Staff

Founder and Spiritual Director: Zen Master Bernie Glassman

Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement and a leading creative figure in socially engaged Buddhism. He is the founder and co-spiritual director of the Zen Peacemakers. He has extended Dharma practice from the meditation hall to the arenas of social service, business, environmental stewardship and conflict resolution. He has been honored with numerous ethics, service and achievement awards.

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Registrar, Office Manager and Assistant to Founder: Laurie Smith

Laurie has lived in Western Massachusetts all her life. She graduated from Greenfield High School, then attended Greenfield Community College, majoring in Business Administration. She loves the outdoors, especially fishing with her husband, Scott. Laurie has a passion for weaving baskets, and she has been weaving for 25 years, using many different materials such as, willow, grape vine, red osier dogwood, rattan reed, and most recently waxed linen thread.

 

Zen Peacemakers Family Coordinator: Sally Sonen Kealy

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 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 Priest Vows in 1997, and is a student of her root teacher, Zen Master Bernie.

 

Learn More About Sally Sonen Kealy

Sally Sonen Kealy was born Sally Smith in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and lived in the Midwest throughout her early adult life. After working as a Speech Therapist for Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Town in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Denver Public Schools she moved to San Francisco, met and married John Kealy.

Sally and John moved to the Philippines where he attended medical school. While in Manila Sally was introduced to Zen by an OLM sister who led daily practice and monthly zazenkai in her convent. Sr. Elaine prepared her group to become formal students of her teacher, Yamada Koun (White Cloud) Roshi who led several sesshin there. Yamada Roshi, a lay teacher, was an innovative Zen Master, inviting Christians in all capacities, nuns, priests, and lay, onto the traditional Zen path. About to return to the United States, Sally asked for Sr. Elaine to consult with Yamada Roshi about whom he recommended for their continuation of Zen practice. They wanted to study with someone as open to the changing nature of Zen practice as Yamada had been. Yamada told Sr. Elaine that he had dokusan several times with a very strong practitioner, monk and Dharma successor of Maezumi Roshi who was on his way to New York from California in 1980 to begin a group there.

Sally moved back with John to New York, met Bernie Sensei as he was called at the time, and recognized that he would be their teacher. She 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.

Sally now works as the Coordinator for the Zen Peacemaker Sangha and Editor for the ZPS Family Newsletter. Both Sally and John have three grown children (Denise, Siobhan, and John David) two recent sons-in-law, and five grandchildren.