Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao

Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao has served as the Abbot and Head Teacher of ZCLA since 1999, succeeding Abbot Emeritus Roshi Bernie Glassman.

Roshi Egyoku first encountered Zen practice in 1975, when she did a seven-day Zen sesshin on a dare. Following this plunge, she devoted her life to the Dharma, finding her way to ZCLA and Maezumi Roshi in 1978. In 1982, she ordained with the Venerable Taungpulu Sayadaw in Bodh Gaya, India. In 1983, she ordained as a Zen Priest with the Taizan Maezumi, Roshi, and trained with him until his death in 1995. She continued her training in Yonkers, NY, with Roshi Bernie Glassman from whom she received Preceptor and Dharma Transmission (Shiho) in the White Plum Lineage in 1996, and the Seal of Approval (Inka) in 2004. She is a founding member of the Zen Peacemaker Community.

Roshi Egyoku grew up in Hawaii in a family of Japanese and Portuguese ancestry. Her interest in spirituality was fueled at an early age by a fierce drive to find meaning in the context of differences. She attended the University of Washington, Seattle, where she received degrees in East Asian Studies and Library Science. Her life partner, Eberhard Fetz, is a neuroscientist at the University of Washington.

Roshi's passion for practice has led to creative explorations in new forms of training, including shared stewardship, a model of sangha building; council practice; shadow-mara explorations; healing circles; bearing witness days; chanting a women's lineage; and group koan exploration. She has given Dharma Transmission to Sensei Merle Kodo Boyd, Sensei Kipp Ryodo Hawley, Sensei John Daishin Buksbazen, Sensei Raul Ensho Berge, Sensei Pat Shingetsu Guzy and Sensei Gary Koan Janka.

Roshi is the co-editor with Sensei Eve Myonen Marko of Appreciate Your Life by Taizan Maezumi (Shambhala 2000), and co-editor with Sensei John Daishin Buksbazen of the newly published editions by Wisdom Publications of On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, and Mind (2002) and The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment (2007).

An interview about her experiences along the path can be heard at http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma9/dharmatalks1.html.


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