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. 

Victor Legge

Victor Legge

Victor Legge has been practicing Soto and Rinzai Zen (mostly Soto) for the last 45 years.  He has attended many sesshins and has had various periods of full time residence in various zen centers in the UK and the states.  He has also worked extensively with Landmark Education, a corporation extremely interested in how the mind functions.  He holds a masters in mathematics and currently teaches at De Anza College.  He is married with a 17 year old daughter.

Beata Chapman

Beata Chapman

Beata Chapman has practiced Zen with chronic nerve pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for 23 years. She studied with Katherine Thanas at Santa Cruz Zen Center and with Darlene Cohen, and received Dharma transmission from Tony Patchell in 2013. Beata continues running the Suffering & Delight groups for people with chronic pain founded by Darlene, and also teaches an online S&D group. Beata is an organizational consultant, does corporate leadership training, and assists health care organizations develop compliance systems.

Paula Jones

Paula Jones

Paula Jones was an early student of Jikoji founder Kobun, and decades later was ordained and given dharma transmission by Angie Boissevain. She is a co-founder and teacher of Floating Zendo San Diego. After years teaching writing and literature in colleges and universities, Paula continues to write poems, create hand-bound chapbooks of her work, and lead poetry workshops. This talk by Paula, centering on Dogen's "Mountains & Waters" Sutra, was part of a recent Floating Zendo Sesshin at Jikoji, for which she was one of the co-teachers. .

Max Erdstein

Max Erdstein

Max Erdstein teaches at the Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Retreat Center. He is trained as a teacher by Gil Fronsdal. Max has practiced Vipassana and Zen in America, Japan, Thailand, and Burma. He completed the Spirit Rock/IMS Dharma teacher training program and trained in Buddhist chaplaincy with the Sati Center. With Gil he taught the first weeklong retreat at IRC in November 2012. Max holds an AB degree from Stanford and worked at Google for five years. He is a husband and father of two girls.

Doug Jacobson: "Form is Emptiness/ Emptiness is Form"

Doug Jacobson:  "Form is Emptiness/ Emptiness is Form"


Doug Jacobson, a Jikoji Resident, recently received Dharma transmission from Shoho Michael Newhall.  In his professional life he is a civil/tunnel engineer.  He serves as Jikoji's maintenance oversight manager (MOM), and also assists prisoners with Buddhist practice. In this talk, Doug addresses the topic of “form is emptiness/ emptiness is form,” as well as the elements of material phenomena from the perspective of the Buddhist Abhidharma teachings, also drawing from his knowledge and experience in civil engineering.

Dan Zigmond

Dan Zigmond

Dan Zigmond was ordained as a priest by Kobun Chino Otagawa Roshi in 1998, and was Shuso with Michael Newhall in 2009. He has been a regular speaker at Jikoji over the years. In addition to his day job at Facebook as director of analytics, he is a Contributing Editor at Tricycle, and an occasional contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. His recent book is "Buddha's Diet". Dan also started two wheelchair factories in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Mark Adams

Mark Adams

My path in Zen began in earnest in 1989 with the winter residential practice period at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and my first teacher, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, who set me on this ~30 year path. In 2009 I received the Jukai precepts and lay ordination from Eiko Carolyn Atkinson, a dharma heir of Kobun. And here/now at Jikoji, my dharma teacher Shoho Michael Newhall is guiding me on the path to priest ordination. My talk will be on “Wild country zen, the peaceful mountain and subtle way leading to the tiger’s cave.”

Michael Newhall

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.

David Shapiro, Lojong Slogans

David Shapiro, Lojong Slogans

David Shapiro became a student of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche in 1973, and studied with him until his death in 1987. David was the founding director of the Milwaukee Dharma Study Group, now the Shambhala Center, and was a practicing internist for over 3 decades. He is currently involved with the Light of Berotsana Translation Group and continues to practice within the context of Tibetan Buddhism. David's talk will discuss the practice of Mind Training, known as Lojong, brought to Tibet from India by the sage Atisha in the 9th century. The practice centers on slogans that tease the mind from its usual foundations.

Rebecca Nie: Koan Practice

Rebecca Nie:  Koan Practice

Rebecca Nie received the transmission from The Venerable Zen Master Hwawun Yangil, a patriarch of the Korean Jogye Order. She is the 24th generation lineage holder of the order. Rebecca has taught Zen in the United States, Canada, and Bhutan. She is the Professional Advisor of Stanford Zen Society, where she leads weekly meditation sessions, meet with students one-on-one, host visiting teachers, and partake in interfaith dialogues. In this talk, Rebecca discusses her path and experience with Koan study, and the role of Koans as a practice in Zen.

Yingzhao Liu: Simplicity

Yingzhao Liu:  Simplicity

At 18, Ying arrived in the U.S from China. Now she leads design efforts for emerging markets at LinkedIn. She’s also a translator and interpreter, and an experiential and outdoor educator. She has traveled to five continents and 30 countries, always affirmed by people's relationship with the environment they live in--their creativity and spirituality in everyday life. At a young age she envisioned a world without borders and is constantly inspired by the next generation of global citizens and their steady movement toward connection. In this talk, Ying addresses simplicity: in life and in practice as one dharma.