Our five member Guiding Council meets every other month.  The group chooses its members who agree to serve for at least one year. The minimal requirement is that the candidate must be a EFZW member and have received Buddhist precepts. Aligning with the mission statement and ethical commitment the group, the GC’s purpose is:

  • To suggest, initiate, support or conduct projects, events or outreach that benefits the healthy development and growth of the sangha.
  • To care for the group’s assets and resources.
  • To help field and or bring existing internal concerns regarding grievances or ethics violations.
  • To act as a “sounding board” regarding the dharma program changes initiated by teacher.

We are happy to receive your suggestions and feedback on how our group is serving your needs.

Current members include:

Sidney Jinyu Buffington

Jinyu has been on the Guiding Council from the beginning of Zen West and was involved in the original construction of the Empty Field Zendo in 2006. She has been practicing Zen for sixteen years, having first received the precepts in 2005 from Ejo McMullen at Butsu Genji, where she continues to maintain close ties with that sangha. She is employed full time as a Public Health nurse for Lane County and continually works to find the right balance between her spiritual practice and a number of interests including her job and family. Jinyu currently serves as the Shika (greeter) at Zen West. Her dharma name means “Benevolent Composure.”



Patricia Josu Dahlgren

Having spied the zendo in the far corner of Horton Farm in the spring of 2009, Josu casually asked Seido to teach her to meditate. Even though not seeking Zen, she returned every Wednesday night,  followed the path, and eventually received the precepts in July 2011. Josu became close to the Dharma Rain sangha in Portland, traveling up monthly, which made it a joy to enter the Dharma Cloud lineage when she  became Seido’s first formal student in 2012. Her name means “Calm Center.”

Josu officially retired in 2016, after several careers, including Sensory Evaluation (R & D taste testing), hand-weaving and house cleaning, in addition to being “office manager” for her partner, who worked with schools in Australia, Guam, and the US. Josu enjoys animals, watercolor painting, cooking, watching the salmon spawn in Nelson Creek and chopping kindling.

Josu currently serves as Doan-kokyo (chant leader) at EFZ and set-up at ZW, as well as assisting in numerous other roles. She has supported the sangha over the years in various ways, including compiling the EF~ZW Chant Book and organizing work parties each year to clean & set up the EFZ in spring.   Josu treasures the Empty Field, both when it is empty of people, and when it is full of the comings and goings at sesshin or other gatherings. She wants to nurture the growth of the Koho Student group and all other teacher-student relationships at ZW and EFZ.

Carol Senkei Robertson

Senkei first encountered Zen meditation in the early 1970’s at the Zen Center of Los Angeles and received the precepts from Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 1981. After raising a family and working as an elementary teacher, she moved to Oregon with her husband Futai. Subsequently discovering the Empty Field Zendo close to her new home, she dusted off her zafu, and returned to Zen practice reinvigorated by the lay approach to Soto Zen with a teacher comfortable with Western psychology. She also volunteers weekly at a local school working with kindergarteners and is engaged in the visual arts.

Senkei enjoys practicing on at the farm zendo where the natural world is present and alive. She enjoys creating a friendly, welcoming place for those who arrive to sit with the sangha and is currently leading workshops for the sangha blending art and Zen practice.   She also serves as the Membership Liaison for EFZW and Chiden (Altar Care). Senkei became Seido’s formal student in 2016. Her dharma name means “Penetrating Spring.”

Todd Futai Robertson

Futai began Zen practice at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in the 1970’s and has studied with a number of the teachers in the Maizumi Roshi (White Plum) lineage. He and his wife Senkei recently left the hectic big city life behind to live a more quiet life in the Oregon countryside after retiring from a career as a building inspector in Los Angeles in 2015.

Futai finds it a joy to practice out at Empty Field Zendo at the farm. He currently serves as the Tenzo (head cook) and leads zazen instruction at Zen West. Futai appreciates the supportive group practice found at Zen West and his personal practice with Seido.



Nancy Seiryu Rosenberger

Seiryu first encountered Zen in Japan in her early twenties. Although always influenced by it, she returned to it seriously in her fifties. She met Seido through practice with the Corvallis Zen Circle and became her formal student in 2015. Seiryu is retired from teaching cultural anthropology at OSU. She likes to hike, sing, travel, and spend time with grandchildren.

Seiryu values the experience of Empty Field retreats that integrate our relationship to earth, air, fire, water, and food. She values the Zen West sangha for its close relationships and its focus on living every day human lives as Zen students. Seiryu brings poetry, Buddhist study, and facilitation skills to the sangha and currently serves as the Doan-kokyo (chant leader). Her dharma name means “Peaceful Dragon.”