Kate McCandless

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.