Yvonne Rand is a "lay householder" Soto Zen priest and guiding teacher of Goat-in-the-Road located in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California. A meditation center which practices predominantly Soto Zen but also incorporates elements of Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism, the "name Goat-in-the-Road recalls Yvonne's early rescue of young goats from a local Spring barbecue auction, and the goats tendencies to escape out onto Highway 1 in Muir Beach." For many years Rand led meditation retreats at Redwood Creek Dharma Center, which was located on Mount Tamalpais in Northern California. Deeply interested in ecology and environmentalism, according to Rand, "[f]or a number of years a small group of us went out for a weekend once a month, year-round, criss-crossing the coast range from San Francisco to the Oregon border, studying plants and geology and all manner of things having to do with where we live." The Redwood Creek Dharma Center was filled with gardens of various plants and flowers, and was also home to much wildlife.
Rand, a Dharma heir of Dainin Katagiri, began practicing with Shunryu Suzuki at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1966 and became "a central figure in Zen Center's rise to prominence. She brings a pro-choice, anti-abortion Buddhist perspective to reproductive issues by defending a woman's right to choose while teaching that abortion's moral gravity makes it at best an option of last resort." Philip Whalen has commented on her time at the San Francisco Zen Center by writing, "She was one of the big bosses." Yvonne had been "Zen Center secretary in the '60s, President in the '70s, and Chair of the Board in the '80s." Rand continues to return to San Francisco Zen Center facilities occasionally to hold retreats or give talks.
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