as head monk with Abbess Fu Schroeder in 2015. He is also a poet, artist, and writer exploring the intersections of Buddhism, ecology, social justice, and peace activism. He currently serves as Head Farmer at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson has practiced Zen and organic horticulture for more than 35 years. She received lay dharma entrustment from Eijun Linda Cutts in 2006 and is also a lay-ordained dharma teacher in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Wendy is author of the recent San Francisco Zen Center book Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate.


Ryotan Cynthia Kear

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.

Lee Klinger Lesser

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

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.

Yo-on Jeremy Levie

Yo-on Jeremy Levie

Yo-on Jeremy Levie studied philosophy and theater at Yale University. He was ordained in 2005 and served as Director and Head of Practice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. He is now the Corporate Secretary of San Francisco Zen Center and lives in the city with his wife and teenage daughter.

Sessei Meg Levie

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.

David M. Levy

David M. Levy

David M. Levy is Professor at the Information School, University of Washington. At UW since 2000, he has focused on bringing mindfulness training and other contemplative practices to address problems of information overload and acceleration.

Lirio

Lirio, E-RYT 500, has taught yoga for the last 20 years to students of different ages and abilities in a variety of settings. Her goal is to make yoga available and accessible to students regardless of physical ability or aptitude. In her classes she seeks to foster an even ratio of flexibility, strength and balance while also promoting stress reduction through mindful awareness.

Djuna Mascall

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.

Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie, RYT-500, CST, Reiki Master, and founder of PremaYoga. With 32 years of experience in practice, and 20 years as a teacher she integrates Hatha Yoga and Reiki in her sessions. Her style is accessible to all levels of students.

Daniel Matt

Daniel Matt

Daniel Matt is a teacher of Kabbalah. He recently completed an 18-year project of translating the Zohar, the masterpiece of Jewish mysticism.

Zenki Mary Mocine

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.

Naomi Shihab Nye

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.

Zesho Susan O'Connell

Zesho Susan O'Connell

Susan O'Connell is a Zen Teacher with 25 years of meditation experience.

Laura O’Loughlin

Laura O’Loughlin

Laura O’Loughlin is co-founder and lay teacher at Brooklyn Zen Center. She is currently also a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, San Francisco Zen Center and Austin Zen Center where she served as director.

Samantha Ostergaard

Samantha Ostergaard

Samantha Ostergaard brings two decades of training in therapeutic and restorative yoga to guide you in practices that restore, rebalance and realign the body, breath and mind. Her yoga teaching is deeply influenced by the transformational three years she spent living and practicing at Tassajara. Her yoga classes emphasize meditative awareness in the experience of each pose, with alignment principles that harmonize and energize the body. She has been a student of yoga for over 20 years, a student of Zen for almost 20 years, and teaching for about 10 years. Samantha is an acupuncturist and yoga therapist in San Francisco, specializing in helping people recover from chronic pain.


Stacie Overby

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

Athena Pappas has been immersed in the study, practice and teaching of yoga since 1989. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher whose practice emphasizes alignment and awareness. Athena believes that yoga is a multi-faceted gem that supports our ability to experience peaceful and contented lives.

Nancy Petrin

Nancy Petrin

Nancy Petrin began Zen practice in 1996 through the Organic Farm and Garden Apprenticeship at Green Gulch Farm, where she lived and practiced for nine years. She served as head student (shuso) with City Center Abiding Abbot Ed Sattizahn in the fall of 2014. Nancy works in Zen Center's Development Department fundraising for the Dharma and our SFZC temples, and resides in SF with her teenage daughter.

Diane Renshaw

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.

Cloud Mountain Graham Ross

Cloud Mountain Graham Ross

Cloud Mountain Graham Ross practiced residentially at Tassajara from 2004 to 2012. He was ordained by Ryushin Paul Haller in 2007 and was Shuso (Head Monk) in 2010. Graham was one of the five people who met the fires at Tassajara in 2008. Graham received a 1st degree black belt in 2002 in the Saito Sensei lineage of Aikido.

Jiryu Rutschman-Byler

Jiryu Rutschman-Byler

Jiryu Rutschman-Byler is a Soto Zen Buddhist priest and teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, with dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. He lives and teaches at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and is the head teacher of the Buddhadharma Sangha of San Quentin State Prison. Jiryu has trained in Zen temples in the US and Japan since 1996. He also holds a master's degree in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley (2014), where he worked under the mentorship of the Group in Buddhist Studies on Buddhist texts in classical Chinese and modern Japanese. His thesis research focused on Nishiari Bokusan and the development of Soto Zen in Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Furyu Nancy Schroeder

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.

Laurie Senauke

Laurie Senauke

Laurie Senauke began formal Zen practice in 1980, served as shuso at Berkeley Zen Center and received lay recognition in 2006. She was editor of Windbell for three years, assisted in writing/editing two Zen Center-related books, and was a contributor to Dharma Family Treasures and The Hidden Lamp..


Keiryu Liên Shutt

Keiryu Liên Shutt

Keiryu Liên Shutt received dharma transmission from Zenkei Blanche Hartman. Based at San Francisco Zen Center, she also teaches at East Bay Meditation Center and other Bay Area groups. Liên currently works as a social worker, mainly within the field of homelessness.

Mary Stares

Mary Stares

Mary Stares first came to Zen Center in 2000, following a period of residential practice at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada. A carpenter by trade, Mary was ordained as a priest in 2010 by Arlene Lueck and Myogen Steve Stücky. Mary was shuso (head monk) for the Winter 2015 Tassajara Practice Period and is currently serving as director of City Center.

Rex Stromness

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.

Patricia Sullivan

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..


Dana Takagi

Dana Takagi

Rev. Dana Takagi, PhD, is a professor and professional sociologist who has worked at UC Santa Cruz for 30 years, as well as with the National Institutes for Health (NIH). She has been engaged in a dharma practice life for 18 years, receiving lay ordination and priest ordination from Katherine Thanas, and most recently dharma transmission from Eugene Bush.

Kazuaki Tanahashi

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

Ango Sara Tashker

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.

Do-On Robert Thomas

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.


Ko Shin Steven Tierney

Ko Shin Steven Tierney

Steven Tierney, Ed.D. LPCC, 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. He was ordained by Dairyu Michael Wenger and served as shuso in 2013.

Unzan Mako Voelkel

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

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 SF 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.

Sojun Mel Weitsman

Sojun Mel Weitsman

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


angel Kyodo williams

angel Kyodo williams

Called "the most intriguing (and vocal) African-American Buddhist" by Library Journal, angel Kyodo williams is an author, activist, master trainer and founder of the Center for Transformative Change. She has been bridging the worlds of transformation and justice since her critically acclaimed book Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, and "a classic" by Buddhist pioneer Jack Kornfield. She is one of only two black women Zen "Senseis" or teachers. She applies wisdom teachings and embodied practice to intractable social issues at the intersections of climate change, racial and economic justice, and is a preeminent thought leader of Transformative Social Change. Her 27 Days of Change online program and 3rd Way Leadership supports changemakers in inner meets outer change worldwide. Her work has been widely covered, including in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Ms., and Essence. Her newest book collaboration is Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. angel notes: Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.

Dr. Lucy Xiao

Dr. Lucy Xiao

Lucy Xiao is a Zen priest and a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine. She started practicing at San Francisco Zen Center in 2000 and lived there as a resident for 12 years. She received priest ordination from Senior Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller in 2010 and served as Shuso (head monk) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in winter 2014. She has also attended retreats in China and finds it refreshing to be exposed to Dharma practice in both the east and the west.

Liping Julia Zhu

Liping Julia Zhu

Dr. Liping Zhu, DAOM 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

Kanzan David Zimmerman has been practicing Zen for 25 years, was ordained by Rev. Teah Strozer in 2006, and spent eight years at Tassajara. He currently lives at City Center where he serves as the Head of Practice, is a co-facilitator of Queer Dharma, and co-leads workshops on Transforming Depression and Anxiety.