Norman Fischer, Founder and Spiritual Director of Everyday Zen
Everyday Zen Foundation

Our Mission

The Everyday Zen Foundation’s mission is to share the Zen attitude, spirit, and practice with the world. Guided by the writing and teaching of Zen teacher and poet Norman Fischer, we practice in the tradition of Dōgen Zenji, founder of the Soto school of Zen, and Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, who brought Soto Zen to North America.

Individually and as a community, we endeavor to bring our spiritual practice into all aspects of our everyday lives. We are committed to listening to the world, to changing it and being changed by it.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Everyday Zen operates without a building or physical home. Instead, we partner with like-minded organizations for weekly, monthly, annual, and occasional face-to-face practice/study events. We are currently meeting primarily online in Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Work

Everyday Zen’s work involves many areas: traditional Zen practice (meditation, talks, retreats, personal relationship), work with Jewish and Christian meditation, with the dying, with lawyers and conflict resolvers, with business, with the arts, and through poetry and literature.

Everyday Zen is a registered non-profit foundation that relies on donations to fund its work. To make a tax-exempt donation, please visit the Donations page. We are grateful for your support.

Ethical Statement and Guidelines

Everyday Zen is a practice community. We welcome everyone regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.

We are not a workplace and we do not live in a residential practice community. We regularly study and practice together in different ways – in seminars, dialogues, sesshins, community celebrations and meetings – which bring us into close contact with each other.

Our Ethical Guidelines are intended to help ensure a safe practice environment and provide a way to proceed when faced with possible ethical violations. They provide a format for students and teachers to explore individual and mutual questions, confusion, expectations, and misunderstandings that may occur in this setting.

> View our Everyday Zen Practice of Ethical Conduct (PDF)

Join Us

Everyday Zen welcomes all new members. Find out how to join our community:

Communities

Our Communities

Teachers

Zoketsu Norman Fischer,

Founder & Spiritual Director

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.

Alan Block

Lay Entrustment

Alan Block is entrusted as a teacher of Zen Buddhism by Zoketsu Norman Fischer in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki of the San Francisco Zen Center. Alan originally studied with Zentatsu Richard Baker and has been with Everyday Zen from its inception.

He worked in construction for 30 years and previously taught history at the college level. Alan leads an Everyday Zen sitting group, White Cloud Zen, emphasizing meditation and a buddhist approach to life in the East Bay. The group meets on Tuesday evenings. All are welcome.

Email Alan

Anka Rick Spencer

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Anka Rick Spencer was born in the US but at the age of 20 he moved to Canada. He began practicing Buddhism in Canada in 1982. In 2000 he took the Bodhisattva precepts and received the Dharma name Burai Anka (Dancing Thunderbolt, Peaceful Transformation). In 2004 he was ordained as a novice priest by Zoketsu Norman Fischer and received Dharma Transmission from him in 2011.

He has lived in Mexico since 2005 and has both Canadian and Mexican citizenship. For several years, he was guiding teacher of Puerto Compasivo in Puerto Vallarta. He currently practices in Ermita Zen México in Mexico City and is happy to share the Dharma wherever he is invited.

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ARobin Orden

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Just this: living our lives and practicing in the world. ARobin marks a 1988 retreat on Right Speech in Daily Life as her gateway into Zen practice and has studied and worked with Norman Fischer since the early 1990s, including Company Time workshops and Jewish-Buddhist retreats. She lived at Green Gulch Farm and completed 3 practice periods at Tassajara Zen Monastery, the last in winter 2019 when she received Dharma Transmission from Norman. ARobin is Tenzo for Everyday Zen sesshins and can be found in the Tassajara kitchen. Her career included educator in professional art and design, nonprofit manager, and senior analyst in public service, where her daily practice was work in city hall.

Email ARobin

Bruce Fortin

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Bruce began studying at San Francisco Zen Center in 1971 after he had returned from two years in Uganda with the Peace Corps. While at Zen Center, he held the position of Director at Green Gulch Farm, Vice President, Director of The Neighborhood Foundation and was a member of the Board of Directors for eight years. He was ordained a priest in 1977 by Richard Baker Roshi and has received Dharma Transmission from Zoketsu Norman Fischer.
From 1983 until 1990 he was Executive Director of Home Hospice of Sonoma County. For the past 25 years he has been the founding and guiding teacher at The Occidental Laguna Sangha in Sebastopol, and has led a meditation group at the local County Jail.

Email Bruce     Occidental Laguna Sangha

 

Hoka Chris Fortin

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Chris Fortin’s Bodhisattva Vow and love and care for this beautiful and ephemeral world manifests as Everyday Zen senior priest/teacher, founding and guiding teacher of Dharma Heart Zen sanghas in Sonoma County CA, guiding teacher for Sky Island Zen in Tuscon AZ.

In retreats and practice communities with Jizo Bodhisattva/Journeying through Grief and Change, with wildland firefighters, and current-era veterans. And in a wholehearted commitment to ending the suffering of racial and social injustice and our planet’s rapidly escalating climate crisis.

Email Chris Visit Dharma Heart Zen

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. His business, Ingen’s Right Livelihood, offers bodywork and courses in meditation and dharma. He is willing and able to travel to groups.

James Flaherty

Doshi Zengen, Lay Entrustment

James Flaherty came to the San Francisco Zen Center in 1991, began studying with Norman in 1995, and took his first vows in 2000. He was Shuso in 2011 and received lay entrustment in 2014. 

30 years ago James developed the Integral Coaching methodology, an ever-evolving methodology with mindfulness at its heart. New Ventures West, the school where the methodology is taught, was founded by James and his wife Stacy in 1985 and now offers courses worldwide.

Email James

Ando Jaune Evans

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Ando Jaune Evans was originally ordained by Taizan Maezumi and Bernie Glassman in 1982. In 2019, she received Dharma Transmission from Norman in the Everyday Zen Lineage of Shunryu Suzuki at Tassajara at Zen Mountain Center. Jaune now serves as guiding teacher of the Heart of Compassion Zen Sangha in Point Reyes which meets every Friday morning. All are welcome.

Her careers include public policy and direct care in the fields of Public Health, Hospice, and Cancer Treatment. Since 1990, she has led philanthropic organizations supporting Indigenous Peoples, ecosystem and biocultural protection, and community well-being. Jaune offers free weekly Healing Circles at Healing Circles Global.

Email Jaune     Visit Healing Circles

 

Jeff Bickner

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.

Kan I Henshin (J. Lee Nelson)

Lay Entrustment

J Lee Nelson began Zen practice in 1973 affiliated with Shasta Abbey headed by Jiyu-Kennett and was part of Shasta Abbey’s lay ministry program in the early 1980s. She lives in Seattle, works as a scientist/physician and is married to Joe Ryan. In the early 1980s she affiliated with Kyogen and Gyokuku Carlson of Dharma Rain Zen Center, Portland Oregon, leaving the Shasta lay ministry program.

In 2000 she joined the Everyday Zen Pacific Northwest Sangha and in 2009 served as Shuso for the winter practice period of the Bellingham, WA Sangha. She received lay entrustment from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in May of 2010.

Email J. Lee

Kathie Fischer

Sokaku Ryotan
Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Sokaku Kathie Fischer began practicing Zen in 1971 with Sojun Mel Weitsman at the Berkeley Zen Center. She was ordained a Zen priest at San Francisco Zen Center in 1980 by Zentatsu Richard Baker, and continued residential practice at Zen Center for 15 more years. Kathie also studied and practiced with Maurine Stuart MyoOn Roshi.

She received Dharma transmission from Sojun Weitsman in 2011 while in the midst of her 28-year career as a school teacher in Mill Valley. Since retiring from teaching science to adolescents she has turned her attention to studying and teaching Dharma. Kathie and her husband Norman are parents of adult twin sons and grandparents of three children.

Email Kathie

Laura Del Valle, Kyo Kai Dai Ō

Lay Entrustment

Laura’s bi-cultural upbringing made her feel like an outlier in her youth. Rinzai Zen Master Ejo Takata, whom she met in 1969, would say, “Just sit and breathe, we don’t do meditation here! Learn for yourself, I can teach you nothing,” opening the way to all possibilities while pounding rice.

While working in SF in 1982, she met Zoketsu Norman Fischer and later became his student. His kaleidoscopic approach to unconditioned, wholehearted presence strengthened her for tough terrain ahead in rural Mexico at Mar de Jade. For over 25 years, translating for Zoketsu has been her Koan- to go- beyond the words of his radically compassionate imagination. A Dharma treasure to share, especially with the disenfranchised rural youth.

Email Laura   Mar de Jade

Meg Porter Alexander

Lay Entrustment Kokyo Koshin / Ancient Mirror Bountiful Heart

I write this as a Dharma Entrusted Buddhist priest and a lay person. I write this as I enter my 80th year of life. Still, I remember my first encounter with Buddhism as a teenager and my thought “this is what makes sense to me.” To make sense. To be sensible. To be careful. To be full of care. To get lost without ever being lost. To live in a world on fire. To do this with all the tenderness and joy we can muster. Together. Continuing together this everyday practice. May it be so.

Email Meg

Peter van der Sterre, Shi Shin En Sho

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Peter was ordained in 1975 and practiced at SF City Center, Tassajara and Green Gulch, returning to the market place in 1983 to establish a construction firm. He joined Everyday Zen in 2001, and was the first Bay Area Shuso.

After receiving transmission in 2011, he created The Oak Street Zendo in San Francisco, which has offered a regular sitting schedule and classes since its dedication in 2015. In the course of developing several projects in Boise, he has connected with the Floating Cloud Sangha. Together, they created an attic Zendo and Practice Center called The 7th Street Zendo the following year.

Email Peter     Oak Street Zendo

 

Renshin Bunce

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Renshin was ordained by Zenkei Blanche Hartman in 2003 and received dharma transmission from Myogen Steve Stucky in 2013. Norman has kindly received her under the sheltering wing of EDZ since Myogen’s death.

She works as a hospice chaplain and leads a sitting group in San Mateo CA. She’s written two books, “Entering the Monastery” about monastic life and “Love and Fear” about chaplaincy life; both are available on Amazon.

Email Renshin

Reigetsu Susan Moon

Sue Moon Profile Pic

Lay Entrustment

Sue began practicing at Berkeley Zen Center in 1976. She joined Everyday Zen when it began and received lay entrustment from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2005.  She leads Zen and writing retreats in the Bay Area and beyond. Her books include This Is Getting Old, The Hidden Lamp: Stories from 25 Centuries of Awakened Women, with co-editor Florence Caplow, and What Is Zen, with Norman Fischer. Alive Until You’re Dead: Notes on the Home Stretch is forthcoming in 2022.

She loves collaborative teaching, the Everyday Zen sangha, working for voting rights, and celebrating women ancestors, both those of the past and those to come. She has two grown sons and three grandchildren, and she loves them too.

Email Sue

 

Nomon Tim Burnett

Everyday Zen Shiho Dharma Transmission

Tim has been a student of Norman’s since 1987 when he was a resident at San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm. After sitting practice periods at Green Gulch and Tassajara Zen Monastery, he helped found the Red Cedar Zen Community in 1991.

Tim was ordained by Norman in 2000, received Dharma Transmission in 2011, and was installed as Guiding Teacher of the sangha in April 2017. With wide-ranging interests, he has been a botanist, carpenter, elementary school teacher, writer, and computer programmer. In addition to his work as Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen, Tim is also Executive Director of Mindfulness Northwest.

Email Tim     Visit Red Cedar Zen Community