Angie Boissevain

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Angie Boissevain
Angie Boissevain.jpg
Religion Sōtō
Nationality American
Children 3 children
Senior posting
Based in Floating Zendo
Title Roshi
Predecessor Vanja Palmers
Religious career
Teacher Kobun Chino Otogawa

Angie Boissevain is a Sōtō Zen roshi currently leading the Floating Zendo in San Jose, California.[1] A Dharma heir of Vanja Palmers, for many years she was director and then teacher of Jikoji in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today she leads meditation retreats in California.[2]


Boissevain first developed her interest in meditation while in college, attending a small Quaker meeting house on campus. She married while still in college and had her first child just after graduation. The family soon moved to San Francisco, California, where one weekend she and her husband stumbled upon Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (of the San Francisco Zen Center) during a weekend excursion. The couple had arrived just after Tassajara had conducted its first winter sesshin and opened to the public for the guest season. They stayed that evening and heard a talk by Shunryu Suzuki and learned how to sit zazen. The couple continued to return to Tassajara frequently as guests, and when it was time to leave someone told them that Kobun Chino Otogawa lived within three miles of their home. By now she had three children, and after a few months (in 1971) she went to see Kobun and became his student. She has remarked since on how she instantly knew he was her teacher from their first meeting. Zen practice was very hard for her, as her husband traveled frequently and she bore most of the parental duties.[3]

When Jikoji in the Santa Cruz Mountains was established in 1983 by Kobun, Boissevain served as director there until the late 1980s.[4] Soon after Kobun had begun teaching in New Mexico and Boissevain led the sesshins and gave Dharma talks. Kobun was very encouraging in this regard. One day, during a memorial service, Kobun grabbed a stick and ran it through some incense three times and handed it to Boissevain—then walked away. This was Kobun's official recognition of her as an independent teacher. Without ceremony, he later gave her a robe and bowl.[3] In 2002, when Kobun died in Switzerland while trying to save his drowning daughter, Boissevain had been undergoing Dharma transmission with him. She received Dharma transmission in 2004 from Vanja Palmers, a Dharma heir of Kobun.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Floating Zendo Blog". June 15, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Angie, Our Teacher". 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b The Homemaker Roshi
  4. ^ Ford, 137
  5. ^ "Kobun Chino, Angie’s Teacher". 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2012.