Na zijn studies aan het Sint-Lucasinstituut in Gent werkte Frank De Waele (geb. 1957) in musea in Venetië, Brussel en Gent en later ook voor de VRT-radio. Voor hij naar Frankrijk vertrok, was hij docent schilderkunst aan de Academie voor Schone Kunsten te Leuven. Aangetrokken door de spiritualiteit van zen begon hij in 1987 met meditatie in de sangha van meester Deshimaru. Hij oefende tevens bij de Nederlandse zenleraar Ton Lathouwers.
In 1991 ontmoette Frank de Franse zenlerares Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi, de eerste Dharma-opvolgster van de Amerikaanse zenleraar Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi en spirituele leidster van de Dana Sangha. Frank begon bij Genno Roshi te studeren en werd haar leerling. Drie jaar later legde hij de boeddhistische geloften af en verhuisde hij naar haar centrum in de buurt van Parijs. Hij combineerde zijn intensieve lekentraining en meditatiepraktijk met vrijwilligerswerk voor de Peacemaker Community, een interreligieus netwerk voor spiritualiteit en sociale verandering van de Amerikaanse zenleraar Bernie Glassman Roshi.
Genno Roshi leidde Frank in de loop van zijn residentiële zentraining op tot meditatie- en koanleraar. In 2002 keerde hij terug naar België waar hij, onder haar supervisie, meehielp aan de uitbouw van Dana Sangha België, waarvan hij de begeleiding opnam. Op 23 juli 2005 ontving Frank van Genno Roshi dharmatransmissie (Jap. shiho), waardoor hij een gekwalificeerd zenleraar (Jap. sensei) werd in de White Plum Sotozenlijn van wijlen Taizan Maezumi Roshi.
In 2006 werd Dana Sangha België omgevormd tot een onafhankelijke sangha met een nieuwe naam en logo en een eigen programmatie. In de vernieuwde Zen Sangha neemt Frank De Waele Sensei de spirituele leiding en de priesterlijke functies waar, geeft dharmaonderricht en staat in voor de (individuele) begeleiding van de beoefenaars. Hij is ook actief betrokken bij de interlevensbeschouwelijke dialoog. Tijdens de straatretraite te New York in april 2011 kreeg Frank ook transmissie (dharma recognition) van Bernie Glassman Roshi en werd daarmee zijn dharmaopvolger.
Frank De Waele Sensei tekent en houdt van beeldende kunst, lezen, wandelen en straatretraites. Hij leeft in Gent bij de zendo en werkt voltijds als zenleraar in residence. Hij is gehuwd met Alexandra Mushin Gericke, senior zenstudente van Genpo Roshi. Samen hebben ze twee dochters, Hannia en Sanne.
Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi was born near Grenoble, France, and lived for much of her youth in Paris. After studying art history at the Sorbonne, she pursued a career in various Parisian galleries and museums.
Beginning in 1978, she began traveling throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America, India and Nepal, where she first encountered the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and began practicing in that tradition.
Upon returning to Paris in 1982, she met the American Zen master Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi, who became her teacher. For the next 10 years, she practiced Zen with him in Europe and America, and after completing her formal koan study, she received transmission from him in 1992. On January 16th, 2005, her teacher gave her the final seal of approval (“inka” in Japanese).
She teaches the practice of “just sitting” (shikantaza) and koan practice.
Born in 1947, Michel Genko Dubois has practiced Zen since 1978. In 2007, he received Dharma Transmission, authorization to teach Zen, from Genpo Merzel Roshi. He has also studied with Bernie Tetsugen Glassman Roshi, Maezumi Roshi and Deshimaru Roshi, as well as having received the teachings of several Tibetan lamas, such as Chhoje Tulku Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, and Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche.
From 1970 to 1974, Michel Dubois travelled across Africa, hitchhiking, teaching English and doing various odd jobs. His first experience with meditation was in the mountains of northern Ethiopia in 1974.
The year after, he travelled across Central America and the United States, before finally settling in San Francisco, where he became a taxi driver and began practicing Zen regularly. In 1980, he took part in the « Long Walk for Survival », a spiritual march San Francisco to New York led by traditionalist Native Americans, to pray for peace on Earth and the closing of the uranium mines on Native reserve lands.
During the 1980s he co-produced and co-wrote the documentary film, “The Spirit of Crazy Horse”, which tells the story of the Lakota Sioux Indians and their struggle to recover their sacred ancestral land – the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Michel Dubois is a member of the « Zen Peacemakers », an association founded by Bernie Glassman to unite Zen Buddhist practice, social action, and work for peace. He is also the cofounder of the “L’Un Est L’Autre” (One is the Other) humanitarian organization, which distributes meals to the needy in Paris.
He currently teaches Zen at the Dana Zen Center at Montreuil, suburban Paris, and regularly leads retreats in France and Catalonia, Spain. He is also a professional translator.
The Zen teacher and poet Amy (Tu es cela) Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in extended exile in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist and translator there.
She met her Zen teacher, Catherine (Genno) Pagès Roshi, in 1993 and with several other students helped Genno Roshi create the lay Zen community Dana Sangha and its practice center in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris, in 1994.
In 2004, Amy formally received dharma transmission from Genno Roshi, becoming a successor in the White Plum branch of Zen that was brought to the West from Japan by Taizan Maezumi Roshi, founder of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. That same year, Amy Sensei founded the Wild Flower Zen Sangha as a home without walls for those who wish to discover the Buddha’s ancient teachings here and now, in the midst of their everyday lives in the West at the dawn of the 21st century.
She has long been a staff editor at the International Herald Tribune and her translations include works by Georges Bataille, Alberto Giacometti, Yves Bonnefoy, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Yasmina Khadra, Catherine Millot and Matthieu Ricard. Named one of the leading English-language poets in France by The Café Review and Ekleksographia, her poetry has appeared in numerous publications in Europe and the United States. She is a former student of the writing program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, founded by Chogyam Trungpa in Boulder, Colorado.
She leads meditation retreats and Zen workshops in France and Portugal and also teaches online at her blog, zenscribe.ovh.org.
Andrzej Getsugen Krajewski is the Director of the Peacemaker Community 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 since 1983 has continued his Zen practice with Genpo Roshi as his main teacher.
Since 35 years married to Malgosia Braunek, successful actress and zen teacher.
Since 1997 related to and under big influence of Roshi Bernie Glassman.
He claims to – sometimes – attain the beginner’s mind. Andrzej has been co-organizing the Auschwitz-Birkenau Retreats since the very beginning in 1996.
In 1996 with some friends he gave birth to an association called La rete di indra. Its aim was to promote the practice of mindfulness among those working in the caring professions or with volunteer organizations. It lasted until 2005 when they decided that that experience was over. Since then it has been up to each of them to find new ways for learning how to bear witness to life as a whole.
In 1994 he first met Bernie in Auschwitz and was in Paris when ZPO Europe was established after a long and intense periodo of meetings and discussions.
He works as psychoterapist since 2010 and also is in palliative care with the Ryder Italia, an association for home care.
Der Leiter des Bambushain-Sangha ist Paul Shoju Schwerdt. Der Psychotherapeut, Designer und Kampfkunstlehrer beschäftigt sich mit Zen Paul Shoju Schwerdtseit rd. 35 Jahren, lernte in dieser Zeit bei verschiedenen Meistern, legte 1992 Jukai (die buddh. Gelübde) ab, wurde 1998 in Hangzhou vom damaligen Abt des Jingci-Tempels He Nan zum zenbuddhistischen Priester ordiniert, im Jahr 2000 in Jerusalem zum Spiritholder des damaligen internationalen Zen-Peacemaker-Ordens ernannt. Ab 2002 leitete er als Direktor des Zen Peacemaker Ordens, später Zen Peacemaker Circle für Europa diese Gemeinschaft. 2004 ernannte Bernard Glassman Roshi ihn zu seinem Dharmahalter, 2005 wurde er im Wudanggebirge/V.R. China von Meister Xude in die daoistische Quanzhen-Linie eingeführt.
2006 begründete er den Bambushain-Sangha und eröffnete im Februar 2008 den Zhulinci-Tempel. Paul Shoju Schwerdts Anliegen ist es, Zen/Chan sowohl einer Tradition und Lehre entsprechend, als auch zeitgemäße Werkzeuge und Hilfsmittel nutzend, zu vermitteln.
Barbara Salaam Wegmüller, born in 1952. She grew up in socially engaged family. She is married with Roland Wegmueller and mother of five grown-up children. The couple has three grand children and lives with the big family and several family pets near Berne, Switzerland. From 1990 to 2001 Barbara practiced meditation and dream work with Annette Kaiser in the lineage of the Sufi teacher Irina Tweedie. 1999 Barbara met her teacher, Zen Master Bernie Glassman from him she got her Dharma name Salaam. He made her a Zen Peacemakers Circle Dharmaholder and recognized her as a Sensei in his lineage, in April 24. 2011.
After studying with Roshi Eve Marko, Barbara got from her transmission as a Lay Preceptor of Zen Peacemakers . Additionally Barbara studied together with Tsultrim Allione Tibetian Buddhist practice. Since 2005 she is also part of the group of Spiritholders at the Retreat in Auschwitz Birkenauau. She offers silent Zen Retreats including Council practice.
She is a member of the advisory board of the Zen Peacemakers.
Barbara offers trainings for Stewards of the Zen Peacemakers Circles in Europe and offers workshops about the play of the five Buddha families including the method of council.
An important part of her social engagement lies in the support for refugees in her one country. As a member of Peacemaker Gemeinschaft Switzerland she is happy to offer networking for peace activists around the world and to suport several projects.
Since many years she is involved in interreligious dialog. As married woman and mother lies her main focus in working with lay students to stress family life and relationships, as well as socially engagement as spiritual practice.
Roland Yakushi Wegmüller was born 1954, in Bern Switzerland. Since 1988 he is working as a Homeopath and MD in his own general medical practice. 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 met Roshi Bernie and studied Zen and has organized, led and participated in interreligious gatherings and events, e.g., the Auschwitz Retreat and Street Retrets. 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. In 2008 Roland Yakushi received transmission as a Preceptor in the Zen Peacemaker Sangha from his Preceptor Teacher Roshi Eve Myonen Marko. For 10 years he was practicing Koan Studies with Roshi Genro Gauntt and got acknowledgement as a Sensei from Roshi Bernie Glassman in 2010. With his wife Barbara Salaam he is leading the “Spiegel Sangha”, Berne, Switzerland. He offers Zazen practice, Days of Reflection, Zen Circle Practice. As a Preceptor he supports people on the path of receiving the Ceremony of Precepts (Jukai). 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. With Barbara Salaam he has 5 children and 3 grandchildren.