Misha Merrill – April 14, 2019

Misha Merrill – April 14, 2019

Misha Merrill is a Zen teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center. She received Dharma Transmission from his disciple, Les Kaye, in 1998, and since 1993 has been the guiding teacher of Zen Heart Sangha on the Peninsula. Misha also teaches young children at the Peninsula School of Menlo Park. She lives in the hills above Stanford with her husband and four-footed friends, and joyfully cultivates a large garden.

Michael Newhall – Tanjo-e 2019 – Heart Sutra Summation

Michael Newhall – Tanjo-e 2019 – Heart Sutra Summation

Shoho Michael Newhall began practicing and studying with Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi in the early seventies, and was ordained by Kobun in the mid-eighties. In the early nineties he was director at Jikoji Zen Center. Throughout this time he taught visual arts at various schools and universities, including Naropa University, where he also taught meditation and Buddhism. Since that time, Mike has been the Resident Teacher and chief priest at Jikoji.

Vanja Palmers – March 31, 2019

Vanja Palmers – March 31, 2019

Vanja Palmers is an animal rights activist of many years, and a Dharma heir of the late Jikoji founder Kobun Chino Otogowa Roshi. Vanja spent 10 years as a monk at Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. In 1981 he co-founded Buddhists Concerned for Animals (BCA), which now operates as Human Farming Association (HFA.) In 1989 he co-founded Puregg, a house of interreligious dialogue, particularly between Christians and Buddhists, where Kobun lead Sesshin for 15 years. In 1998, Vanja founded Stiftung Felsentor in Switzerland, a combined meditation center and animal sanctuary that runs a vegetarian garden restaurant.

Michael Newhall – Sangha

Michael Newhall – Sangha

Shoho Michael Newhall began practicing and studying with Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi in the early seventies, and was ordained by Kobun in the mid-eighties. In the early nineties he was director at Jikoji Zen Center. Throughout this time he taught visual arts at various schools and universities, including Naropa University, where he also taught meditation and Buddhism. Since that time, Mike has been the Resident Teacher and chief priest at Jikoji.

Yingzhao Liu

Yingzhao Liu

Ying is a former resident Jikoji, together with her partner Nick and their baby Sage. She most recently worked at LinkedIn as the director of User Experience Design for international markets, and taught a course at Stanford University called Designing for Well-Being. Ying is guided by Einstein’s wisdom in facing the challenges of our world: “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

Albert Kutchins – Thusness

Albert Kutchins – Thusness

Monshin Albert Kutchins began practicing at San Francisco Zen Center in 1984. In the years following he completed several practice periods in Tassajara and one at Rinso-in in Japan, and received the precepts from Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi and again from Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi. In addition to teaching and practicing the Dharma whenever he can, and serving on the Zen Center Board, he practices law in Berkeley, where he lives with his family and Satchel the dog.

Michael Newhall - New Year's Eve, 2018

Michael Newhall - New Year's Eve, 2018

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. At the close of our annual Denko-e ("Transmission of Light") Sesshin, Michael experientially engages the Satipatthana Sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Body, Feelings, Consciousness, and Mental Factors.

Meido Barbara Anderson – Forgiveness

Meido Barbara Anderson – Forgiveness

Meido Barbara Anderson is the resident teacher and priest at O-An Zendo, one of Jikoji’s sister temples, in Central Pennsylvania. Retired from Penn State University, where she founded and served as the first Director of the Center for Sustainability, she taught courses in multidisciplinary studies in Science, Technology and Society and Green Design. She also served as the Director of Peace Studies. After more than 30 years of practice, Meido will be receiving Transmission from Shoho Michael Newhall this winter.

Meido Barbara Anderson – What is Real?

Meido Barbara Anderson – What is Real?

Meido Barbara Anderson is the resident teacher and priest at O-An Zendo, one of Jikoji’s sister temples, in Central Pennsylvania. Retired from Penn State University, where she founded and served as the first Director of the Center for Sustainability, she taught courses in multidisciplinary studies in Science, Technology and Society and Green Design. She also served as the Director of Peace Studies. After more than 30 years of practice, Meido will be receiving Transmission from Shoho Michael Newhall this winter.

Doug Jacobson – Generosity

Doug Jacobson – Generosity

Doug Jacobson began practicing Zen in Minneapolis in 1094 with Dainin Katagiri Roshi, and had Jukai in 1977. He was a householder, father, contractor, and civil engineer in Southern California for 25 years. Doug came to Jikoji in 2008, and received priest ordination in 2010, and transmission in 2015, from Shoho Michael Newhall. He currently serves Jikoji as a teacher, resident, and tireless construction worker. He also assists prisoners with Buddhist practice. 

Andy Acker – Patience

Andy Acker – Patience

Andy Acker began practicing and studying Zen in the early 2000's in Minnesota and in Boulder, Colorado. He is a resident practitioner at Jikoji and is ordained as a priest in the lineage of Kobun Chino, Roshi. He received a B.A. in Psychology and Religion from Naropa University and a Master's in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University. 

Cynthia Kear: Jukai, 8-Fold Path, 4 Noble Truths

Cynthia Kear:  Jukai, 8-Fold Path, 4 Noble Truths

Ryotan Cynthia Kear (Horyu Ryotan-Dharma Stream Completely Overflowing) has been practicing Soto Zen Buddhism for over 25 years. She received Jukai (lay ordination) from Zen Center Abbot Paul Haller in 2004. In 2008 she was given Shuke Tokudo (priest ordination) by Darlene Cohen, her heart teacher, from who she also received Dharma Transmission in December 2010. In 2009 Cynthia graduated from the Shogaku Zen Institute, a three-year Zen seminary training program. Cynthia has taught Mindfulness and Multi-tasking at the University of Washington as part of a National Science Foundation-funded research project based upon Darlene’s book The One Who Is Not Busy. A member of San Francisco Zen Center and Russian River Zendo, she leads workshops and gives Dharma talks throughout the Bay Area.  In 2004, she founded the Wild Geese Sangha, which explores daily practice in the non-monastic world. She leads the Upstairs Sangha, a group which meets bi-monthly to sit and study, and she co-leads a sangha for meditation and recovery. Additionally, Cynthia has 26 years of recovery. As a full-time employee, Cynthia considers the questions of practice in the “marketplace” to be of keen interest.

Michael Newhall: 4 Foundations of Mindfulness

Michael Newhall: 4 Foundations of Mindfulness

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. At the close of our annual Denko-e ("Transmission of Light") Sesshin, Michael experientially engages the Satipatthana Sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Body, Feelings, Consciousness, and Mental Factors.

Jill Kaplan: Old Woman Selling Rice Cakes

Jill Kaplan:  Old Woman Selling Rice Cakes

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. In This talk, Jill explores the Zen koan "The Old Woman Selling Rice Cakes."

Melissa Sutor

Melissa Sutor

Melissa Sutor is a mindfulness expert and mental health counselor and has been a resident at Jikoji Zen Center. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (qualified through training programs by Bob Stahl, Ph.D. and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.), leads retreats, and speaks at organizations that are committed to well-being and excellence. Melissa was a software engineer and IT project manager in Silicon Valley then founded Dragonfly Healing Center to facilitate the healing and transformation of individuals and the planet. Her masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University focused on positive psychology and mindfulness. She also holds a masters degree in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Melissa is a world traveler and greatly appreciates connecting heartfully with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds which informs her work in diversity and inclusion. She currently teaches at Kaiser Permanente in Maui and gives talks and leads meditation sessions at summits for Google and during retreats at Esalen Institute. Melissa is featured on the cover of the August 2018 issue of Mindful magazine.