Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order, abbot and resident teacher of Zen Mountain Monastery, and abbot of the Zen Center of New York City. Shugen entered full-time residential training in 1986 after studying mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997. His teachings on Zen, social justice and environmental stewardship have appeared in various Buddhist journals, and The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 (Shambhala Publications). His book of poetry, O, Beautiful End, a collection of Zen memorial poems, was published in 2012.
Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received the priestly transmission (the transmission of the Precepts) from Daido Roshi, who began the process in 2009, and from Shugen Roshi, who completed the transmission in 2012. In 2017, she received full dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi. She is currently the Training Director for the Mountains and Rivers Order and co-Director of the Zen Center of NYC. Hojin Sensei began her artistic career early and has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, opening people up to the wonders and mysteries of the creative process. She has been in full-time residential training at the Monastery since 1990.
Ron Hogen Green, Sensei is the co-Director of the Zen Center of NYC, Fire Lotus Temple. He has been engaged in formal Zen practice since 1978, and was in residential training at the Monastery for twelve years. In 2007, Hogen Sensei returned to lay life. He currently lives with his family on a farm in Pennsylvania. He is a retired podiatrist.
Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Sensei is a lay teacher in the MRO. She was in full-time residential training at Zen Mountain Monastery from 1995 to 2014, fourteen of those years as a monastic. In 2018 she received dharma transmission Shugen Roshi. For the last ten years, Zuisei Sensei has been leading retreats and workshops on various aspects of Buddhism—from mindfulness and meditation to running as a form of zazen—all with special emphasis on the power of stillness and silence to facilitate clarity and transformation in our lives.
In addition to teaching adults, Zuisei Sensei has many years of experience working with children and their families. She is the co-founder and coordinator of our Zen Kids and Zen Teens programs, and has led numerous retreats for children, preteens, and teens.
Zuisei is now on sabbatical in New York City, where she is devoting her time to working on her second book and continuing her own spiritual development through the study of contemplative practices like centering prayer. Sensei’s first book, Still Running: The Art of Meditation in Motion, will be published by Shambhala Publications in the late summer of 2020.
Learn more about her here:
Daido Roshi was the founder of Zen Mountain Monastery and the Mountains and Rivers Order, and served as the guiding teacher for almost 30 years. A holder of the Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages, Daido Roshi drew on his background as a scientist, artist, naturalist, parent and Zen priest to establish a uniquely American Zen Buddhist training center. He is the author of numerous books, including The Eight Gates of Zen and The Zen of Creativity.
Click here for a link to some remembrances of Daido Roshi, published in Tricycle Magazine shortly after his death.
Kyosho Fallon, Senior Lay Student
Shoan Ankele, Senior Monastic
Creative Director & Training Coordinator
Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic
Rakusan Ricci, Senior Monastic
Taikyo Gilman, Novice Monastic
Hokyu Aronson, Novice Monastic
Media Projects & Kitchen Supervisor
Kien Martin, Postulant Monastic