The Reverend James Ishmael Ford (Myoun Roshi) was ordained a Soto Zen priest in 1969 and trained at temples in San Francisco and Oakland, then at Shasta Abbey in Mt Shasta, California. He received Dharma transmission from Rev. Houn Jiyu Kennett in 1971. Later, he spent many years studying with the koan teacher Dr. John Tarrant, and in 2005 received inka shomei from him. Myoun, as he prefers to be called, is a member of both the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America and the American Zen Teachers Association. He served on the membership committee of the AZTA for a decade and a term as a member of the board of the SZBA. Myoun Roshi is also an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. He served as a parish minister for twenty-five years and is minister-emeritus of the First Unitarian Church of Providence. He currently serves as consulting minister with the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles. Myoun Roshi maintains a blog at Monkey Mind and is the author of several books on Zen. His most recent is Introduction to Zen Koans: Learning the Language of Dragons. He lives with his spouse, Jan Seymour-Ford, in Long Beach.
Rev. James Ishmael Ford, Roshi
Founder & Guiding Teacher
Jan Seiryū Seymour-Ford
Senior Dharma Teacher
Jan Seymour-Ford has been a student of Zen for more than a quarter of a century. She has studied with several teachers, most notably Dr. John Tarrant and Roshi Melissa Myozen Blacker, who designated Jan as a Senior Dharma Teacher. Jan is a retired librarian active in social justice work. Jan’s practice has brought her to a deep experience of the reality that we are all one, and she believes that Solomon Burke expressed this beautifully when he sang, “none of us are free if one of us is chained.” This realization compels her to work for equity and justice, which she presently does through the Long Beach Sanctuary Coalition and with the Racial Justice Team at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach. She is grateful for the spiritual home of Empty Moon Zen, and seeks to spread the dharma of love, compassion, and social engagement through her teaching. She lives with her spouse, James Ford, in Long Beach.
The Reverend Edward Sanshin Oberholtzer has been a student of Zen for over twenty years. Ed was ordained unsui by Myoun Roshi in 2007 and served as shuso at the Boundless Way Zen winter ango in 2013. Originally trained as a lawyer, Ed served as a housing attorney for Legal Services in New Bedford, Massachusetts before changing professions to become the social science bibliographer at the Tisch Library of Tufts University. Now retired, he is the resident priest at the Joseph Priestley Zen Community in Northumberland, Pennsylvania and a chaplain at Bucknell University. Ed is also head of the worship committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Susquehanna Valley and serves on the Prophetic Council of the Poor People’s Campaign for Moral Revival. He lives with his wife, Dr. Karen Wolf, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Rev. Edward Sanshin Oberholtzer
Senior Dharma Teacher
Rev. Janine Seitetsu Larsen
Senior Dharma Teacher
The Reverend Janine Seitetsu Larsen has been a student of Zen since 2001. She took Jukai in 2005 from Roshis Chozen & Hogen Bays at Great Vow Zen Monastery, part of the Zen Community of Oregon (ZCO), and became a Community Zen Leader with ZCO in 2013 after completing Sanghakai, a three year training program. In 2015, Janine began koan study with Myoun Roshi, and in 2017, the Bright Cloud practice groups she leads in the Seattle area joined the Empty Moon Zen Network. In 2019, Janine was ordained a Zen priest (unsui) by Myoun Roshi, and named resident priest of the Bright Cloud Zen Practice Groups in Seattle and Woodinville, WA.
Janine has been Director of Ministries at the University Unitarian Church (UUC) in Seattle, Washington, since 2016. Prior to that, she served the Unitarian Universalist Association for 12 years as the Pacific Northest District Executive, following a 20 year career in nonprofit management with a specialty in fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning. She lives with her family in Woodinville, WA.
Dr. Chris Hoff has been a student of Zen for many years, training in both the Kwan Um and Soto traditions. He leads Empty Moon’s Sunday practice group and is responsible for pastoral formation in the organization. A PhD psychologist, Chris is the Founder and Executive Director of the California Family Institute (CFI), a nonprofit organization established to provide desperately needed, low- and no-cost counseling services to under-resourced communities throughout Southern California. CFI also provides training for mental-health professionals and conducts research in the field. He lives in Huntington beach with his wife, Michele.
Dr. Chris Kaishin Hoff
Mo Myokan Weinhardt
Mo Weinhardt has been a dedicated Zen practitioner for almost 20 years. She trained with the Zen Peacemakers before joining Boundless Way Zen in 2009 and becoming a student of Myoun Roshi. An experienced educator, Mo holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS from Lesley University, and has worked with students across the developmental spectrum in a variety of settings. She is presently the Director of Knowledge Management and Content Creation at Mach49, a global business incubator. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Tom.
Tom Daimon Wardle