Debra Seido Martin is a Soto Zen Lay Teacher, practicing psychotherapist, and long time organic farmer. She received dharma transmission in 2009 from her late teacher, Houn Kyogen Carlson, founding Abbott of Dharma Rain Zen Center. DRZC is a unique temple recognized in Soto Zen for its commitment to train lay practitioners as well as monastic students.
Seido teaches Zen as a pathway to realizing our inherent buddha nature that is enhanced and inseparable from healing our human disconnection from the earth and from one another. She emphasizes something her teacher taught — to “become ordained into one’s life” amidst the messy conditions in which we find ourselves. The practice she guides is a dynamic one involving both waking up and growing up — releasing the attachment to self and becoming skillful in all of one’s relationships inside and out.
Seido’s understanding of the dharma draws upon her life on the land and healing trauma. She and her husband care for a working farm that also serves as a seasonal retreat for the sangha. The farm offers a training program for aspiring organic farmers, and grows food for local markets, CSA members and nonprofits. She also maintains a part time counseling practice, Open Field Therapy, that informs skillful methods of working with painful emotions, trauma, and harmful relationship patterns.