Retreat Teachers

At ZMM and ZCNYC

A listing of instructors for retreats held at Zen Mountain Monastery and Zen Center NYC.


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Amy Shoko Brown

Amy Shoko Brown has a private practice helping people who want relief from chronic stress and overwhelming events.  She offers the healing modalities of Somatic Experiencing, Biodynamic CranioSacral Therapy, and QiGong, to support people to embody their most resilient, creative, and loving selves. Clients include people who want relief from chronic stress, adult survivors of abuse, people struggling with syndromal patterns (especially EDS, CFS, IBS, migraines), accidents, medical trauma, developmental trauma, LGBTQ social trauma, Somatic Experiencing students and others health professionals. Amy Shoko Brown is a senior student with the Mountains and Rivers Order.

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André Daughtry

André Daughtry: Is an interdisciplinary photographer, media artist, filmmaker, social activist and theologian of materials and is based right here in Brooklyn. Currently he serves as the Community Minister of the Arts at Judson Memorial Church and collaborates with downtown dance/performance artists on a variety of projects ranging from photography and film to site-specific installations. André received his MFA in Photography and Media from Cal Arts (California Institute of the Arts) and an MA in Theology and the Arts from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. André is currently an artist-in-residence in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s…

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Andrew Hobai Pekarik

Andrew Hobai Pekarik has been a student of tea ceremony in the Urasenke tradition since 1977, and a Zen student in the Mountains and Rivers Order since 1994. He constructed his own teahouse, and he has been involved with Japanese art and literature as a scholar, curator, and author.

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Barbara Bash

Barbara Bash is a calligraphic artist involved with line and movement and visual voice. She was a student of Chogyam Trungpa and is longtime practitioner of Shambhala Buddhism. The heaven, earth and human teachings she received have woven through her artistic practice. Her book True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude tells the story of time spent in nature combining meditation with nature journaling. Her website is barbarabash.com Visual blog – barbarabash.blogspot.com.

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Choke Yukon Grody

Senior Monastic Yukon Grody began practicing at the Monastery in the late 1980s and ordained with Daido Roshi in 1994. Over the years he has served in many roles at the Monastery and Zen Center including cook, bookkeeper and grounds work. Since 2010, Yukon has been the Monastery’s head gardener, expanding the footprint of the garden and introducing various permaculture techniques.

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Christian McEwen

Christian McEwen is the author of World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, now in its seventh printing. Her most recent book is Legal Tender: Women & the Secret Life of Money.

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David Loy

David R. Loy, PhD, is a professor of Buddhist and comparative philosophy, a prolific writer, and a teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Buddhism. His books include Money Sex War Karma, A New Buddhist Path, and most recently Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. He is especially concerned about social and ecological issues. In addition to offering workshops and meditation retreats, he is one of the founders of the new Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, near Boulder, Colorado. To learn more about David Loy please visit his website: http://www.davidloy.org/

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Don Symanski

Don Symanski is a longtime friend of the Monastery and a warm, skillful teacher. He began the study of Kyudo with Kanjuro Shibata Sensei in 1980. He instructs in the Hekiryu Bishu Chikurinha form of Kyudo. Don apprenticed in bow making with Shibata Sensei’s son, Nobuhiro Shibata, in Kyoto. Since 1991, he has made yumi for Kyudo students and taught students the proper use of the yumi and Kyudo as a meditation path.

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Eduardo Gonzalez

Eduardo González, Jr. is a Cornell Certified Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP) with over 25 years of experience working with diverse not-for-profit and educational institutions to implement and sustain multicultural organizational development initiatives. A key area of focus for Mr. González is assisting staff, managers, administrators and their respective organizations in developing the awareness and skills needed to support and/or provide leadership in organizational change efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Eduardo is the system-wide specialist for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), Youth Development with the Family and Youth Development (FYD) program at Cornell University Cooperative…

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Eve Myonen Marko, Roshi

Roshi Eve Myonen Marko is a founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and the co-founder, with her late husband, Roshi Bernie Glassman, of Peacemakers Circle International, which trains spiritually-based social activists. She has led retreats on American city streets, in Rwanda, and in the Black Hills with Lakota elders; and has acted as Spiritholder at the Zen Peacemakers’ bearing-witness retreats at Auschwitz-Birkenau since 1996. She is the resident teacher at the Green River Zen Center in Massachusetts.

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Gaylon Ferguson

Gaylon Ferguson is a senior teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The author of Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Are Born With as well as Natural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as Direct Path to Awakening, he has led month-long group meditation retreats since 1976. He is core faculty at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. His essay, “Making Friends with Ourselves,” from the pioneering collection Dharma, Color, and Culture, was selected for The Best Buddhist Writing series

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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

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.

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Gina Sharpe

Gina Sharpe is co-founder of New York Insight Meditation Center for which she was Guiding Teacher for close to 20 years. She discovered the Dharma over 40 years ago and has studied and practiced with teachers in the Zen, Tibetan and Theravada traditions (in Asia and the United States). Gina retired from the practice of law in 1993 (after careers in Motion Picture Production and Public Policy) and has been teaching silent retreats and workshops since 1995 at Retreat and Community Centers and for several years, in a New York maximum security prison for women. She has been a leader…

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Gregg Krech

Gregg has been teaching Japanese Psychology for more than 30 years. He has published five books, including, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection (Stone Bridge Press, 2002) which won Spirituality & Health’s award for Best Books of 2002 and has been translated into five languages. He has conducted workshops at Buddhist Centers throughout the U.S. and his work has been featured in Tricycle, Utne Reader, Counseling Today, The SUN magazine and on National Public Radio. He is a member of the North American Naikan Council and conducts retreats and online programs at the ToDo Institute in Vermont…

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Hojin Sensei and Bethany Senkyu Saltman

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 senior MRO Training Coordinator and co-Director of 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.

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Hojin Sensei and Zuisei Goddard

A Zen priest, Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received 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 currently serves as MRO training coordinator and co-Director of the Zen Center of NYC. Before entering the Monastery in 1990, Hojin Sensei studied fine art and trained under legendary ceramicist Toshiku Takaezu, among others. Over the years she has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, and continues to teach on the creative process within the Mountains and Rivers Order.…

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Hope Martin

Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for 33 years and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City. She is a Meditation Instructor and a Focusing Trainer. Hope was a Senior Teacher, training Alexander teachers for two decades at the American Center for The Alexander Technique in NYC. Her particular passion is in helping her students discover how easeful, upright posture is an expression of their human dignity, confidence, and innate wakefulness. Hope is a close student of Pema Chodron and has been her cook and attendant for over 25 years.

Ikuko Sano Matsuda

Ikuko Sano Matsuda, is a long-time friend of the Temple and a certified teacher of Ikebana. She studied for five years with a master in the Ohara School in Shizuoka City, Japan.

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Jan Chozen Bays

Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1973. She received Jukai (lay precepts) in 1975 and priest’s ordination in 1979 from Taizan Maezumi, Roshi. From 1978 to 1983 she lived at the Zen Center of Los Angeles, studying with Maezumi Roshi and directing the Zen Center’s non-profit Medical Clinic. She finished formal koan study in 1983 and was given Dharma transmission (authorization to teach) that same year. Since 1985 Chozen Roshi has been the teacher for the Zen Community of Oregon. In 2002 she helped to found Great Vow Zen Monastery and is the co-abbot. In…

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Jane Hirshfield, David Hinton, Margaret Gibson, Ocean Vuong, Chase Takusei Twichell, and more

To find out more about the Buddhist Poetry Festival’s featured presenters, please visit us at buddhistpoetryfestival.org.

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Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

A Zen priest, Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received 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 currently serves as MRO Director of Training and co-Director of the Zen Center of NYC. Before entering the Monastery in 1990, Hojin Sensei studied fine art and trained under legendary ceramicist Toshiku Takaezu, among others. Over the years she has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, and continues to teach on the creative process within the Mountains and Rivers Order.

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Judy Lief

Judith L. Lief is a Buddhist teacher, writer, and editor. She was a close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who empowered her as a teacher, and she has edited many of his books including The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma volumes and Milarepa. She has been a teacher and practitioner for over 35 years and continues to teach and lead retreats throughout the world. Lief is also active in the field of death and dying and is the author of Making Friends with Death. For more information, see www.JudyLief.com

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Jules Shuzen Harris Sensei

Jules Shuzen Harris, Sensei, is a Soto priest who has been practicing Buddhism for more than 25 years. He started his Zen practice at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, NY under John Daido Loori Roshi and then moved west to Utah to study under Dennis Genpo Merzel. In 2002 Shuzen received denkai (transmission of the precepts) from Genpo Roshi, Abbott of Kanzeon Zen Center. He received hoshi in 2006 and shiho (Dharma transmission ceremony) in 2007 from Pat Enkyo O’Hara Roshi and became her second dharma successor. Shuzen Sensei founded Soji Zen Center located in Lansdowne, PA, to offer the community a contemporary Buddhist center providing instruction on…

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Kat Rogers

Katherine Rogers is a graduate of Tisch School of the Art’s BFA Acting program, and was a ZenBuddhist nun in Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition. At NYU, she encountered the acting work of Grotowski and connected to his ideas. Now she resides in NYC, privately coaching performers and public speakers on stage presence.

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Kazuaki Tanahashi

Kazuaki Tanahashi, born in Japan in 1933, and active in the United States since 1977, is an artist, writer, translator, and peace and environmental worker. As a painter and calligrapher, he has been pioneering the genres of one-stroke painting, multi-color Zen circles and East Asian calligraphy. Kaz has participated in exhibitions worldwide and taught numerous workshops. He has produced over forty books in English and Japanese including his most recent, Painting Peace: Art in a Time of Global Crisis.

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Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens is considered one of the emerging leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. An author, activist, and formally authorized Buddhist teacher in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, he is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice community as well as a visiting teacher with several Buddhist centers including the Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Lama Rod has also been a guest faculty member at the Harvard School of Education’s program Mindfulness for Educators. He has been a regular guest on SiriusXM’s Urban Viewhosted by Pulitzer Prize winning…

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Lawrence Shainberg

Lawrence Shainberg’s books include Four Men Shaking, Ambivalent Zen, Brain Surgeon: An Intimate View of His World, and the novels Memories of Amnesia and One on One. He has numerous essays published in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Village Voice, and a Pushcart Prize-winning monograph on Samuel Beckett published in The Paris Review. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He now makes his home in New York City and Truro, Ma.

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Margaret Gibson

Margaret Gibson is the author of 12 books of poems, most recently Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, which was published in 2018. A poem from that collection, “Passage” appears in The Best Poems of 2017. Her earlier book, Broken Cup (2014), was a finalist for the 2016 Poet’s Prize while the title poem won a Pushcart Prize for that year. In 2019 she was named Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut. “Margaret Gibson has created a voice and an art that connect the sensuous experience of the physical world with the inner life,” —Pattiann Rogers. Nationally and internationally acclaimed,…

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Marisela Gomez

Marisela Gomez is a mindfulness practitioners (ordained in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing), public health scholar activist, and physician. Of-Afro-Latina ancestry, she lives in Baltimore involved in social justice activism and community building/research. Author of Race, Class, Power and Organizing in East Baltimore, and numerous book chapters, popular and scholarly publications. She blogs at Huff Post and marsielabgomez.com on the intersection of wisdom justice and mindfulness. For a TedTalk on healing racism through waking up (YouTube).

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Mark Finn

Mark Finn, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. He has been active in the conversation between Buddhism and psychotherapy for many years, publishing and presenting widely in this area. He is co-editor of Object Relations Theory and Religion (1992) and a contributor to numerous edited collections on Buddhism and psychotherapy. He is especially interested in the spiritual biographies of the Tibetan Karma Kagyu gurus and the relevance of their stories to our lives. He works in private practice in White Plains, New York, and Manhattan.

Matt Angaku Dreyfus

Matt Angaku Dreyfus, MRO has been practicing Iyengar Yoga since 1994 and Zen since around 2000. He is a core faculty member of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of NY, where he has taught since 2003. Angaku made his first trip to Pune, India, to study directly with the Iyengar family in 1999, and continues to study there regularly. He is deeply interested in how Yoga tradition and Zen practice can function together and support each other.

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Mn. Gokan Bonebakker

Bear Gokan Bonebakker first came to the Monastery in 1994, and has been in residence since 2007. He was ordained in 2014. Gokan is the Operations Director, helps coordinate the National Buddhist Prison Sangha, and works in the orchard.

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Mn. Shoan Ankele

Danica Shoan Ankele is a Senior Monastic in the Mountains and Rivers Order. She has been in full time residential training since 2007 and ordained with Shugen Roshi in 2014. Shoan is the Monastery’s Creative Director and Training Coordinator, and is also involved in the Monastery’s Tenkozan line of ZMM-made products, including statues and cloth items dyed with plants cultivated on the Monastery grounds.

MRO Seniors

Senior students in the Mountains and Rivers Order have a number of things in common. They have each led a training period (at the request of a teacher) and have each practiced for long enough to see successive generations come through the Monastery, the Zen Center, and our affiliates. They also share a dedication and commitment to helping others find their way in sangha harmony. Beyond these attributes, they represent a diverse age group and come from equally diverse backgrounds. Some work in mental health, or technology. Some are artists, others are librarians. Some have families of their own, others…

MRO Teachers

Zazen intensives at the Monastery are led by Shugen Arnold, Roshi, and other teachers in the Mountains and Rivers Order. If you would like to confirm whether a particular teacher will be present at a retreat and offering face-to-face teaching, email the registrar. For more information on our teachers, visit this page.

MRO Teachers and Senior Staff

Many of our retreats are co-led and facilitated by both lay and monastic teachers as well as senior monastics in the order. To learn more about our teachers and staff, visit this page.

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Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom studied Chinese philosophy and history at Harvard and Columbia Universities. He has studied and practiced Classical Qigong with Kwan Sai-hung for over 30 years; Zen Buddhism with Roshi Joan Halifax, Roshi Enkyo O’Hara and Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi; and Tibetan Buddhism with Professor Robert Thurman and Gelek Rinpoche. Paul has led Qigong workshops at the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY; Tibet House, NYC; Menla Retreat Center, Phoenicia, NY; Casa Bellavista, Monezuma, Costa Rica; and at Buddhist retreats nationwide. He presently teaches throughout the Hudson Valley, including Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper and at Tibet House in NYC. He lives…

Perry Yung

Perry Yung studied shakuhachi making and playing in Japan, with support from the Japan-US Friendship Commission, National Endowment for the Arts and the International House in Tokyo. He traveled throughout Japan meeting with both Zen and modern shakuhachi makers and master players. He studied primarily with Kinya Sogawa in Japan, among many others, and continues to study with Ralph Samuelson in New York. It is a privilege and honor for him to be sharing shakuhachi with students here in America.

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Prabu Gikon Vasan

Prabu Gikon Vasan is a licensed, clinical social worker with the Office of Mental Health at the University of Albany. He has been practicing within the Mountains and Rivers Order for twenty years and currently serves on the Monastery’s Board of Directors. He lives in Kingston.

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Pragata Blaise

Pragata Blaise spent twenty years in India studying with masters Osho and Poonjaji Maharaj, being initiated into many healing and meditation techniques. After six years of intense practice in China, he met Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, who taught him the skills of the Shaolin Wahnam lineage which are not written, but transmitted only from teacher to student. He currently lives in Portugal.

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Ray Eigen Ball

Ray Eigen Ball studies contemplative photography in the Nalanda Miksang tradition, which arose in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition in the 1980s, with John McQuade and Miriam Hall, authors of “Looking and Seeing” and “Heart ofPhotography” — the two-volume Way of Seeing series. Eigen has been a Zen student in the Mountains and Rivers Order since 2001, and is the Coordinator of the MRO Affiliate group in Buffalo, NY, where he has taught Miksang photography, as well as at Karmê Chöling, the Shambhala Meditation Center in Vermont. A sample of Eigen’s work can be found here: https://www.buffalomiksang.org/rays-gallery.html

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Rebecca Li

Rebecca Li, a Dharma heir in the lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen, started practicing meditation in 1995. She began her teacher’s training with Master Sheng Yen in 1999 to become a Dharma and meditation instructor. Later on, she trained with Simon Child to lead intensive retreats and received full Dharma transmission from him in 2016. Currently, she leads Chan retreats, teaches meditation and Dharma classes, and gives public lectures in North America and the U.K. Her talks and writings can be found at www.rebeccali.org.  She is the founder and guiding teacher of Chan Dharma Community and a sociology professor…

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Rev. Trudi Jinpu Hirsch-Abramson

The Reverend Trudi Hirsch-Abramson is an ACPE certified chaplain supervisor and an APC certified chaplain. A resident of Zen Mountain Monastery for 12 years, she completed her monastic training in 1998 and was ordained as a Zen Buddhist Priest and received Denkai transmission in the White Plum Sangha. She previously worked for 14 years as a chaplain and supervisor at various hospitals in New York City. For nearly a decade, Reverend Hirsch served as a faculty member and Chaplain Supervisor for the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in NYC. She is presently the chaplain supervisor at Vassar Hospital in…

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Robert Een

Robert Een is an award-winning composer, singer, cellist and teacher. He composes for film, theater, dance and the concert stage as well as performing and teaching around the world. He is happy to be returning to the Zen Center of New York City.

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Robert Seiyu Lanaghan

Bob Seiyu Lanaghan, MRO, has been practicing at the Temple and the Monastery since 2004 and 2005, respectively. He and his husband Matt are dyers, spinners and knitters, who show and sell at local markets. Seiyu teaches high school choir by day and helps with the Tenkozan dye studio when he’s at the Monastery.

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Robyn Ikyo Love

Robyn Ikyo Love, MRO, is a multimedia artist who has exhibited at galleries and museums internationally.  She participated in the prestigious Artist in the Marketplace program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and has received numerous project grants to create new work from foundations and public agencies.  She has presented her participatory performance piece, SpinCycle, at The Brooklyn Museum in New York City, Northern University in Abderdeen, South Dakota, and at the ICCA in Inverness, Nova Scotia.  In 2017, she launched a video series titled Small Things Brought Together and, in 2018, a CSA program for sharing art directly with people worldwide. Ikyo has…

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Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Hogen Sensei has been engaged in formal Zen practice since 1978, and was in residential training at the Monastery for twelve years before returning to lay life in 2007. He shares his time between the Zen Center of NYC and rural Pennsylvania, where he lives with his family. Hogen received dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi in 2016.

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Sebene Selassie

Sebene Selassie is a writer, teacher, coach and consultant. She began studying Buddhism over 25 years ago as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. She has an MA from the New School where she focused on race and cultural studies. For over 20 years she worked with children, youth, and families nationally and internationally for small and large not–for–profits. Her work has taken her everywhere from the Tenderloin in San Francisco to East Harlem, NYC to refugee camps in Guinea, West Africa. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader (CDL4) program at Spirit Rock and continues her training…

Shugen Roshi & Hojin Sensei

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi received dharma transmission from Daido Roshi in 1997. He is head of the Mountains and River Order and abbot of both Zen Center of New York City and Zen Mountain Monastery. He has been in full-time residential training since 1986, before which he studied music and mathematics. His teachings have appeared in various Buddhist journals and in The Best Buddhist Writing 2009. A Zen priest, Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received 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…

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Tom Matsuda

Thomas Matsuda is a master sculptor and multimedia artist who specializes in Buddhist iconography. His work has been exhibited widely and internationally with many outdoor sculptures installed in public parks, sculpture gardens, and on university campuses. He lived in Japan for 13 years where he studied with renowned Buddhist sculptor Kokei Eri. Tom’s work has been supported by the Japan Foundation and the Ford Foundation, among others. He taught for many years at Pratt Institute and the College of New Rochelle Graduate School. Currently Tom is a professor and department chair at Mount Wachusett Community College in Massachusetts. Learn more…

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Valerie (Vimalasara) Mason-John

Vimalasara (Valerie Mason-John), is chair of the Triratna Vancouver Buddhist Centre and president of the Buddhist Recovery Network, and a senior facilitator in Compassionate Inquiry, and works as a Compassionate Inquiry Practitioner and a master trainer in conflict transformation, leadership and mindfulness. She is author of nine books, including Detox Your Heart: Meditations for Emotional Trauma — a self-help guide on mindfulness of negative emotions.

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Valerie Brown

Valerie Brown, of Afro-Cuban descent, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She is an international retreat leader, writer, leadership coach, and Principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness in daily life. She is an ordained Dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  Her books include, The Mindful School Leader:  Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014).  She leads an annual pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain to celebrate the power of place.

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Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Sensei

Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, Sensei was in full-time residential training at the Monastery from 1995 to 2014, fourteen of those years as a monastic. She is now a lay teacher in the MRO, currently on sabbatical in New York City.

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Vangeline

Vangeline is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in the Japanese postwar avant-garde movement form Butoh. She is the Artistic Director of the Vangeline Theater (NYC), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese Butoh while carrying it into the 21st century. She was born in Bourgogne, France and moved to New York in 1993. Vangeline’s choreographic work spans performance on stage and in film and has been performed throughout the US for the past 10 years. Vangeline’s critically acclaimed choreographed works have been presented in New York at Joyce SoHo, White Wave, the New Museum, Dance Theater…

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Venerable Dr. Pannavati

Venerable Dr. Pannavati, a former Christian pastor, is ordained in the Theravada and Chan traditions and is a Zen Peacemaker Order Dharma Holder. She advocates on behalf of dis-empowered women and youth globally and insists on equality and respect in spiritual life for both female monastics and laity. Ven. Pannavati is co-abbot of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage and founder of Heartwood Refuge, a 90-bedroom Buddhist retreat and residential practice community in Hendersonville NC.

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Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Roshi

Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao is the Abbot Emeritus (1999-2019) of the Zen Center of Los Angeles (ZCLA), having succeeded the late Roshi Bernie Glassman as the third abbot in 1999. She currently serves ZCLA as Head Teacher and Head Priest. She ordained in 1983 as a Zen priest and trained with her root teacher, Venerable Taizan Maezumi, at ZCLA until his death in 1995. She became a Dharma Successsor of Roshi Bernie Glassman in 1996 in Yonkers, NY, and is a founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, which promotes spiritually based social activism.

William Kando Johnston

William Kando Johnston started his formal practice of calligraphy while a graduate student in Japan in 1978. Since then, he has continued practicing calligraphy, most recently studying under Kaz Tanahashi. He is professor of Japanese history at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, but currently is the E.O. Reischauer Visiting Professor at Harvard University. He has been practicing Zen for over thirty years, and became an MRO student in 2001.

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William Waldron

Bill Waldron teaches courses on Buddhism and psychology at Middlebury College, Vt., and intermittently at Rang-jung Yeshe Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal. His work focuses on the classical Yogacara school of Indian Buddhism in dialogue with modern thought. His book, The Buddhist Unconscious: The Ālaya-vijñāna in the Context of Indian Buddhist Thought, was published in 2003. His introduction to Yogācāra Buddhist cognitive theory is forthcoming. Get to know his work by visiting this link.

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Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Sensei

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an author, ordained Zen Buddhist priest, teacher, seer, poet, artist, and drum medicine woman. She is guided by deep intuition and through her capacity for lucid dreaming. The essence of all her transmissions come together in her talks and books. Zenju Earthlyn Marselean Manuel, was born in Los Angeles, California to  parents that migrated from Louisiana. She was raised with a younger and older sister, in the Church of Christ where she was an avid reader of the Bible and adored the true teachings on Christ’s path well into adulthood. For a brief time she attended ceremonies with…