Enkyo Pat O'Hara

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Enkyō Pat O'Hara
Pat Enkyo O'Hara 12.JPG
Religion Zen Buddhism
School Sōtō and Rinzai
Zen Peacemaker Circle
Lineage White Plum Asanga
Senior posting
Based in Tisch School of the Arts
Village Zendo
Title Roshi
Predecessor Tetsugen Bernard Glassman
Successor Barbara Joshin O’Hara[1]
Jules Shuzen Harris[2]

Randall Ryotan Eiger
Sinlcair Shinryu Thomson
Catherine Anraku Hondorp
Julie Myoko Terestman
Religious career
Website www.villagezendo.org

Enkyō Pat O'Hara is a Soto priest and teacher in the Harada-Yasutani lineage of Zen Buddhism.[3] She is abbot and founder of the Village Zendo in New York City.[4][5][6] She serves as co-spiritual director of the Zen Peacemaker Order along with Tetsugen Bernard Glassman.[7] She is also a former professor of interactive media at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She holds a doctorate in Media ecology. A socially engaged Buddhist, she is a member of the White Plum Asanga and manages the Buddhist AIDS Network.[3]


In high school, O'Hara read R. H. Blyth’s translations of haiku, Buddhist sutras, and the writings of D. T. Suzuki.[4] This began her studies in Zen which led to her spending a summer at Zen Mountain Monastery in her late thirties.

O'Hara studied with John Daido Loori but differences with her teacher led her to begin studying with Taizan Maezumi, who himself was Loori's teacher.[4]

O'Hara was ordained a Soto priest by Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi in 1995 and received shiho from Bernard Glassman in 1997.[4][8] In June 2004 Glassman gave O'Hara inka.[8]


Much of Enkyo's activism is in the world of HIV/AIDS, from teaching meditation to HIV-positive practitioners to working on prevention strategies among those at risk, and serving as Chairperson of the Board of the National AIDS Interfaith Network. Enkyo, who is a lesbian,[6] has articulated a Zen Buddhist approach to issues dealing with sexuality, race, class, and health.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barbara Joshin O'Hara". Village Zendo. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Jules Shuzen Harris, Sensei". Village Zendo. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Skinner Keller, Rosemary; Rosemary Radford Ruether; Marie Cantlon (2006). The Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America. Indiana University Press. p. 1096. ISBN 0-253-34685-1. 
  4. ^ a b c d Boyle, Richard P. (April 24, 2015). "You Yourself Are Oatmeal". Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ Gregory, Peter N. (2007). Women Practicing Buddhism: American Experiences. Wisdom Publications. p. 41. ISBN 0-86171-539-X. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Jeff (2000). The Buddhist Guide to New York. Macmillan. pp. 102–103. ISBN 0-312-26715-0. 
  7. ^ "O'Hara, Pat Enkyo". Sweeping Zen. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "ZPO Founding Teachers-USA". Zen Peacemaker Order. Retrieved April 26, 2015.