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. Read more
Meg Porter Alexander
Meg Porter Alexander has practiced Zen since the mid-70's when she waded into the waters of the San Francisco Zen Center and stayed for ten years. As a householder she planted a garden, raised an adventurous daughter and tends a marriage. In the world she has worked with families whose children have cancer at UCSF, at Zen Hospice - Laguna Honda Hospital, in Sonoma County (where she now lives) with Hospital Chaplaincy Services; she holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute.
Ingen K. Breen
Ingen was ordained by Norman in January 2000 and was Shuso with Blanche Hartman in the Fall of 2002. Before coming to Green Gulch in ’95 to practice Zen he had practiced with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order for almost five years. He received Dharma Transmission from Norman in March in 2009 and currently lives at San Francisco Zen Center.
Ingen has registered a business called Ingen’s Right Livelihood . His right livelihood is offering bodywork and courses in meditation and dharma. He is willing and able to travel to groups.
Nomon Tim Burnett
Nomon Tim Burnett is the Spiritual Director of the Red Cedar Zen Community (Bellingham, WA). He was ordained by Zoketsu in 2000 and completed Dharma Transmission in 2011.
Tim is also a teacher in the Jon Kabat-Zinn style of mindfulness and director of a regional mindfulness training organization in the Pacific Northwest, Mindfulness Northwest.
Like his teacher, Tim believes that a fully engaged spritual life in the context of lay living is possible, and even neccessary.
Jeff Bickner was ordained in 2003 by Norman Fischer at Green Gulch Farm and completed shuso training in 2006. He began practice at the Santa Cruz Zen Center with Kobun Chino in 1974. He moved to Green Gulch in 1980 and practiced there and at Tassajara until 1988. He now resides in Fairfax with his wife, Jaime. They are the owners of Bickner Dance Floor Rentals. He also designed and built their home and works in clay and wood. Playing the piano is an essential part of his daily life.
He considers himself a part of the sanghas of Vancouver (Mountain Rain), Bellingham (Red Cedar), the Everyday Zen sangha in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Francisco Zen Center; attending events and retreats at these sanghas, offering practice instruction and giving lectures. He is interested in moving into an exploration of integrating Buddhist values into educational formats for children.
Chris Fortin is a Zen priest and Spiritual Counselor (see EDZ programSpiritual Counseling ). She began her meditation practice at San Francisco's Zen Center in 1976 and now practices as a leader and teacher in the Everyday Zen community, supporting its mission to bring the essence and spirit of Zen into the world of relationships, work, and all the ordinary moments of our daily lives. Her ongoing intention is to wholeheartedly meet each moment and person with open alive presence, believing the world and its suffering really is transformed through committed and continuous practice. She leads the women's Lotus Sangha in Sonoma County and teaches throughout the bay area and beyond.
Birth and death,
meeting life as it is.
Tumbling and bowing in the deep heart of the world.
Myoshin Kate McCandless
Kate and her partner Michael Newton are the resident priests of the Mountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kate was born and raised in rural New Jersey, and in 1971 immigrated to eastern Canada, where she was an organic farmer for seven years. Since childhood she has received the teachings of forests, stones and living creatures. She studied Japanese language and poetry at the University of British Columbia and Tsukuba University in Japan.
She and Michael began Zen practice in 1983 with a Rinzai priest at an ancient temple on Mount Tsukuba, later moving to Kyoto and practicing Soto Zen with Shohaku Okumura. Since returning to Vancouver in 1987 they have practiced with Zoketsu Norman Fischer, and were ordained by him in 2003. Kate is a clinical counselor working in hospice and bereavement care. She continues to practice gardening and poetry, as best she can, and is grateful to live in close proximity to wild places.
Eihei Peter Levitt is the founding and guiding teacher of the Salt Spring Zen Circle on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, where he lives with his family. His study and practice of Zen began in San Francisco in 1967. He practiced alone for most of the next fifteen years, and then received lay ordination in 1985 from his teacher, Jakusho Kwong-roshi. In 2010 he received lay entrustment from Zoketsu Norman Fischer, authorizing him as a teacher in the Suzuki-roshi lineage.
Onshin Michael Newton
Michael and his life-partner Kate McCandless are the resident priests of theMountain Rain Zen Community in Vancouver, British Columbia. Michael's interest in Buddhism grew from studying aikido and Chinese martial arts in his early teens in Calgary, Alberta. He practiced aikido in Japan for a year when he was twenty, and again several years later. He studied Japanese language and religion at the University of British Columbia and Tsukuba University in Japan.
He and Kate began to practice zazen at a beautiful, old Rinzai temple on Mount Tsukuba. Later they moved to Kyoto and practiced Soto Zen with Shohaku Okumura for three years. Since returning to Canada in 1987, they have practiced with Zoketsu Norman Fischer and were ordained by him in 2003. Michael teaches Asian studies, Japanese culture, and religious studies at Simon Fraser University. He enjoys tramping in the wild, gardening, and practicing Japanese calligraphy. He hopes to set up a pottery studio soon.
Dharma statement: Along with the first noble truth that life is suffering goes the corollary that even when you think you're suffering, you're actually having a good time.
Anka Rick Spencer
Rick finally began to discover that Zen is a practise and not just a topic for study in the early 1980's. He attended his first sesshin with Joshu Sasaki Roshi in 1982 and continued practising as a student of Sasaki Roshi for several years.
Por fin Rick descubrió en la década de los ochentas que el Zen es una práctica y no solamente un tema para estudiar. Asistió a su primer sesshin con Joshu Sasaki Roshi en 1982 y siguió practicando como un alumno de Sasaki Roshi durante varios años.
Peter van der Sterre
I was ordained by Richard Baker in 1975 and practiced at Zen Center in San Francisco, Tassajara and Green Gulch, returning to the market place in 1983 to establish a construction company and support my family. Prior to my arrival at Zen Center in 1971, I was practicing the solitary path of unguided meditation and rough carpentry in Zuni New Mexico, Bolton Mass. and Custer South Dakota. In addition to the exquisite geography, my practice in those years was influenced by my extended family, good friends and the work of Castenada, Gurdieff and Ouspensky. I was Shuso with Everyday Zen in San Francisco two years ago this past October.
My live/work history with Zen Center began with kitchen practice of the "getting to know you" school, followed by stone wall building at Tassajara, with tours in the treasury, carpentry and kitchen realms. My strongest associations with teachers during that period were Jerry Fuller, Issan Dorsey, Darlene Cohen and Okusan, the founder's wife, who taught tea ceremony (one of the most durable influences from that era.)
My current commitment to Everyday Zen involves me with an ever-widening circle of friends from weekly classes and monthly sittings. The great bonding seems to occur with practice periods and sesshins, both in California and Mexico. In a wider sense, my practice includes bay swimming, residential construction and development, and cooking for family and friends. My immediate family includes my two sons: Max, a dancer in New York; and Sam, his younger brother, the word wizard.