Ordinary Mind Zen School

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Ordinary Mind Zen School
Basic information
Architectural description
FounderCharlotte Joko Beck, Elizabeth Hamilton, Diane Eshin Rizzetto, Elihu Genmyo Smith

The Ordinary Mind Zen School is a network of independent Zen centers established by Charlotte Joko Beck and her Dharma Successors in 1995.


The school is unaffiliated with any Zen centers which fall outside of its own network. The history of the Ordinary Mind Zen School dates back to 1983, which was the year that Joko Beck had left the Zen Center of Los Angeles.[1] That was the year her teacher, Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, had been confronted by his students about his alcoholism and sexual liaisons with some female students. Joko Beck established the Zen Center of San Diego[2] in 1983, currently run by Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamilton, though Joko Beck had disassociated herself from these teachers.[3][4]

According to Richard Hughes Seager, "By 1998, the Ordinary Mind School had centers in San Diego, Champaign, Illinois, Oakland, California, Portland, Oregon and New York City."[5] There is no one set structure of curriculum in the Ordinary Mind School, as the Dharma Successors of Joko Beck get to decide their method of training independent of any organizational head. Long before retirement, Joko Beck had done away with all titles and no longer wore her okesa. She had distanced herself considerably from her roots in the Sōtō school, and much of the ceremony had been abandoned in favor of pure meditation practice.[1]


  • Barry Magid (Ordinary Mind Zendo)
  • Pat Jikyo George (Zen Center of Philadelphia)
  • Elihu Genmyo Smith (Prairie Zen Center)
  • Diane Rizzetto (Bay Zen Center)
  • Gregg Howard (Ordinary Mind Zen Brisbane)
  • Geoff Dawson (Ordinary Mind Zen Sydney)
  • Peg Syverson (Appamada in Austin, TX)
  • Karen Terzano (Ordinary Mind Zendo Finland & Sweden)
  • Ezra Bayda (Zen Center of San Diego)
  • Elizabeth Hamilton (Zen Center of San Diego)
  • Al Zolynas (Freeway Zen, Escondido, CA)
  • Diane Moore (Santa Rosa Zen Group)
  • Ezequiel D´León Masís (SAMU - Zen Lab, Nicaragua)
  • Anna Christensen

Dissolved Groups

  • Larry Christensen (Zen Center of Portland)

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Seager, Richard Hughes (1999). Buddhism In America. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10868-0.


  1. ^ a b Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications. pp. 173–175. ISBN 0-86171-509-8.
  2. ^ Zen Center of San Diego
  3. ^ "Stuart Lachs". Non-Duality. August 26, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "Barry Magid Interview". Sweeping Zen. June 4, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  5. ^ Seager, 102

External links[edit]