Maezumi Roshi received Inka from Koryu Roshi, a lay Rinzai Teacher and former head of the Shakyamuni Kai. Roshi Bernie Glassman passed his first koan (and next 100 koans) with Koryu Roshi and considers him his heart teacher.
Koryu Roshi succeeded to the Dharma of Joko Roshi, who, distressed by what he saw as the corruption of the priesthood, created the Shakyamuni Kai as a lay Rinzai group based in Tokyo (Hannya Dojo) with a training center on Mt. Fuji (Hannya Fuji Dojo) and asked that Koryu Roshi never ordain.
Koryu Roshi emphasized lay practice, holding monthly sesshin. A few students lived with him including Hakuyu Taizan Maezmumi (during his college years) and Maezumi’s elder brother Hakujun Kuroda Roshi.
Koryu Roshi died on July 27, 1985.
Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, Roshi (1931-1995)
Taizan Maezumi Roshi spearheaded the growth of Zen Buddhism in the United States and served as a teacher and mentor to Roshi Bernie Glassman.
Born on February 24, 1931, Maezumi Roshi was ordained as a Soto Zen monk at the age of eleven. He received degrees in Oriental Literature and Philosophy from Komazawa University and studied at Sojiji, one of the two main Soto monasteries in Japan. He received Dharma transmission from Hakujun Kuroda, Roshi, in 1955. He also received approval as a teacher (Inka ) from both Koryu Osaka, Roshi, and Hakuun Yasutani, Roshi, thus becoming a Dharma successor in three lines of Zen.
In 1956, Maezumi Roshi came to Los Angeles as a priest at Zenshuji Temple, the Soto Headquarters of the United States. He devoted his life to laying a firm foundation for the growth of Zen Buddhism in the West. In 1967, he established the Los Angeles Zendo which became the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Its honorary founder is Baian Hakujun Daiosho, who headed the Soto Sect Supreme Court and was one of the leading figures of Japanese Soto Zen.
Maezumi Roshi established six temples in the United States and Europe that are formally registered with Soto Headquarters in Japan. In addition to ZCLA, these include Zen Mountain Center in California; Zen Peacemaker Order (Bernie Tetsugen Glassman, Co-Founder); Kanzeon Zen Centers of Salt Lake City, Utah and Europe (Genpo Merzel, Abbot); and Zen Mountain Monastery in New York (Daido Loori, Abbot). Affiliated centers also include the Great Mountain Zen Center in Colorado (Shishin Wick, teacher), Zen Community of Oregon (Chozen Bays, teacher); Three Treasures Zen Community in San Diego (Jikyo Miller, teacher); Centro Zen de Mexico, Coyoacan (Tesshin Sanderson, teacher), and Centro Zen de la Cuidad de Mexico.
In 1976, Maezumi Roshi established the Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Human Values, a non-profit educational organization formed to promote scholarship on Buddhism in its historical, philosophical, and cultural ramifications. The Institute serves the scholarly community by providing a forum in which scholars can gather at conferences and colloquia. The Institute also publishes a book series with the University of Hawaii Press devoted to the translation of East Asian Buddhist classics and presentations of scholarly works from its conferences. Maezumi Roshi also founded the Dharma Institute in Mexico City.
Maezumi Roshi founded the White Plum Asanga, named after his father Baian Hakujun Daiosho. He transmitted the Dharma to twelve successors: Bernie Tetsugen Glassman (MA), Dennis Genpo Merzel (UT & Europe), Charlotte Joko Beck (CA), Jan Chozen Bays (OR), John Daido Loori (NY), Gerry Shishin Wick (CO), John Tesshin Sanderson (Mexico), Alfred Jitsudo Ancheta (NM), Charles Tenshin Fletcher (CA), Susan Myoyu Andersen (IL), Nicolee Jikyo Miller (CA), and William Nyogen Yeo (CA). In America, Maezumi Roshi ordained 68 Zen priests and gave the lay Buddhist precepts to over 500 people.
The Venerable Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, Roshi, 64, first Abbot of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and a seminal influence on the growth of Zen Buddhism in the United States, died suddenly in Tokyo, Japan in the early morning hours of Monday, May 15, 1995 (Japanese time).
As a major contribution to the transmission of Buddhist teachings to the West, Maezumi Roshi was instrumental in bringing to realization the formation of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA) of American Soto Zen teachers. Maezumi Roshi also promoted exchange programs among priests and lay practitioners between the United States and Japan. He had published commentaries on major Buddhist works, and his collected works will be published posthumously.
Shortly before his death, Maezumi Roshi gave Inka to his senior disciple Roshi Bernie Glassman.
Maezumi Roshi is survived by his wife Martha Ekyo Maezumi and their three children, Kirsten Mitsuyo, Yuri Jundo and Shira Yoshimi.
Japanese Zen Master Yasutani Hakuun Roshi was born in 1885 to a family of meager means, soon being adopted into another family. At the age of five his head was shaved symbolizing Buddhist monkhood and sent to a Rinzai temple, Fukuji-in, located on the coast at the foot of Mount Fuji near the city of Numazu. At the age of eleven he moved to a second nearby Rinzai temple, Daichu-ji. A little over a year later, following an altercation with a fellow student, he moved to a Soto temple, Teishin-ji, studying under Yasutani Ryogi, from which he took his name. At age sixteen he went to Denshin-ji temple, also Soto sect, in Shimoda, some seventy-five miles away on the tip of the Izu peninsula to continue study and serve as an attendent to Nishiari Bokusan Zenji
Throughout his twenties, thirties, and up to age forty Yasutani continued his studies and training in Japan, travelling from temple to temple studying under a variety of Buddhist priests and Zen masters searching for the Truth. At age thirty Yasutani married and, although a priest, because no temple was avaiable, began a ten year career as an elementary teacher and principal. In the interim he had five children.
Even though married and teaching at the elementary level he continued to travel and study under various masters throughout his tenure searching for a genuine master. In 1925, at age forty, he found his master, giving up his teaching and principalship to become a fulltime Soto sect priest at the Hosshin-ji Temple under the great Zen master of both Soto and Rinzai lineage, Harada Daiun Sogaku Roshi.
Two years later under Harada’s auspices he attained Kensho. Sixteen years after that, on April 8th, the day Japanese traditionally recognize Buddha’s birthday, 1943, at age fifty-eight, Yasutani received Inka Shomei, the Seal of Transmission.
Starting in the summer of 1962 Yasutani Roshi made the first of six trips to the United States, continuing to do so basically yearly up through 1969. On the first visit in 1962 he conducted four to seven day sesshins in Honolulu, Hawaii; Los Angeles and Claremont, California; Wallingford, Pennsylvania; New York, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; and Washington, D.C. His following five visits to America were similar in scope.
What sets Yasutani Roshi apart from other contempory Zen masters was his fervent, almost zealous drive to synthesize what he considered the strengths and best of the Soto and Rinzai sects, in the process creating a new lineage of Zen called Sanbo Kyodan, ‘The Fellowship of the Three Treasures.’
(Date in parenthesis is Recognition Date for Zen Master or Zen Teacher.)
1995: Founded Hidden Mountain Zen Center as a Zen Peacemaker Community in Maezumi Roshi’s name, Albuquerque, NM. Bernie Glassman (Tetsugen Roshi) stood in for Maezumi Roshi after Roshi’s death that year. Worked with residents as trainees and oversaw all angos, sesshin and workshops until 2002. Established and ran HMZC branches of Peacemaker Homeless Retreats and plunges in Mexico, Wise Men and Women Mentoring program in local schools, teaching meditation at Santa Fe Maximum Security Prison facility.
Nancy began Zen meditation in 1979 with Nakajima Sensei, a Soto priest who worked for the post office, and had a small zendo (meditation hall) at the end of her street. Bernard Tetsugen Glassman Sensei became Nancy’s teacher in 1980 before Greyston was purchased. She has been a Professor of Philosophy at Sarah Lawrence College since 1974, specializing in the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. She has also studied The Diamond Approach for fifteen years, the work of A. H. Almaas. The Diamond Approach has taught Nancy a great deal about actualizing the Way, and experiencing the unique flavor of the five Buddha families,
From 1973 to 1977 he was a member of the leadership team of the training center Haus Bad Schönbrunn and became its Director in 1977. From 1987 to 1993 he was a university chaplain in Zurich. During this time he completed his formal training as a Zen teacher in the Sambo-Kyodan tradition under the direction of Yamada Koun Roshi in Kamakura and was given the name Go-Un-Ken (“Cloud of Enlightenment”). He has been an authorized Zen master in the White Plum Sangha since 1999 and was given the additional Dharma name Jinshu (“Divine Source”). Together with Pia Gyger he founded the Glassman-Lassalle Zen lineage in 2003.
Cornelius v. Collande (Oct. 8, 2015) Dr. Cornelius v. Collande was born in 1952 and has one adult daughter. He studied Philosophy, Psychology and Educational Theory in Freiburg (Germany), as well as Geology in Wurzburg (Germany) and Zaragoza (Spain). He has performed in twenty years of international IT projects. Since 2000 he has worked in Psychotherapy (Gestalt), Mindfulness and Zen-training. He has a European Certificate of Psychotherapy (EAP). Teacher for „Mindfulness Bases Stress Reduction“ (MBSR). He is also a Taiji teacher of “Taiji Chan school”.
He has been a Zen student since 1981 with Sekkei Harada Roshi. Since 1984 he has done Koan study with Willigis Jäger Kyoun Roshi. Since 2002 he did further Koan studies with “Sambo Kyodan” sect under Yamada Ryoun Roshi. He was appointed as Assistant Zen Teacher by Yamada Ryoun Roshi in 2006 and appointed as Zen teacher of the Zen school “Empty Cloud” by Willigis Jäger Kyoun Roshi in 2009. His first personal contact with Zen Master Bernie Glassman was in the Auschwitz-Retreat 2011. He is now a Spirit Holder in the Auschwitz Retreats.
Lives and works in the “Centre for Spiritual Ways – Benediktushof”
Attracted by the spirituality of Zen meditation began in 1987 with the Sangha of master Deshimaru. He also practiced Zen with the Dutch Teacher Ton Lathouwers. In 1991 he met Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi, the first Dharma successor of American Zen teacher Dennis Genpo Roshi Merzel and spiritual leader of the Sangha Dana. Frank began to study with Genno Roshi and became her apprentice. Three years later he took Buddhist vows and moved to its center near Paris. He combined his intense training and meditation practice seemed to volunteer for the Peacemaker Community, an interfaith network of spirituality and social transformation of American Zen teacher Bernie Glassman Roshi.He leads a Zen Sangha in Belgium. Frank De Waele Sensei takes the spiritual leadership and priestly functions that gives Dharma teachings and is responsible for the (individual) supervision of practitioners. He is also actively involved in inter-religious dialogue.
Michel cooks meals for the homeless in Paris with the organization he co-founded in 2003, l’Un Est l’Autre — The One Is the Other. They distribute 1200 meals every weekend, all year long, at lunch time when no (or few) other soupkitchens are at work in Paris. They serve people unconditionally – no papers are required. We once polled our guests and found out they came from 54 different countries. Our organization started in 2003 serving 100 meals in the street. We now serve in a self service social restaurant where people can sit. (100 seats and we’ve been serving up to 700 people!)
Grover Genro Gauntt, is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and a dharma successor of Zen Master Bernie Glassman. He started studying with Maezumi Roshi at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1971 serving as Board Chairman there from 1987 to 1997. After the passing of Maezumi Roshi in 1995, he worked closely with Bernie and started serving full time as Executive Director of the Peacemaker Community in early 1997. He studied at the University of Southern California and at the Wharton school of the University of Pennsylvania and has an MBA in finance. His interfaith studies have led him to explore Native American traditions and Sufi Muslim practices. He is Co-Director of the Hudson River Peacemaker Center in Yonkers, NY, with Sensei Francisco “Paco” Genkoji Lugoviña
From 1982 to 1993 Pia was General Director of the Katharina-Werk community and effected the spiritual and institutional-structural renewal of the community, which had until that time been open only to women. From 1983 trough 1988 underwent Zen training under the direction of Yamada Koun Roshi in Kamakura. She completed her Zen training under Aitken Roshi in Hawaii in 1990 and received authorization to teach and she was given the name One Ground from him in 1996. She has been authorized Zen Master by Roshi Bernie 1999 and bears the additional Dharma name Jinji (Divine Mercy). Together with Niklaus Brantschen she founded the Glassman-Lassalle Zen lineage in 2003.
Roshi Joan Halifax Roshi is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has worked in the area of death and dying for over thirty years and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying. For the past twenty-five years, she has been active in environmental work. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focused on socially engaged Buddhism.
Lex Hixon, Ph.D. (born Alexander Paul Hixon), (Nur al-Anwar al-Jerrahi), an accomplished poet, philosopher and spiritual practitioner and teacher, extensively explored the truth of the great religious traditions. He documented these explorations in nine books and many articles and teachings given to various groups. Most of his writing focuses on his conviction that all of the great religions are true. This idea was sparked by his reading of the life of Sri Ramakrishna who gave these radical teachings in 19th century Calcutta. It became a passionate conviction for Lex and he made his life a witness to this belief by fully immersing himself in multiple religious practices and studies. This was not a research project, it was an act of faith.
From 1982 to 1996, Sandra and Bernie founded and developed the Greyston Mandala in Yonkers, New York, a group of for-profit and non-profit corporations dedicated to improving the lives of people living in the inner city. She served as the first Executive Director of the Greyston Family Inn, which provided permanent housing and services for homeless families. Drawing on the holistic principles of Buddhism, she and Bernie Glassman developed a highly successful model that encouraged homeless families to move into permanent housing and supported them with comprehensive long-term services, including a licensed child care center. She made numerous excursions to welfare motels where, at that time, Westchester County sheltered its homeless, in order to recruit single mothers with young children to become Greyston Family Inn tenants and begin a path that would take them from welfare dependency to economic self-sufficiency. She also developed initial programs for Issan House and the Maitri Day Program which opened in downtown Yonkers in December, 1997, to provide housing and health services for poor people living with HIV and AIDS.
Roshi Paul Genki Kahn is Founder and Spiritual Director of ZEN GARLAND: A Community and Order for Zen Practice, Education & Service, with its Head Temple, High Mountain Crystal Lake Zen Community, in Airmont, NY, USA. Roshi Genki is a Zen Teacher, a Zen Buddhist Priest and a licensed psychotherapist who has developed quality mental helath programs in underserved areas for the past 25 years. Roshi Genki received Final Vows as a Priest from Roshi Dennis Genpo Merzel. He is a Dharma Successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman and received Inka from him. He also studied with Seung Sah Nim, a Korean Zen Master and Kyudo Nakagawa, a Successor of Soen Nakagawa.
Roshi Robert Kennedy, S.J., is a Jesuit priest and Zen teacher in the White Plum lineage. He studied with Yamada Roshi in Kamakura, Japan, with Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles, and with Roshi Bernie Glassman in New York. Roshi Bernie installed Kennedy as sensei in 1991 and conferred Inka (his final seal of approval) in 1997, making him a roshi (Zen Master). Roshi Kennedy is the author of Zen Gifts to Christians and Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit.
Andrzej Getsugen Krajewski, is the head teacher of the Polish Peacemakers in Warsaw, Poland and co-organizer of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Bearing Witness Retreat. Born 1939 with strong wanderlust. Graduated Faculty of Philosophy at the Warsaw University to spend some lazy years on traveling foot. Active with the political opposition in Poland during the Marshal Law in 1980s. Writer and literary translator (from Swedish to Polish.) He began practicing Zen with Dae Soen Sa Nim in 1980 and in 1983 continued his Zen practice with Genpo Roshi. Since 1997 he has been training with Roshi Bernie Glassman.
Eve Myonen Marko is the head teacher at the Green River Zen Center in Greenfield, MA. With her husband and teacher, Bernie Glassman, she co-founded Peacemaker Circle International, which linked and trained spiritually-based social activists and peacemakers around the world. During that time she helped develop coalitions of Civil Society activists in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. During the 1980s she worked in the Greyston Mandala, a Buddhist-inspired network of for-profits and not-for-profits in Yonkers, New York. Eve has written and edited numerous articles about the Zen Peacemakers and its member activists, and also collaborated with Roshi Bernie Glassman in the writing of Bearing Witness: A Zen Master’s Instructions on Making Peace, which was published by Random House in 1998.
Roshi Peter Muryo Matthiessen was a master novelist, naturalist and literary voice for nature, an acclaimed activist concerned with ecological issues and the rights of indigenous peoples and social justice, Zen teacher, Buddhist priest and Zen teacher and founder of the Paris Review. He has written over 30 fiction and non-fiction books, and a plethora of powerful, deeply researched and artfully crafted articles. He was Bernie’s first dharma successor and received Inka (Zen Master) in Jan 1997.
Genpo Roshi is working to transmit the essence of the Buddha’s teachings in a way that is readily accessible to Westerners and relevant to our everyday life. He combines Zen tradition with the insights of such visionary western figures as Carl Jung, Fritz Perls, and Hal Stone, enabling virtually anyone to realize their true nature, a realization they can further deepen through meditation.
Egyoku moved to the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1978 to study with Taisan Maezumi Roshi. She was ordained by him in 1983, and served as his Head Monk in 1988. During her training at ZCLA, she served in various capacities, including as Editor of The Ten Directions and the Center’s Chief Administrator. She was Maezumi Roshi’s personal assistant at the time of his death, in 1995. In 1996, she received Dharma Transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman, Maezumi Roshi’s first dharma successor, in Yonkers, New York. At Roshi Glassman’s request, she returned to ZCLA as the Head Priest and Teacher in 1997, and was installed as the third Abbot of ZCLA in 1999. In June, 2004, she received inka from him in an empowerment ceremony held at the Mother House of the Zen Peacemakers in Montague, Ma. Both Egyoku’s temple and teaching lineage comes through Maezumi Roshi, whose background was unusual in that he was a Soto priest who studied a Rinzai koan system. The orientation of her Dharma Transmission teacher Roshi Glassman in social action and peacemaking is also a major factor in her evolving teaching style. A founding member of the Zen Peacemaker Order, Roshi has a strong commitment to rooting practice in our flesh and bones and the myriad forms of our contemporary culture.
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara is the Abbot of Dotoku-ji / Village Zendo. She is a Zen Priest and certified Zen Teacher in the Soto tradition. She studied with John Daido Loori Roshi of Zen Mountain Monastery and Taizan Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles/Zen Mountain Center. She is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order. In 1997 she received dharma transmission from Roshi Bernie Glassman and in June, 2004, she received inka from him in an empowerment ceremony held at the Mother House of the Zen Peacemakers in Montague, Ma. In May, 2005 she became Co-Spiritual Director of the Zen Peacemakers Order. Enkyo’s focus is on true self-expression, peacemaking and HIV/AIDS activism. She holds a Ph. D. in Media Ecology and taught Multi-media at New York University for over 20 years.She is the Guiding Spiritual Teacher of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
Janet Jinne Richardson, csjp, co-founder of ZCB/Clare Sangha, has moved to Florida but still teaches at ZCB from time to time. She studied with Roshi Bernie Glassman. In 1994 she was named Sensei (teacher), receiving Dharma Transmission from her teacher, Robert Jinsen Kennedy, S.J., Roshi. In 1997 she received inka from Zen Master Glassman and was thereby installed as Roshi (Venerable Teacher) in the lineage of the White Plum Sangha and Zen Peacemakers. With life experiences in social work, education, the United Nations and international development, she is a translator and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace (csjp), an international congregation of Catholic women religious committed to peace through justice.
Roshi Anne Seisen Saunders is the founder and head teacher of Sweetwater Zen Center. Seisen has been practicing and teaching Zen Buddhism for over 30 years. Seisen was a student of the late Taizan Maezumi Roshi and a Dharma successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman from whom she received Inka (became a Roshi.)
Roshi Coen Sousa é missioná ria oficial da tradição Soto Shu – Zen Budismo com sede no Japão e é a Primaz Fundadora da Comunidade Zen Budista, criada em 2001, com sede em Pacaembu. Iniciou seus estudos budistas no Zen Center of Los Angeles – ZCLA. Foi ordenada monja em 1983, mesmo ano em que foi para o Japão aonde permaneceu por 12 anos sendo oito dos primeiros anos no Convento Zen Budista de Nagoia, Aichi Senmon Nisodo e Tokubetsu Nisodo. Retornou ao Brasil em 1995, e liderou as atividades no Templo Busshinji, bairro da Liberdade, em São Paulo, e sede da tradição Soto Shu para a América do Sul durante seis anos. Foi, em 1997, a primeira mulher e primeira pessoa de origem não japonesa a assumir a Presidência da Federação das Seitas Budistas do Brasil, por um ano. Participa de encontros educacionais, inter religiosos e promove a Caminhada Zen, em parques públicos, com o objetivo de divulgação do princípio da não violência e a criação de culturas de paz, justiça, cura da Terra e de todos os seres vivos.
Sensei Barbara had practiced meditation, yoga and Sufism with Sufi teacher Annette Kaiser for ten years when she met her teacher Roshi Bernie Glassman at the Bearing Witness Retreat in Auschwitz In 1999. In 2005 he gave her the Dharma name Salaam (arabic for Peace) and in 2011 recognition as a teacher in his lineage. In 2008 Barbara Salaam received transmission as a Preceptor in the Zen Peacemaker Sangha from her Preceptor Teacher Roshi Eve Myonen Marko. As a founding member she joined the study and the development of the Zen Peacemaker Order in Europe and later the development of the Zen Peacemaker Circles. Barbara Salaam serves as Spirit Holder in the annual Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau. She and her husband Roland offer weekly Zazen practice at their ZPO Training Center Spiegel Sangha. Engagement for refugees is for both a concern of the heart.
Roshi Gerry Shishin Wick is President and Spiritual Leader of Great Mountain Zen Center. He is a Dharma Successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, having received transmission from Maezumi Roshi in 1990. He also did Zen training under Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Sochu Suzuki Roshi. He administered the Zen Center of Los Angeles and the Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Human Values for 8 years from 1978 to 1986. He founded the Great Mountain Zen Center in 1996.
(Date in parenthesis is Recognition Date for Zen Master or Zen Teacher.)
Stef lived and practiced at Greyston for seven years. After he left Greyston, he began going to a maximum security prison in upstate New York. He moved to Maine in 2003 and settled in Oakland. The mother-in-law apartment above the garage was transformed into a zendo and is now the hub of the Treetop Zen Center.
Sensei James Daikan Bastien, LICSW, MHD, is the designer, developer and Director of the Brattleboro Retreat’s Uniformed Services Program (USP). The USP is a specialized partial hospitalization program offering mental health services to veterans, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who witness multiple traumas. Trained as a scientist-practitioner, Jim is a clinical social worker and trained behavior analyst with more than 30 years experience providing trauma focused clinical services in large residential settings. Jim holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan as well as a Masters Degree in Human Development from the University of Kansas. Jim has published in scientific journals including the Journal of Behavioral Assessment, the International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, and Behavioral Intervention. Prior to joining the Retreat, Jim served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Zen Peacemakers, Inc., Vice President of Residential Services for the Sisters of Providence Health System, and Executive Director of Father Flanagan’s Boys Town of New England. Jim has been a Zen practitioner since 1980 training in the Soto Zen lineage of Dainin Katagiri Roshi, the Korean Zen lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn, & the Zen Peacemaker lineage of Roshi Bernie Glassman. Jim received dharma transmission (shiho) from Roshi Glassman in March of 2011.
Sensei Kenneth Tetsuji Byalin is a Soto Buddhist priest, and Sensei in the lineage of Roshis Bernie Glassman and Sandra Jishu Holmes. He is the founder and spiritual head of the Zen Community of Staten Island and resident teacher of Multifaith Zen at Mount Manresa. On April 20, 2009, the John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School in Staten Island received its charter and opened in September 2009! Founded and established by Sensei Byalin, Lavelle Prep provides a unique model in the public education system, enabling students living with emotional challenges fully integrated in a rigorous college preparatory program. All Lavelle Prep students benefit from the small classes, superior educational technology, enriched instruction, and a curriculum that addresses their emotional and social needs. A professional in social work practice for over thirty years, Ken played a leadership role in the development of the Brookdale Community Mental Health Center and South Beach Psychiatric Center. He also taught social work and sociology full-time at the college level and maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Brooklyn and Staten Island for over twenty years.
Shaykha Fariha is the spiritual guide of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order in New York City. She was born in 1947 into a socially committed, eclectic Catholic family in Houston, Texas. At the age of 29, she met her teacher, Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak of Istanbul, and received direct transmission from him in 1980. Shaykh Muzaffer also gave direct transmission to Lex Hixon (Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi), who envisioned a radical and illumined path of the heart which he called Universal Islam. After Shaykh Nur’s death, Fariha took on the guidance of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order, with circles around the world. This lineage offers the nectar of teachings of the Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, which guide the seeker to self-knowledge and immersion in God. The sacred practices of zikr, prayer, charitable living, fasting and retreat are all embraced. Every Thursday, Fariha with her husband Ali and the dervishes invite all seekers into the circle of zikr at the Dergah al-Farah in NYC.
Painter: 2000-Present Psychotherapist: in Private Practice 1993-Present Zen Practice Leader: Plain Water Practice, UU Fellowship, Poughkeepsie, NY 1993-Present, Zen Community of NY 1982-1989 Teacher: Core Energetics Institute 1997-2005
Sheila Hixon is the Multi-Faith Seat Holder of the Zen Peacemaker Family. She served on the board of Tricycle and her family’s charitable foundation and has played a major role in the development and planning of the House of One People.
Sally worked in several job capacities within the Greyston Mandala in Yonkers. She took the lay Buddhist Precepts in 1986, and became a Novice Priest (Tokudo) in 1993. She took a five year period to study Zen in the Kwan Um School of Zen under Wu Kwang Zen Master (Richard Shrobe). At this time she also received a Masters in Social Work from NYU, and certified in a four year post graduate Gestalt Training program in Manhattan. Sally returned to Japanese style Zen, received Denkai in 1997(Priest Vows), and is a student of her root teacher, Zen Master Bernie and a Zen Peacemaker priest and Zen Teacher.
Bob Lee received his MD at the University of Michigan. He practiced as a pediatrician for 8 years, then completed residency in psychiatry in Berkeley. He practiced as a family therapist for 35 years, was Chief of Kaiser Permanente in-patient and out-patient psychiatry for many years. A Zen Buddhist since 1968, Bob studied meditation practice with Yasatani Roshi. A major teacher was Koryo Osaka Roshi, and Bob also was a student of Maezumi Roshi and Soen Nakagawa Roshi. Currently he is a student of and made a Sensei by Genpo Roshi and Roshi Bernie, and has served on their organizations’ Board of Directors. He is a founding member of the Bay Area Peacemaker Circle. Bob was named as the first Elder in the Zen Peacemaker Sangha.
Francisco “Paco” Genkoji Lugoviña is an ordained Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen lineage and in the Zen Peacemaker Order; is a member of the Zen Peacemaker Circles and Peacemaker International; and is the founder of the Hudson River Peacemaker Center-House of One People in Yonkers, New York where he has a fledgling sangha.. He works with gang members and other youth groups in Council Circle format and meditation practice. Francisco has participated in pilgrimages to Tibet, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and in the streets of New York City. He has an admirable history as a community organizer and civil rights activist spanning his college and professional careers. Additionally, Paco has been active in community and political affairs in New York City for most of his adult life.
Fleet Maull is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, social activist, educator, and author. He began studying Buddhism and practicing meditation in 1969 and met his first Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa in 1977. Fleet founded three Socially Engaged Buddhism inspired organizations — Prison Dharma Network, Peacemaker Institute International and National Prison Hospice Association. He taught Socially Engaged Buddhism and directed the Center for Contemplative End of Life Care at Naropa University 1999 to 2009 and currently co-directs the Buddhist Chaplaincy program with Roshi Joan Halifax at the Upaya Zen Center. Fleet is a senior teacher (acharya and sensei) in both the Shambhala Buddhist and Zen Peacemaker communities, as a senior student and representative of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Dharma successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman. He is a leading prison activist and outspoken proponent of the Transformative and Restorative Justice alternatives to our shame-based and punitive justice systems, as well as contemplative and transformative approaches to healing and transforming what he sees as a global pandemic of viral, shame-based violence in our human culture.
Heinz-Jürgen Metzger (Apr. 24, 2011) In 1985 he began his practice of zazen with the Association Zen International founded by Taisen Deshimaru Roshi. He became the personal translator and interpreter of Zen-Master Roland Rech from whom he received the lay-ordination in 1989 and the ordination as a monk in 1991 and dharma transmission in 2010. After having served several years in the Spirit Holder Group of the Auschwitz Bearing Witness Rereat, Heinz-Jürgen Metzger started in 2001 to lead sesshins in the former concentration camp Weimar-Buchenwald. He also spends every year five days in street-retreats in German towns. As a member of the Order of Disorder (OD) he enjoys to work together with Mr. Yoowho (Moshe Cohen) in leading Clown-Workshops throughout Germany.
Mark’s Buddhist practice is intimately intertwined with his various working roles as a lawyer, healthcare administrator and business person. In 2005, he helped coordinate a major conference among His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Mind and Life Institute and the Society for Neuroscience concerning the science of meditation and he is currently advising Columbia University in the creation of a center for the study and propagation of mental training in public health and public education.
Lou Mitsunen Nordstrom, Roshi received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University, where he taught until 1970. Roshi began Zen practice in the late 1960’s. In 1974 he gave up a tenured teaching position at Marymount College to become a Rinzai Zen monk. From 1980 to 1988 Roshi was Director of Training, Liturgy, and Study of the Zen Community of New York and was ordained a Soto Zen priest. He received Dharma Transmission from Tetsugen Roshi in 1998. Since 1989 has been doing adjunct and visiting college teaching (Yale, Wesleyan, NYU, Hunter, Baruch,Iona). Since 1987 he has been leading Zen retreats in New York State, North Carolina, and here in Florida. He has published a study in comparative communication (Communication East and West), and numerous articles on Zen and comparative-philosophical themes.
Bhikkhuni Pannavati, Co-Abbot, spiritual director and Founder of the Embracing Simplicity Hermitage, is a Buddhist monk, ordained in both the Theravada and Mahayana (Chan) traditions. She is also a former Christian pastor, Taoist monk and initiated yogi, with a doctorate in religion. Ven. Pannavati’s insight comes not just from study, but deep personal commitment to practice and understanding of the central truths in the various spiritual traditions.
Chris Panos is currently a founder and principal of Fundamental Investment Advisors. He has studied Tibetan Buddhism, Korean Zen, and American Japanese Zen since 1975 and recently became a Dharmaholder in the Zen Peacemakers lineage. Chris received a BA from Indiana University and a MBA from the University of Chicago. He has founded several successful businesses over the past 25 years: among them are Panos Financial, TibetCafé, Groundswell Productions, Athena Mills, and Fundamental Investment Advisors.
Rabbi Singer Sensei Founded Shir Hadash in 1981 as a contemplative community of friends open to the dialogue of life. He is a teacher of contemplative Judaism, ordained at Hebrew Union College. Currently, he leads contemplative retreats and study groups in Europe, Israel and the United States.
As the leader of an immunization program in West-Africa from 1982-1985 he came in touch with African rituals and got initiations as a shaman in the early eighties. During 1990- 2000 he pursued meditation and dream-work with his Sufi Teachers Annette Kaiser. Llwellyn Vaughan-Lee and Irina Tweedie. Since 1999 he has studied Zen and he has organized, led and participated in interreligious gatherings and events, e.g., the Auschwitz Retreat. As a founder member he joined the study and development of the European Zen Peacemaker Order and later the Peacemaker Circles Europe and the Peacemaker Circles Switzerland. Since 2003 he is the President of the Peacemaker Gemeinschaft Schweiz. As the initiator of the “Club of the 200″ he is a fundraiser and supporter of the Palestinian Center for the Study of Non-Violence in Bethlehem Palestine.