PZI Teachers

John Tarrant Roshi, Founder and Director of the Pacific Zen Institute

John Tarrant is a Zen teacher, author, and poet and is PZI’s founder and director. He is interested in Zen as a Way that transforms the mind and in the dance between innovation and tradition in both teaching and practice. 

John Tarrant, Roshi & Director of PZI

Zen as a set of rules and procedures is not so interesting to me. I learned Zen when we were still trying to find what worked in the West. And people now seem to find freedom more naturally than I had assumed during my own initial studies.

My experiments have led me to trust people more than I once did, and to teach people to trust their own moves. To me this means that koans are not a gadget that you put all your effort into using. They’re an environment—you wander around and they teach you. You have to listen and look. Read the full bio here.

—John Tarrant

Teacher Bios

John Tarrant Roshi is a Zen teacher, poet, and founder of the Pacific Zen Institute. He is interested in Zen as a way that transforms the mind, and in the dance between innovation and tradition in both teaching and practice.

Allison Atwill Roshi is a Zen teacher and visual artist whose work emerges from an intimate and embodied conversation with koans. She is interested in wholeness over perfection, discovery over self-improvement, and how the images and language of koans offer a way of moving in the dark.

Tess Beasley Sensei is a Zen teacher based in New York and serves as Pacific Zen Institute’s Board President. She is particularly interested in the ways Zen and depth psychology complement each other to kindle creativity and transformation.

Jesse Cardin Roshi is a Zen teacher and director of It’s Alive! Zen in San Antonio, Texas. He is particularly interested in how koans can be used in mental health and substance abuse recovery, and to help people who are helpers.

Eduardo Fuentes is a Zen teacher based in Santiago, Chile. He is especially interested in how koans can help people learn what they are and to become intimate with nature.

Jon Joseph Roshi is a Zen teacher and director of San Mateo Zen. He finds that he is not only leading but is participating in a community of brothers and sisters, any one of whom at any time can offer guidance and wisdom to the group and to himself: having joy in each others’ joy.

David Parks Roshi is a Zen teacher and director of Bluegrass Zen in Waco, Kentucky. He has an interest in the parables, sayings, and doings of Jesus as Christian koans, and sees all koans as vehicles for opening the heart-mind to the intimate experience of life lived freely and fully.

Michelle Riddle Sensei is a Zen teacher and leads programs in PZI’s digital temple. She has been involved in some way with the care and evolution of PZI for decades and is interested in how koans help with the discovery of freedom in our lives, and in the creative possibilities for manifesting that freedom.

David Weinstein Roshi is a Zen teacher and director of the Rockridge Meditation Community centered in Oakland, CA, where he teaches regularly. He is interested in discovering Zen practice in the midst of ordinary life.

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