Resident Practice Leaders

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.

Hakusho Ostlund

Hakusho Ostlund

Hakusho Ostlund first entered residential practice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in 2006 after a journey through monasteries and retreat centers in Asia had inspired him to continue to make the Buddhadharma a main focus in his life. He was ordained as a Soto Zen Priest by Furyu Nancy Schroeder in 2012 and served as shuso, head student, under her guidance in 2016. He is currently the tanto (head of practice) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh

Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh

Jokai Carolyn Cavanagh has been a residential practitioner at San Francisco Zen Center since 2000. Prior to entering formal practice she worked as an environmental geologist and artist. Her affinity for working intimately with the land led to being Garden Manager at both Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm. Carolyn is the Director at Tassajara. She was ordained as a priest in 2007 and was shuso at Tassajara in 2010 with Tenshin Reb Anderson.

Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain

Zenshin Greg Fain got his first introduction to Zen at San Francisco Zen Center when he was 19, and more recently has been training closely with his teacher Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi, the Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center, for over 20 years. He was ordained as a priest in 2002, and received dharma transmission in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi from Sojun Roshi in April 2012.

Shindo Gita Gayatri

Shindo Gita Gayatri


Shindo Gita Gayatri started Spiritual Practice at an early age of three with an Indian Master - Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati. After his death and a five-year walkabout in the Himalayas, her wanderings brought her to SFZC in 2004.

Heather Shoren Iarusso

Heather Shoren Iarusso

Heather Shoren Iarusso ordained as a Zen priest in October 2015 and has lived at Tassajara for six of the last 10 years. She was head student under Ruyshin Paul Haller for the Winter 2018 Practice Period. For her, yoga and Zen are complementary practices that yoke body and mind in the silent awareness of the present moment, generating a sense of spacious well-being.