The Guiding Council cares for the growth and development of the sangha. Its members have received Buddhist precepts and are committed to the mission of Zen West~Empty Field.
The GC’s purpose is:
- To initiate projects that benefit the healthy development and growth of the sangha.
- To conduct membership meetings.
- To envision and plan future offerings in line with our mission.
- To manage the group’s assets and resources.
- To help field concerns and grievances and assist in their resolve.
- To act as a consulting body for the teacher, who the directs the dharma program.
- To support the sangha’s commitment toward ecological awareness and social responsibility.
The Guiding Council meets every other month. The group nominates its members based on needed expertise and skills. We are happy to receive your suggestions and feedback on how our group is serving your needs.
Current GC members include:
Seiryu first encountered Zen in Japan in her early 20s. Although always influenced by it, she returned to it seriously in her 50s. 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 Oregon State University. 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 everyday 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) and Yoga Sensei. Her dharma name means “Peaceful Dragon.”
Senkei first encountered Zen meditation in the early 1970s 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 school 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 is engaged in the visual arts.
Senkei enjoys practicing 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.”
Komyo is director of First Place Family Shelters. She is active in the local movement to help youth in Eugene facing homelessness through the organization “15th Night.” Hope received Buddhist precepts in 2018 and finds Zen practice naturally aligns with her way of being in the world. She brings years of nonprofit organizational experience to the Guiding Council.
Kensan was first touched by the Dharma in the early 1970s after returning home from Vietnam. He traveled for many years, living primarily in a 1964 Ford Econoline van. After attending a talk by Baba Ram Dass in Atlanta, he moved to Macon, Georgia, to live with the people who organized that event, and discovered zazen. In 2018, he took Jukai at the Empty Field Zendo, declaring Buddhism as his primary path. Kensan serves as co-Chiden.
Kensan attended Humboldt State University. After several years of studying sculpture, to the horror of his fellow sculpture students, he completed a degree in business marketing, and then enjoyed a 30-year career in corporate sales. He still does some sculpture and has recently attempted watercolor. Being a rolling stone, and living all over the U.S., he finally settled in Eugene in 2004. Kensan is now blissfully retired. He is working to realize the koan “Show Me the Rhinoceros.”
Junsui’s path has been a winding trail with many twists and turns over the decades. She studied martial arts, Himalayan Yoga, Advaida Vedanta, and Tibetan Buddhism before discovering Zen West and taking the precepts in 2019. “I appreciate the integration of psychology, Tibetan practices, and diverse learning that happens at Zen West,” she says. In addition to serving on the Guiding Council, Junsui sends out the weekly newsletter, updates the website and acts as Tenzo, or cook.
Now retired, she’s been a cook on a sailboat, a van driver through Europe, a secretary, a factory worker, a reporter and editor, and a divorce mediator, among other things. Junsui enjoys photography, gardening, reading, and staring into space.