Dharma Talks at Jikoji

Dharma Talks are offered at Jikoji every Sunday at 11:40 am.  Our speakers represent a full cross section of Zen practitioners and perspectives ranging from the insight of our teachers immersed in a lifetime of study to the fresh glimpses of the world through the eyes of our newest residents.  The dharma talks are free and donations are gratefully accepted.  For a complete and chronological list of all talks from the last five years, please visit our audio archive at audio.jikoji.org.

Joe Hall

Joe Hall

Joseph W Hall is a resident priest at Jikoji Zen Center.  His energy is enthusiastically focused on the nexus between Lay Practice and the Monastic world and he is fascinated by the ways in which we interpret the world and the means by which physical motion trains the mind. He wakes up in the morning excited to witness the ongoing birth of American Zen. His favorite words are Sublime, Exquisite, and Ravissant.

Angie Boissevain

Angie Boissevain

Angie studied with Kobun while she was raising three sons, being a wife and writing poetry.He called her the enlightened housewife. During the last thirty-plus years of her practice with him she served as a teacher and director at Jikoji, a retreat center she helped to establish for Kobun in the Santa Cruz mountains

Shoho Michael Newhall

Shoho Michael Newhall

Shoho Michael Newhall was ordained and transmitted by Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi. Prior to his installation as Jikoji’s Resident Teacher, he taught art and Buddhism at Naropa University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other universities in the midwest. He leads sesshins and meditation workshops at Zen centers in the U.S. and Europe. Shoho has also practiced and studied with Keibun Otogawa in Japan, Dainin Katagiri Roshi, and Tenshin Reb Anderson.

Jana Drakka

Jana Drakka

Junsei Jana Drakka runs a 'street ministry' - popularly known as 'The Zendo Without Walls'- taking the Dharma teachings of loving kindness and total acceptance out of the temples and into the streets. Teaching in shelters, hospices and low-income  hotels offers the possibility of peace of mind to all without exception. Junsei travels widely sharing 'Harm Reduction Meditation' in universities, zen centers, hospitals and shelters.

Kokyo Henkel, guiding teacher of Santa Cruz Zen Center

Kokyo Henkel, guiding teacher of Santa Cruz Zen Center

Kokyo Henkel leads a new generation of Buddhist scholars and is currently Head Teacher at Santa Cruz Zen Center. Kokyo's interests include looking at how the classic original teachings of Buddha-Dharma from ancient India, China, and Japan are still very much alive and useful in present-day America to bring peace and harmony to this troubled world. 

Click to listen to his Dharma Talk on The Heart Sutra

Satya Vayu, priest and renunciate

Satya Vayu, priest and renunciate

Satyavayu began Zen practice while studying Asian religion in college, and soon after moved to California to pursue practice full time.  He first met Kobun in sesshin at Jikoji in the early nineties, while also practicing at Berkeley Zen Center, and  at Tassajara.  He was ordained a priest by Kobun at Hokoji in Taos, New Mexico, and soon after went to Japan to train at Bukkokuji monastery for most of the next five years.  Since 2000, he's lived in the northwest - mostly in Portland Oregon - where he leads a small sangha that focuses on expressing practice through simple, low-impact living and engagement with the natural world.  In addition to the core practice of zazen, he incorporates the body practice of taiji and qigong, and the voice practice of Indian raga into the sangha's expression, and he also leads contemplative wilderness retreats.  Inspired by the traditions of spiritual renunciation or voluntary siimplicity, he has lived without income or his own house for many years.

Andy Acker

Andy Acker

Andy is a Jikoji Resident and student of Chinese medicine and Zen.  In this "Way Seeking Mind" talk he will describe his practice, how he uses his back-round to care for the body when sitting Zazen/Shikantaza, and what led him (and continues to lead him) to Zen.  After being raised Catholic & having an amicable "break-up" with theism in his late teens, he began studying Taoism & Qigong in 1997 &  Buddhist meditation in 2000 with both Sokuzan Bob Brown & Mike Dosho Port.  He has studied and practiced intensively in the Shambhala, Tibetan Kagyu, & Zen lineages.  Andy moved from Minneapolis to Boulder, Colorado in 2002 to attend Naropa University, where he studied transpersonal psychology, religious studies, somatics, writing, & music- graduating with a BA in 2005.  After a period at Jikoji five years ago, he returned to the midwest and practiced again with Sokuzan Bob Brown at Sokukoji in Michigan, & Dosho Port at Wild Fox Zen Center near Minneapolis.  He has recently returned to California & Jikoji, resuming his studies at Five Branches University in San Jose and Zen training here at Jikoji with Shoho Mike Newhall.

To listen to his dharma talk, click HERE

Jill Kaplan

Jill Kaplan

Born in Chicago, Jill Kaplan moved to the Bay Area in 1977 where she raised two boys and taught school for many years. Jill discovered Zen practice in 1993 and returned to graduate school in 1995. Working as a psychologist, she trained in Sandplay, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and in Body Soul Rhythms with Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, and studied Zen with Darlene Cohen. Jill recieved dharma transmission from Misha Shungen Merril in 2013. Her talks are informed by her body-focused meditation practice.

Jo-Shin Thomas, visiting teacher from Switzerland

Jo-Shin has written a beautiful summary of the experience and intentions of sitting practice, using metaphors and dharma poems.  He has just completed his second annual Rohatsu Sesshin at Jikoji, and is a visiting resident for the next few weeks.  He will read some of his insights, and describe some of his history and experience that brought him back this year.

To listen to Jo-Shin's Dharma Talk, Click Here

Shoho Michael Newhall

Shoho Michael Newhall

Shoho Michael Newhall was ordained and transmitted by Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi. Prior to his installation as Jikoji’s Resident Teacher, he taught art and Buddhism at Naropa University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and other universities in the midwest. He leads sesshins and meditation workshops at Zen centers in the U.S. and Europe. Shoho has also practiced and studied with Keibun Otogawa in Japan, Dainin Katagiri Roshi, and Tenshin Reb Anderson.

Misha Merrill

Misha Merrill

In 1976, Misha Merrill graduated from college, showed  her work in small galleries and earned her living as a graphic designer. In 1988 she ordained as a Zen priest with Les Kaye Roshi, went to the monastery and became a librarian.  She received Dharma Transmission in 1998 and became the Primary Teacher for Zen Heart Sangha in Menlo Park/ Woodside. Misha has been teaching tea to others (including children) for over 15 years.   As Misha says it, art, gardening, teaching, tea, and her husband and animals are the crucial pieces of her 'pie'--meditation is her 'pie plate'!

Marco Quarta

Marco Quarta

Marco moved from Italy to California in 2008. As a scientist, he conducts research at Stanford University exploring the frontiers of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells. From a young age, Marco embraced the path of Martial Arts as part of his personal, integrated view of a body-mind-spiritual Way. His passion for Asian and Western transformative arts, sciences and philosophies, infused with Taoism and Alchemy, has enriched and sustained his exploration of Nature, inside and outside the self, in the never ending quest for the Truth.

Shinshu Roberts

Shinshu Roberts

Shinshu was ordained in 1988 and received teacher certification in 2005 from Sojun Mel Weitsman, Abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. She trained for 17 years at the San Francisco Zen Center holding various leadership positions. She holds the appointment of Kokusaifukyoshi (International Teacher) with the Soto Zen School in Japan.

Greg Campbell

Greg Campbell

Greg Campbell is a Staff Resident who also serves as Business Manager at Jikoji. Greg was born in Washington state in 1938. He joined the Marines while still a teenager. He later practiced Zen Buddhism and studied Japanese culture in Japan. Back in America in his late twenties, he became a nurse, served as an interpreter-monk for Sasaki Joshu Roshi, and studied world mysticism. In Europe in his fifties he served as an ecumenical counsellor/comforter for the dying and also gave talks, retreats, and educational programs. He received lay ordination from Michael Newhall at Jikoji.

Cliff Isberg

Cliff Isberg

After only 40 years of practice, Cliff Isberg, PhD, was ordained by Shoho Michael Newhall as a Soto Zen Buddhist Monk in 2010. A longtime student of Kobun Chino, he sometimes serves as one of Jikoji's oversight managers. Cliff has created and maintains a growing archive of the teachings and life of our founding teacher.