Guiding Teachers, Recent Dharma Talks

Michael Newhall

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 lived at Jikoji, serving as the Resident Teacher and chief priest. His recent talks at Jikoji include:

Doug Jacobson

Doug Jacobson serves as a Guiding Teacher and as Jikoji's maintenance oversight manager (MOM), and also assists prisoners with Buddhist practice. He received Dharma transmission from Shoho Michael Newhall in 2015.  In his professional life he was a civil/tunnel engineer.  Since becoming a full time resident after his retirement he has led many sesshins, and has initiated and led monthly zazenkais and periodic seasonal nature sesshins, as well as weekly dharma discussion groups. His recent talks at Jikoji include:

Vanja Palmers

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 Humane 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. His prior talks at Jikoji include:

Residents and Priests, Recent DharmaTalks

Andy Acker

Andy Acker is one of our residents at Jikoji. He holds an interdisciplinary B.A. in Psychology and Religion from Naropa University, and a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine. He was also recently ordained as a priest in the lineage of Kobun Chino Roshi.

Jen Hohman

Setsuho Jennifer Hohman received Jukai in October 2009. She teaches hot yoga and was the manager of a busy yoga studio in Silicon Valley for 6 years. On January 8, 2016 life as she knew it changed drastically and the HER2+ Invasive breast cancer diagnosis sparked a healing journey that led her back to Jikoji where she has been on retreat for the past 22 months. Her talk will be on Transformation & Zen Practice.


Eric Remington was an early student of Kobun, Jikoji's Founder, in the early 1970s. After years spent studying with Kobun and founding a school for children, Eric was ordained and subsequently trained at Tassajara Monastery for a year. He became a biologist and naturalist before living for several years in the desert, and more recently joined Jikoji as a Resident.

Visiting Teachers, Recent DharmaTalks

Teachers who have given several Dharma talks at Jikoji are listed in alphabetical order by last name below. Each name also links to his/her latest Dharma talk posted. Several prior talks by that teacher are linked following his/her biographical paragraph.

Note: Dharma Talks before 2015 are indexed separately, in Jikoji’s Archived Talks.

Meido Barbara Anderson – Forgiveness - December 23, 2018

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. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:


Mark Adams's path in Zen began in earnest in 1989 with the winter residential practice (Ango) period at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and his first teacher, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, who set him on a 30 year path. In 2009, Mark received the Jukai precepts and lay ordination from Eiko Carolyn Atkinson, a dharma heir of Jikoji founder Kobun Chino Otagowa Roshi. In 2018 Shoho Michael Newhall, Jikoji's guiding teacher, ordained Mark as a Zen priest in Kobun's Phoenix Cloud lineage. Taizan Mark's talk will be on “Pain, Suffering, and the Noble Truths," and will also tie in with his Science & Buddhism discussion at 2 pm that afternoon.

Angie Boissevain, December 31, 2017

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. She founded and serves as head teacher for the Floating Zendo in San Jose.

Beata Chapman - September 23, 2018

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. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Ben Connelly - Mindfulness and Intimacy, May 12 2019

Ben Connelly is a Soto Zen teacher and Dharma heir in the Katagiri lineage, and is based at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. He teaches mindfulness in a wide variety of secular contexts including police and corporate training, correctional facilities, and addiction recovery and wellness groups. Ben travels to teach across the United States. His most recent book is "Mindfulness & Intimacy"

Carolyn Dille - Nehan-e 2019 Dharma Talks

Carolyn Dille has been practicing Buddhist and other meditative forms for over 30 years and teaches dharma in the Vipassana Insight and Soto Zen traditions. She holds dharma transmission from Angie Enjo Boissevain and is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s CDL program. As a poet and writer she has facilitated creativity retreats. Carolyn is the founding editor of Leaping Clear, an online journal for artists who practice contemplation. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Joe Hall - November 3 2017

Joseph W Hall was a resident teacher at Jikoji Zen Center, until 2018, and currently leads his Pop-Up-Zendo snagha.  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.

Kokyo Henkel – March 24, 2019

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

Cliff Isberg – January 27, 2019, Evolution and truth

Cliff Isberg practices zen from within the nexus of scientific and mystical religious traditions. He was a student of Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi from 1970-2002, then of Shoho Michael Newhall, receiving Dharma transmission from Shoho in 2014. Cliff occasionally serves as Jikoji's administration oversight manager, helps orchestrate Jikoji's internet communications, and maintains Jakkoan Zendo and Jikoji Archives. His earlier talks at Jikoji include:

Emptiness, and Embodied Zen Practice, May 27 2018

Minding Mind, and Zazen, August 27, 2017

Paula Jones - September 16, 2018

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. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Jill Kaplan: Old Woman Selling Rice Cakes - October 14, 2018

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." Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Cynthia Kear – Everyday Practice, Authentic Living – April 28, 2019

Ryotan Cynthia Kear has practiced Soto Zen Buddhism for over 25 years. She received Jukai from Zen Center Abbot Paul Haller in 2004. In 2008 she was given priest ordination by Darlene Cohen, her heart teacher, from whom she also received Dharma Transmission in December 2010. In 2009 Cynthia graduated from the Shogaku Zen Institute. Cynthia has taught Mindfulness and Multi-tasking at the University of Washington as part of a NSF-funded research project based on Darlene’s book, "The One Who Is Not Busy." She leads workshops and gives Dharma talks throughout the Bay Area. Cynthia has 26 years of recovery, and co-leads a sangha for meditation and recovery. As a full-time employee, Cynthia considers the questions of practice in the “marketplace” to be of keen interest. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Shoho Kuebast – February 17, 2019

After meeting Jikoji founder Kobun Chino Roshi in Austria, Shoho received priest ordination in 2000 from Vanja Palmers and traveled to US/Tassajara to receive training. Having studied at all three centers of the San Francisco Zen Center, Shoho became a Jikoji resident in 2009. In 2010 joined her partner Kokyo Henkel in Santa Cruz. Since then she trained in the Tibetan Nyingma tradition, which led her to study in Nepal, where she finished studies in Buddhism at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute, and stayed to assist in recovery efforts after a devastating earthquake. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Albert Kutchins – Thusness - Jan. 13, 2019

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. His earlier talks at Jikoji include:

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. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Rebecca Nie – The Korean Jogye Order – May 5, 2019

Rebecca Nie received 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, meets with students one-on-one, hosts visiting teachers, and partakes in interfaith dialogues. Her prior talks at Jikoji include:

Gerow Reece

Gerow Reece first sat with Yamada Reirin Roshi and the young monk, Maezumi Sensei, in the old brick Zenshuji in Los Angeles in the early 60s. He then practiced with Robert and Ann Aitken at Kokoan in their home in Honolulu. While studying in Kyoto, Japan, he sat at Antaiji with Uchiyama Roshi and later with Morinaga Roshi at Daishu-in and Kobori Nanrei at Ryoko-in, never settling on one person as teacher until the arrival of his son. Gerow serves Ceremonial Tea and teaches calligraphy at Jikoji. Gerow's Sunday Dharma Talk followed the conclusion of his weekend Calligraphy Workshop.

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. His earlier talks at Jikoji include:

Cornelia Shonkweiler, January 14, 2018

Cornelia Junfu Shonkwiler is the Teacher at Middle Way Zen. She began study and practice at Kannon Do with her Teacher, Les Kaye roshi, in 1991. She also practiced at San Francisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Cornelia was ordained a monk in 2000, and received dharma transmission from Les Kaye roshi in 2008. Cornelia was born in Germany, and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years. She has two grown daughters.

Dean Williams- October 12, 2017

Sensei Dean Williams is the guiding teacher of the Crooked River Zen Center in Cleveland, Ohio. His interest in Zen Buddhism began in the early 70s when he was working on his BA in philosophy. He began formal zen practice in 1997. He was lay ordained in 2000, ordained as a Buddhist chaplain in 2001, and as a priest in 2003, all while studying with Sojun Diane Martin, the resident teacher at Udumbara Zen Center in Evanston, IL. In 2006 he served as shuso during the fall practice period at Udumbara. Dean received dharma transmission in 2014 from Shoho Michael Newhall, the abbot of Jikoji Zen Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, making him a dharma holder in the Kobun Chino lineage.

Dan Zigmond – November 4, 2018

Dan Zigmond was ordained as a priest by Kobun Chino Otagawa Roshi in 1998, and was Shuso with Michael Newhall in 2009. He currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Zen Center. Dan is the Director of Analytics at Facebook, and is co-author of the best-selling book Buddha’s Diet: the Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing your Mind. His earlier talks at Jikoji include: