In Buddhism, Sangha is one of the Three Treasures, or manifestations of our true nature. Sangha refers not only to the group of practitioners who gather in harmony to follow Buddha’s teaching, but to the inherent oneness of our entire world. This is how we see Sangha at the Hazy Moon.
After a move from New York City to Los Angeles left Shindo looking for a spiritual community, a friend suggested he visit Buddhist centers. That led him to the Hazy Moon, where he took Jukai from Nyogen Roshi in 2002 and ordained in 2007. As a journalist and staff writer for a religion research center at USC, Shindo's job has taken him to major cities in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, where his practice keeps him open to new experiences.
Reading D.T. Suzuki's classic Essays in Zen Buddhism was Isshin's introduction to Zen in 1971. Twenty-five years later came Street Zen, a biography of the late Zen priest Issan Dorsey. After he heard Nyogen Roshi give a talk for the first time in 1996, he began sitting. Isshin took Jukai in 2000.
A physician and professor of ophthalmology, Shikan first heard about Zen through the Beat poets in the 1960s. Books like Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Three Pillars of Zen sustained his interest until he started practicing at the Hazy Moon in 2009. He took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2011. With a blog and just-published novel, he views writing as part of his practice.
Reading the book Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck first brought Hogen to ZCLA where he met Nyogen Roshi. He took Jukai from Roshi in 2000 and ordained in 2006. A database architect, he dabbles in improv. Hogen met his wife at the Hazy Moon and together they have a wonderful daughter.
Jotai became aware of Zen through the writings of Dr. David K. Reynolds who devised a wellness practice called "Constructive Living." She was trained in teaching the methods. Realizing that the technique was based on Zen, she looked further and arrived at the Hazy Moon in 2005, taking Jukai a year later. Jotai's practice also influences her passion for photography.
A class on Buddhism taught by the translator Francis Dojun Cook at UC Riverside was Doman Sensei's introduction to Zen. Later, reading What the Buddha Taught by Dr. Walpole Rahula convinced him to start sitting on his own. He took Jukai with Maezumi Roshi in 1994, Tokudo with Nyogen Roshi in 1997 and received Precept Transmission in 2009. An avid hiker, Doman credits his practice for enabling him to complete several long-distance solo backpack trips, overcoming discomfort and fear to experience the magic of the High Sierras.
Maezen's practice started when she read the Tao Te Ching and called the Zen Center of LA asking how to sit. She began her practice in 1993 with Maezumi Roshi. Taking Jukai in 1996 with Nyogen Roshi, practice became central to her life when she moved from Houston to Los Angeles in 1997. She ordained in 2003 and received Precept Transmission in 2009. She is an author and leads the Dewdrop Sangha, a Hazy Moon affiliate group, in retreats around the country.
Honmei has a career in the television industry as a writers' assistant. She took her first class in zazen when she was in high school. After graduating from college and moving to LA, she looked for a place to practice. A visit to the Hazy Moon in 2008 settled the question. She took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2009. When a friend told her that tango was the most "zen" dance, she gave it a whirl—and loves it.
Kyoden credits writers Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day for inspiring his interest in Buddhism. He began his practice in 2002 at Zen Mountain Monastery and took Jukai from Nyogen Roshi in 2017. After more than 45 years climbing the corporate ladder, he now devotes himself to compassionate community projects, his family and his garden — not necessarily in that order. Kyoden resides in Amelia Island, Florida.
Dainin first meditated as a teenager. In 2003, her infant son’s death roused her need for formal practice. Reading Katagiri’s Each Moment Is the Universe led her to practice with Maezen Sensei in Ohio and at the Hazy Moon, and she took Jukai with her in 2016. Training to become a hospice chaplain, Dainin lives with her daughters in Madison, Wis.
Taisho first came to the Hazy Moon in 2013 from her home in New Orleans for a beginner's one-day retreat, but she'd been interested in Zen since high school when she read The Way of the Bull by Leo Buscaglia. She took Jukai from Maezen Sensei in 2015. She's had a lifetime love of travel, the martial arts, and traditional Tai Chi.
A physician's assistant with a long career in caring for the gravely ill, Kyoji began her practice at the Hazy Moon in 2001. She told herself that meditation would improve her golf and tennis games, but admits her real motivation was overcoming fear. She took Jukai in 2002 and ordained as a priest in 2005. A devoted animal lover, she hopes to spend part of her retirement volunteering for an animal rescue or sanctuary.
A painter, Hosso Sensei was introduced to Zen when her interest in Japanese calligraphy took her to a workshop with the artist Kazuaki Tanahashi. Soon after, she began formal practice with Nyogen Roshi. Jukai followed in 2002 and her ordination in 2004. Hosso converted part of her home near Tepotzlán, Mexico into the Black Scorpion Zen Center where she is now teacher-in-residence. She received Precept Transmission from Nyogen Roshi in 2009.
Mujo's first contact with Buddhism was reading Chogyam Trungpa's Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. He met Trungpa in 1972 and became a serious student of his in 1977. Twenty-five years later, Mujo came to the Hazy Moon, where he took both Jukai and Tokudo in 2002, served as Shuso in 2003, and received Precept Transmission in 2015. He leads the Men's Meditation Group at the Hazy Moon.
A resident of Kansas City, Reiju’s introduction to Buddhism was a video course from The Great Courses. Soon after, she joined The Rime Center, a Tibetan Buddhist center in Kansas City, to practice and study more. She attended her first Zen retreat with Maezen Sensei in 2013 and took Jukai at the Hazy Moon in 2018.
Shinnyo had no idea what Buddhism or Zen were about when a friend invited her to an introductory course nearly 20 years ago. From there, she continued practicing at the Maezumi Kuroda Zen Center in Mexico City, where she took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2001. An assistant professor, she practices as part of the Mexican sangha at our sister temple, the Templo del Escorpión Negro (Black Scorpion), with Hosso Sensei.
Ugen began practicing Buddhism in 1984, inspired by studying the Heart Sutra. After joining the Hazy Moon, she took Jukai in 2015. An attorney specializing in corporate business law, she is an avid painter, plays taiko drum, and completed training in nutrition therapy. All of her interests are part of taking responsibility for a balanced lifestyle and healthy body and mind.
A former journalist, Munen began to practice Zen while living in Portland in 2008. After moving to LA, he found the Hazy Moon and took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2018. Munen now spends most of his time volunteering and traveling. He attributes his love of nature and solitude to growing up on a 60-acre farm.
Kogen began practicing as a college student. She also briefly lived and practiced at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor. She received Jukai from Nyogen Roshi in 2006. A fitness, Pilates and dance instructor, Kogen has a three-year-old daughter with whom she loves to visit the beach and explore new playgrounds.
Honshin credits golf as the starting point for her Zen practice. When she met a famous golf guru eight years ago, she realized his teaching concepts dovetailed with the principles of Buddhism. Around that time she began sitting, and after visiting several practice groups, she found the Hazy Moon where she took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2017. Honshin is a dermatologist who enjoys yoga, cooking, and naturally, golf.
Enso is a graphic designer who was introduced to Zen through his yoga training. He first came to the Black Scorpion Temple to attend a meditation retreat in 2011 and took Jukai with Hosso Sensei in 2014. A part-time yoga instructor, he enjoys live theatre, reading books and having long conversations over tea or coffee.
The impact of a college course in Eastern philosophy resurfaced when Kanjin first started practicing Zen at the Hazy Moon in 2014. He received Jukai from Mujo Sensei in 2016. A nonprofit, corporate lawyer, Kanjin is also an avid sailor with interests in music, art and reading, particularly French and Scandinavian crime novels.
Drawn to the mysterious nature of Zen, Mushoku wanted to learn about meditation while a college student. After taking an introductory class, Mushoku studied with Maezumi Roshi at ZCLA. She took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 1998 and served as Head Trainee at the Hazy Moon in 2014. A healthcare consultant, she enjoys exploring new places and cuisines.
Kojun began meditating in 1994. Twenty years later he read Paradise in Plain Sight and began exploring Zen. After practicing at Dewdrop Sangha retreats, he took Jukai with Maezen Sensei in 2017. He has been the primary caregiver for both parents with Alzheimer's, owns a wine bar, and leads a weekly sitting group in his hometown of Athens, Ohio.
When a health crisis had Kogyo looking for a new perspective on his life, a monk at Zen Mountain Center introduced him to zazen. He took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2008. A longtime gay/LGBT rights activist, he is a clinical psychologist on the faculty at Antioch University. Kogyo also practices Tai Chi Chuan.
A yoga teacher and trained architect, Sanmai began her practice with Hosso Sensei in 2009. She took Jukai with Hosso a year later and served as Head Trainee at the Hazy Moon in 2016. Reading J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey first inspired her to practice because she recognized herself in Franny's spiritual search. Years later at her first sesshin, the book was on a shelf in the room where she was staying, so she knew she was in the right place. Sanmai is also an avid and inventive cook.
Shinnyo had no interest in Zen before she visited the Hazy Moon during a vacation to LA in 2009. Within a few weeks, she had taken Jukai with Nyogen Roshi, then served as Head Trainee in 2014 and took Tokudo in 2015. In her home of Nuremberg, Germany, she is a judiciary clerk and court reporter who spends her spare time working out and sitting.
A search for inner stillness and freedom from depression led Ento to ZCLA and Maezumi Roshi in 1993. In Buddhism she found tools for finding peace that she trusted wholeheartedly, and she took Jukai with Tenshin Roshi in 1995 and Tokudo with Nyogen Roshi in 1998. Ento is fascinated with Argentinian tango and when she's not working or sitting she is taking tango lessons.
Dawu traces her interest in Zen to when she was a stressed-out teen and her study hall teacher, a Zen practitioner, showed her how to count her breath. He loaned her a copy of the Cheri Huber book, Nothing Happens Next. The practice was immediately helpful to her. She first came to the Hazy Moon in 2006 and then took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2013. She loves tennis and dance, both of which prove that everything goes better with samadhi.
Finding D.T. Suzuki's Essays in Zen Buddhism in his college library spurred Chudo's early interest in Zen. He began meditating on his own before he started sitting at the Maezumi Kuroda Zen Center in Mexico City, where he met Nyogen Roshi at a weeklong retreat in 2004. He took Jukai in 2006, ordained in 2008 and trained as Shuso in 2011. He is a linguistics professor.
When she was a graduate student in counseling psychology in 1999, Kosen took a workshop in Buddhism where she was struck by the kindness of the teacher. She immediately challenged herself to do meditation at home for 21 consecutive days. Afterwards her search began in earnest and she found herself at the Hazy Moon in 2002. She took Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2005. A licensed therapist, Kosen's love of surfing led to a passion for horseback riding. She considers her horse Emma to be her second-best teacher.
A TV appearance by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das got Donin interested in Buddhism in 2008. Soon, she had downloaded The Teachings of Zen Master Dogen and started sitting on her own. She took Jukai from Nyogen Roshi in 2009 and Tokudo in 2014. A mother of two amazing adult children and five even more amazing grandchildren, she is a hospice spiritual counselor working on a master's degree in Interfaith Action.
Kujaku met Maezumi Roshi after she attended a beginner's class with her husband Hoin at ZCLA in the early 1990s. He gave her a koan: "If God is in you, what is he doing right now?" She began formal practice with Nyogen Roshi in 2007 at the Hazy Moon and took Jukai in 2008. A retired project manager for AT&T, she also writes songs and plays the guitar, a pastime that she says helps her get outside of herself.
Jinen was interested in spirituality even as a kid. When she was 20-something she had an experience that made her question the nature of reality. That led her to the Hazy Moon and her Jukai with Nyogen Roshi in 2008. A consultant in digital strategy and design, her hobby is sewing because it reminds her of doing things without a computer. A lifelong Angelino, she's grateful to have a little family and happy home here.
Ben Ming found the book Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck about ten years ago in a discount box at the American Book Center in Amsterdam, where she lives with her husband and two children. In 2012 she began sitting on her own with long-distance guidance from Maezen Sensei. After sitting her first retreat at the Hazy Moon, she took Jukai from Nyogen Roshi in 2013. She's a self-employed writer and fine arts project manager.