Flower Mountain Zen is a new co-creation, started in January 2020. We are coming into being in order to make a space to support new ideas and ways of doing things. We make an effort to find and bring into our practice the words and experiences of women, who have traditionally often been excluded from the zen literature. We would also like to create a place for people to be able to experience meditation and zen koans who had previously, for one reason or another, found the traditional approach to be out of sync with their lives and experiences.
We'd like to be able to ask the questions that are on people's minds, to make the tradition pertinent and real. When you join us, you are part of creating what we will become.
We are based on an old tradition of Rinzai Zen, and the brilliant and fascinating koan tradition that's part of Rinzai practice. We also hearken back to earlier traditions, Chinese Chan and the indigenous Taoism that preceded Buddhism in China, and to the pre-patriarchal roots of Toaism as well. We bring into our practice words and poetry from many cultures, from both women and men, that point from all directions to the wisdom that we've found in koans.
We're proud to be in the tradition of Pacific Zen Institute.
Rachel has been meditating since she was a teenager. She became an official zen teacher (Roshi) in the Pacific Zen School in 2015, with transmission from John Tarrant and David Weinstein. She is deeply engaged with feminism and the early history and future of women in the world. Through teaching meditation and koans she'd like to help people of all genders find their place and power in this world, to be able to respond to the very real challenges in which we find ourselves as humans on this planet, to calmly and clearly step into the role we want to play. Her practice embraces words and images as well as embodied and wordless wisdom. Meditation has always been an adventure to her and she likes to hand it along in that spirit. She's interested in what we learn from our bodies and from our dreams. She is also the mother of two grown children, as well as a sculptor and writer and Jungian Analyst in Training (Zurich). rachel (at) flowermountainzen.org
Amy is a zen koan student as well as a historian, poet, community activist and mother and dancer. She writes curriculum for the Big History Project and has been a lecturer in Colonial History and Women's History at Stanford University and Sonoma State University. Meditation has been a way for her to experience the world more fully and to see into the dream underneath. She writes about creativity, spirituality and social change and her prose and poetry have been published
in Rattle, Medium, and Uncertainty.Club.
Michael is a zen koan student as well as a sculptor and ink brush painter. After college during the late 1960's-early 70's, amidst a backdrop of social upheaval, he boarded the slow boat to Japan to study with a Zen master he'd met just once, a few years before. He lived in Japan for over 30 years where he became an accomplished ink brush painter and assisted his teacher on paintings in temples all over Japan. His own work has been shown in Japan and the US. He also teaches painting and sculpture in the Bay Area. He is interested in creating and supporting the community that forms around meditation practice.
Elise Turner is a teacher of mostly grateful teenage students who are following individualized curricula. She's also a mother, grandmother, zen student and enthusiastic host for family, friends and community.
Orlando O'Shea is a parent, LBGTQ crisis hotline bodhisattva, organizer with the group Trans Life and also a student in the process of earning a degree in psychology. He's been a facilitator for depth and spiritual work for many years and has been a student of zen and koans for awhile now.