In Zen practice there is no line drawn between a daily life of mindful attention and the spiritual exercise of meditation. Whether lecturing, giving private counseling, pointing out a mistake, or teaching by example, it is the purpose of our teachers to help each student find his or her own center in meditation, understand the Precepts in daily life, and bring an energetic mindfulness to all situations. Above all, they wish to help the students fully realize their own potential in practice.
Co-Abbot Kyogen Carlson
Abbot Kyogen Carlson was ordained by Roshi Jiyu-Kennett in 1972 at Shasta Abbey, where he trained as a monk for five years before receiving full certification as a teacher (Dharma Transmission and inka). He remained at Shasta Abbey another five years to continue training, and to serve as a staff member and personal assistant to Roshi Kennett.
Kyogen has worked to develop community within the sangha through projects like the Term Student programs, in the wider Buddhist community through involvement in both the American Zen Teachers’ Association and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, serving on the board and as board president of the latter. He has also worked to develop ties in the wider community through dialog groups, most recently with conservative Evangelicals. He is the author of Zen In The American Grain, Station Hill Press, and Zen Roots.
Co-Abbot Gyokuko Carlson
Gyokuko Carlson is co-abbot. She was ordained in 1975 by Roshi Jiyu-Kennett at Shasta Abbey. In 1980 she graduated from the seminary program, then remained at Shasta Abbey to deepen her practice and to help out as a staff member until she and Kyogen-sensei married in 1982 and came to Oregon to teach. Gyokuko prefers working with people one-on-one or in small groups, and specializes in daily life practice which makes her the natural person to be in charge of the daily affairs of the Center. She currently serves as the Kanin, or Director of the Center.