In 1997 a group gathered together to develop the ZPO Precepts. This group was called the Founding Teachers and consisted of Grover Genro Gauntt, Joan Jiko Halifax, Eve Myonen Marko, Wendy Egyoku Nakao, and Pat Enkyo O’Hara.
The ZPO Co-Founders, Sandra Jishu Holmes and Bernie Glassman along with the Founding Teachers spent about one year refining the Precepts and creating the ZPO Rule.
Sensei Grover Genro Gauntt, is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and a dharma successor of Roshi 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. Feeling that his path was to unfold from a lay perspective, he pursued a professional career in real estate and finance forming Western Property Research, a real estate consulting firm that operated from 1984 to 1997. He has two sons, John and Parker. Baptized as a Congregationalist and raised as a Presbyterian., his interfaith studies have led him to explore Native American traditions and Sufi Muslim practices. Further interfaith plunges will include Jewish and Catholic retreats.
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 engaged Buddhism.
She is Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners.She is founder of the Ojai Foundation, was an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University, and has taught in many universities, monasteries, and medical centers around the world.
She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.
Roshi Eve Myonen Marko is a dharma successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman and a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order. Through her numerous writings and her role as one of the leaders of the Order’s annual bearing witness retreats at Auschwitz-Birkenau, she has made the teachings of Zen in the areas of peacemaking and love accessible to a broad audience.
Roshi Eve Myonen Marko 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. She has also written biographies and mystery books for children, published by Waldman Publishing.
She was a long-time member of the Zen Community of New York, which founded the Greyston Mandala organizations in Yonkers, New York. She was critical in the organization’s progress and developed resources and funding for Greyston Family Inn and Greyston Foundation. Marko was also Executive Director for the Music For the World Foundation, which funds and advocates on behalf of music education programs in American schools.
Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, was born Wendy Lou Nakao in Honolulu, Hawaii, around the middle of the last century. Of Japanese-Portuguese ancestry, she grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where she received a BA in East Asian Studies and an MA in Librarianship. In Seattle in 1975, she began sitting on a dare. “Somebody bet me fifty dollars that I couldn’t sit still and keep quiet for a week. I accepted the challenge and did a seven-day Zen sesshin. It was absolutely horrible, but I was hooked.”
After three years of zazen in Seattle, 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.
Both Roshi’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.
Roshi Enkyo 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 Shiho (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 Peacemaker Family in Montague, Ma.