Teachers

Founding Teachers

Grace SchiresonMyoan Grace Schireson

Myoan Grace Schireson is a Dharma Heir in the Suzuki Roshi lineage and a co-founder of ZCF. She is also the founder and Abbess of Empty Nest Zendo in North Fork, California. Grace has trained in the U.S. and Japan in both Soto and Rinzai Zen traditions. She is author of Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters.

Peter SchiresonKuzan Peter Schireson

Kuzan Peter Schireson is a Dharma Heir in the Suzuki Roshi lineage and a co-founder of ZCF. Peter has trained in the U.S and Japan in Soto and Rinzai Zen and is especially interested in how Zen practice can be transplanted to the U.S. in a way that informs and enriches everyday life.

Transmitted Teachers

Ryonen Homyo Norm Gustafson

Rev. Gustafson has maintained a meditation practice for 44 years.   He took a Buddhist name (Hongon — Original Vow) in the Ti-Sarana (Three Treasures) ceremony at the Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple (Jōdo Shinshu) on February 10, 1976.

In 1980 he began Zen studies with Charlotte “Joko” Beck at the Zen Center of Los Angeles.  He has studied with Myoan Grace Schireson in the Sōtō tradition, Suzuki-Roshi lineage, since 2003.  He had “Lay Ordination” (Jukai ceremony) in October 2006.   He served as Head Student (Shuso) at Empty Nest Zendo during the Summer Practice Period, August 2009. He was ordained as a Zen Priest in April 2012; and graduated from the Shogaku Zen Institute’s S.P.O.T. (Shogaku Priest Ongoing Training) Program in October 2012.   Rev. Gustafson has also attended S.P.O.T. Summer Institutes since graduation.  He was Transmitted in the Soto Zen Lineage as an independent teacher in January 2016.  Norm serves as a priest at the Fresno Zen Center in Fresno; leading Retreats and Zazenkai, giving Dharma Talks, and conducting Practice Discussion and Meditation Instruction.  

Rev. Soshin Bruce Jewell

(Reverend Soshin’s full biography will be here soon.)  

Bruce has been meditating for over 40 years.

He first practiced Zen with Philip Kapleau, Roshi at the Rochester Zen Center.

He also founded the Hartford Street Zendo in San Francisco, CA.

He is a graduate of the Shogaku Zen Institute’s S.P.O.T. (Shogaku Priest Ongoing Training) Program; and was Transmitted in the Soto Zen Lineage as an independent teacher in January 2016.   Bruce serves as a priest at the Fresno Zen Center in Fresno.

Supporting Priest

Rev. Kaishin Esho Brian Emo

(Rev. Brian Emo’s full biography will be here soon.)


Central Valley Zen Foundation

The Central Valley Zen Foundation (CVZF) is a non-profit religious organization devoted to the teaching and practice of Zen Buddhism. The Foundation is funded by tax deductible donations and currently supportsfour Zen practice groups in California’s Central Valley: Empty Nest Zen Group in North Fork, Valley Heartland Zen Group in Modesto, Zen Center of Fresno, and Modesto Zen Buddhist Recovery Group. CVZF was founded by Abbess Myoan Grace Schireson.

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