Orlando Kai O’Shea’s life holds an abundance of challenges. He is a transgender man, raising two teenagers on the autism spectrum. He values support and grounding.
Sacha Kawaichi likes laughing more than sutras, and likes crossing bridges more than she likes following rules.
Amy Robinson does many things. She’s a mother of elementary-age kids and a poet and writer and an editor and a social activist and more.
Asa Horvitz grew up in Northern California and found out about Pacific Zen Institute from high school friends, almost 15 years ago. Meditation and koans are a way to stay both somewhat sane and also creative.
Bob Woodburn teaches people in the corporate world to juggle as a way to have them experience their lives in a different way. He also likes to hike, meditate and skydive. He lives in the eastern part of Canada and has found his way to PZI retreats in California anyway.
Margaret Duperly grew up in Jamaica and has lived in the US for 17 years, but her words still have a distinctive Jamaican lilt to them. She is a painter and sculptor and a retreat coordinator at a worker-owned retreat center.
Jesse Cardin arrived at a PZI retreat in Northern California some years ago and found that koans worked well with his imagination, so he stayed. He’s a musician and songwriter and counselor in San Antonio, TX. And now, also, a Sensei.
Lee Allen found PZI’s Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center not too long after moving to Santa Rosa from Los Angeles. She’s a painter and a recent convert to how helpful a koan and meditation practice can be in the creative life.
Marion Yakoushkin is a nurse in New York state and an intrepid walker all over the world. Her background is in the world of Tibetan Buddhism. She now leads a koan small group with PZI.
Chris Gaffney has been a PZI member for a rather long time now. He’s a professor of Physics at CSU Chico and is a co-leader of Dharma Buffet in Chico, too. His sometimes scientifically rigorous approach to ideas makes Zen conversations very interesting.
Jim Snarski is also known as Captain Jimmy because he was a longtime commercial jet pilot and now flies small planes taking sick kids and their families to places they need to go. He’s been with PZI for a while now, sits at the Zen center in Santa Rosa and comes to retreats, and helps out as a volunteer when he can.