Bodhisattvas like


(presented alphabetically and clockwise from left above)

Susan McDonald

  Earth Ancestor, Complete Penetration

In the early 70's, working in international rural development, I landed in a small central Lao village, where I worked for a year, first encountering the Buddhist Way of Life.   Later, with young children, I lived in rural northern California, raising goats and gardens and my little ones.  Although I had trained as a librarian, I never worked as one, always drawn to an older, deeper root in myself.  When I met Katherine Thanas, I began to embrace this root, looking closely and more closely.   I work with plants and gardens, and as I grow older, in an ever more intimate way. I received Jukai in 1993 and Lay entrustment 2010.  I am currently Ino as well as member of the Teaching Council.

Robert Reese

  Steadfast Mountain,  Pure Hearted Way
Robert has been practicing in the Soto Zen Lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi for twenty years. An ordained Soto Zen priest, he has been teaching classes and workshops at the Monterey Bay Zen Center in Carmel and received Dharma Transmission in 2010 from Sobun Katherine Thanas.

Patricia Wolff

 Pure Wind, Unfabricated Nature

Patricia started her Zen meditation practice in 1987. She met Katherine Thanas at Tassajara in 1990 and subsequently started sitting with the MBZC. In 1995, she received Jukai and in 2010 lay entrustment from Katherine. She received her certificate of Zen Ministry in October of 2012 after completing the 3 year S.P.O.T. Sangha Leadership Training Program. In addition to her role on the Teaching Council., she leads Mountains and Rivers, a bi weekly Carmel Valley sitting group and teaches classes and workshops, exploring mind-body practices which cultivate wisdom and compassion. Patricia is the mother of 2 semi-grown children and blends her skills as a homeopathic/chiropractic physician and psychotherapist in her armel Valley Office.

Teaching Council



End of Year 2014
Letter from the MBZC President

Monterey Bay Zen Center has closed its financial books for 2014, and is in a sound financial position to move forward into 2015.

MBZC uses a fiscal year of November 1 through October 31. Last fiscal year, MBZC raised around $16,000 through a variety of activities, including actual fundraising such as the fundraising card, and Earthbound Farm sponsored "Breakfast with Poetry", as well as through classes and other teaching or practice venues, and regularly pledged contributions from community members -- all of us.

Of these funds, $2500 went to support the Teaching Council, $3600 was paid to visiting teachers, a bit over $4000 went toward rent for practice activities such as Tuesday evening formal zazen, Monday and Thursday morning zazen, Saturday's Buddhism and Ordinary Recovery group and our library space.

Our annual weekend sesshin was subsidized about $1000 from our general funds, and supplies for our zazen practice ran around $500 for the year. The other major expense is grouped under administrative costs which cover printing and postage for the quarterly newsletters, monthly calendars, and maintenance of the web page, advertising our community's events, etc., and totaled around $3000.

Our practice activities have continued to expand this year with the Chicken Coop Zendo opening its doors in Jamesburg (thanks to Phyllis Conlan), and we continue to offer regular zazen sitting opportunities in Carmel Valley with the Carmel Valley Zendo headed up by Sara Hunsaker, the Mountains and Rivers sitting group with Patricia Wolff, in Monterey with Brown Bag Zen (a more informal practice led by Kathy Whilden). Ordinary Recovery is a Saturday morning tradition with a vibrant community with 20 - 30 regular participants with teachings offered by Robert Reese, and workshops and classes offered at a variety of times and places.

In the coming year, we will work to maintain and expand the existing practice opportunities we co-create as a community, a sangha. Please think about what you can do to help. Pick one of these practice opportunities and talk to the group leader, teacher, senior student about what you can offer. The most important contribution is to just show up. I look forward to practicing with you in the coming year.


Jana Clark, President
Monterey Bay Zen Center
Board of Directors


Most Recent Meeting Minutes
JUNE 2015
2013-2015 ARCHIVE

The Board of Directors
Monterey Bay Zen Center Incorporated

Jana Clark, President
Phyllis Conlan, Secretary
Kathy Whilden, Treasurer & Administrator

Sara Hunsaker
Susan McDonald
Clara Nieto
Mark Orrisch
June Poe
Robert Reese
Diane Wells
Patricia Wolff