Norman is a Zen priest and abbot, a husband, father, and a poet, a teacher with wide-ranging interests and passions. During almost 30 years at San Francisco Zen Center, he served as director, tenzo, tanto, operations manager and other positions. Norman retired as abbot of Zen Center in 2000 to take his teaching out into the world. He continues his involvement with the Zen Center as a senior Dharma teacher. Norman believes in the possibility of engaged renunciation: living a fully committed religious life that does not exclude family, work, and a passionate interest in the world. In addition to his teaching with the Everyday Zen sangha in the Bay Area, Norman is guiding teacher to four other groups: the Bellingham (WA) Zen Practice Group, the Mountain Rain Zen Community (Vancouver, BC., Mar de Jade (Mexico), and The New York Zen Circle (New York City).
Ofosu Jones-Quartey has been practicing meditation since 2000, with a focus on Vipassana in the Mahasi and Thai traditions, incorporated with Madhyamaka philosophy. He is a part of the Bhavana Society community and a student of Bhante Buddharakkhita, among others. Ofosu is also an accomplished musical artist and was a founding member of the Buddhist-inspired Hip Hop band, Shambhala. Ofosu is now a solo artist, making both pop and Buddhist-inspired music.
Developing a clear understanding of the teachings and learning to fully inhabit the body have been core parts of my Dhamma practice. These areas, as well a strong emphasis on the heart, inform and shape my teaching. The few years I spent training as an Anagarika in the Thai Forest monasteries broadened my understanding of the Buddha's teachings and instilled a profound respect for the Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni Sangha. All along the way, I've been particularly interested in how other modalities like Nonviolent Communication and Somatics can support our growth in awakening.
Pascal Auclair has been immersed in Buddhist practice and study since 1997, sitting retreats in Asia and America with revered monastics and lay teachers. He has been mentored by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, where he is now enjoying teaching retreats. Pascal teaches in North America and in Europe. His depth of insight, classical training, and creative expression all combine in a wise and compassionate presence. In addition, his warmth and humour make Pascal a much appreciated teacher.
Pat Coffey, MEd, began his meditation practice over 30 years ago and has taught meditation since 1996. He studied with numerous Asian and Western teachers in the Theravada, Tibetan and Zen traditions. Pat is the founder of IMCC and the co-founder of the Blue Ridge Prison Project. Pat was selected and trained as a meditation teacher in the joint teacher training program of The Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center under the tutelage of Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Down-to-earth real world practical dharma is the hallmark of his teaching. The father of two children, owner of several businesses and the holder of several patents, he draws on his varied and rich life experience to articulate the dharma.
From Belfast, Northern Ireland, Paul Haller left home in 1971, lived in London for a year, then traveled throughout Europe, the middle east, Russia, and Afghanistan. He ended up in Japan, where he lived for a year and was introduced to Zen. Then he traveled throughout southeast Asia. He was ordained a Buddhist monk in Thailand, where he spent six months sitting in a remote cave.
Moving to Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 1974, Paul was ordained as a priest by Zentatsu Richard Baker in 1980, who gave him the name Ryushin Zendo, "Dragon Heart, Zen Way." In 1993 he received Dharma Transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
Founder and formerly Director of Outreach at SFZC, Paul is interested in finding ways of expressing our practice in society, both as compassionate service and making it available to as many people as possible. He became abbot of Zen Center in 2003.
Pawan Bareja, PhD has practiced Vipassana meditation since 2001. She is a Buddhist Ritual Minister and a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock. She has taught classes and daylongs on healing trauma using mindfulness at Spirit Rock, San Francisco Insight, EBMC, Against the Stream and Esalen. In her private practice as Trauma Resolution Practitioner, Pawan works with a diverse population of clients and teaches mindfulness meditation. For the past 14 years, Pawan has been a senior assistant at Somatic Experiencing trauma healing trainings and has traveled to India to teach this work to professional care providers.