Patrick Kundo Eastman, Roshi

Patrick Kundo Eastman was ordained as a Christian priest on June 1, 1969 after completing his theological studies at Oxford University.  After being a Parish priest in the Durham diocese he went to live and work in the Diocese of Tulsa Oklahoma, USA in 1983 being ordained as a Catholic priest in August 1984. He served there as Director of Spiritual Formation for the Diocese.  During that time he founded a Spiritual Life Centre and two groups, the Monos Community that focuses on Contemplative prayer and the Epiphany Group to further the teachings and the practical implications of the Second Vatican Council.  To enhance this work he graduated with a Masters degree in Monastic Spirituality from St. John’s University in Minnesota. He also began Zen training with Ruben Habito Roshi which was followed by some rigorous training with John Daido Loori Roshi.

He returned to live in England in 2004 and founded the Wild Goose Zen Sangha in 2005 and has been their director and teacher since then.  His Zen training was continued under Robert Jinsen Kennedy who passed transmission to him to be a Zen Sensei (Teacher) in May 2009 being given the Dharma name of “Kundo.” Undo received Inka from Robert Kennedy Roshi on April 30, 2015 at Holland House. This is the final endorsement of his authority to teach Zen and gives him the honorary title of “Roshi”.

You can see the gallery of pictures from Roshi’s installation here.

Marcus Hozan Averbeck, Sensei

Born and bred in the north-west of Germany, Marcus left his home country after his Abitur (A-Levels) to spend 3 years in Taizé, France, working alongside the ecumenical community of monks. These were formative years on his spiritual path which helped him to search for ways of living contemplation in action. He then went on to study at the Jesuit College in Frankfurt/Main where he completed his degree in philosophy, theology and pastoral psychology. Towards the end of his theological studies in the early 1990s he was introduced to the practice of Zen by Sr Ludwigis Fabian, Ko-Un-An, and ever since, has been trying to find ways to practice Zen in everyday life, sitting with like-minded people and searching for the right teacher. When he was ready he met Patrick Kundo Eastman Sensei.

Kundo Sensei passed dharma transmission to Marcus and installed him as a Zen Teacher on 1st June 2014 and gave him the name “Hozan” (Dharma Mountain).

Marcus and his wife Jenny live with their two daughters in Canterbury where they open their Zendo each Wednesday and Thursday evening to the Sangha and anybody who is interested in Zen.

Professionally, Marcus holds a doctorate in psychotherapy, having trained in systemic psychotherapy to work with individuals, couples and families. He has worked in the NHS since 1994 as a couple & family psychotherapist, and since 2003 as the Head of Family Psychotherapy in a Mental Health NHS trust in the southeast of London.

Marcus is also a teacher, trainer and supervisor in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, specialising in helping people who have been suffering from recurring depression, anxiety and stress.

Click here to see the photographs from Sensei Marcus’ installation.

Jeremy Ryokan Woodcock, Sensei

As our encounter with Zen deepens we realise that it has always been there, just waiting to be seen: zazen is like coming home.

Jeremy trained as a family and couple psychotherapist, and has a doctorate in psychotherapy. For a great many years he has worked with survivors of political violence, and also as a teacher/trainer/writer/academic in the psychotherapies. As a psychotherapist, supervisor and organisational consultant he understands very deeply how important contemplative practice is for nourishment, and how it can be a conduit between inner and outer worlds, and can act as a container: we set our worlds apart, Zazen brings them together.

As well as being active in the peace movement Jeremy longed for contemplative practice during his theology degree and he was eventually taught to meditate in 1982 by an Indian Buddhist in the Burmese Forest Tradition. This practice gently wove its way through contemplative Christian traditions that included the Desert Mothers and Fathers, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Merton and Ignation spirituality, traditions that teach us to stay with what is present however challenging; something in which we so often fail but that opens up on a mystery, we are never alone in our failings.

In 1998 his practice was transformed at Bodhi Zendo in India where he met Fr. Ama Samy , a Jesuit priest and Roshi who had received Dharma Transmission from Yamada Koun Roshi in Japan. In 2006 Jeremy spent the year with his family with Fr. Ama at Bodhi Zendo, but after crossing half the world to immerse himself in Zen he returned to find that Patrick Kundo had come from the USA and the Wild Goose Zen Sangha was on his doorstep. The words of Hakuin’s Song of Zazen come to mind:

‘At this moment what are you seeking?
Nirvana is right here before your eyes,
This very place is the Lotus land,
This very body, the Buddha!’

With the blessing of Fr Ama Jeremy immersed himself in practice in the Wild Goose Zen Sangha, and in April 2015 he received Dharma Transmission from Patrick Kundo Roshi and was given the dharma name Ryokan.

Jeremy is teacher at the Woodchester Valley Zendo in the Stroud valleys and visiting teacher at Hove. In the years following his transmission he has had the profound experience that God has disappeared and his Christian beliefs have evaporated. He no longer lives in a created world, all is empty, but how creative and dynamic that emptiness is, moment by moment. Here is a real welcome: abide where there is no abiding, there is space for all of you, your sorrows, your joys, the stuff you would rather not think or feel, the stuff that has exiled you through prejudice and exclusion, not a speck of dust to wipe clean, just come as you are: you are welcome.

Zen centres us, but at another edge it responds with a radical engagement that seeks to place justice at the centre of our concerns. This resonates in the present with the call for equity at the heart of the Buddhist response to the climate emergency, and the Zen practice of Oriyoki, being vessels that hold just enough: being truly at home we no longer hunger.

Chris Ryushin Collingwood, Sensei

Chris is an Anglican priest and since July 2013 has been the Canon Chancellor at York Minster, where he oversees learning, theological reflection, the Minster’s Collections and programming. Before being ordained in Hereford, he read music and theology at the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford respectively, and subsequently studied for an MA in religious education at King’s College London, where he was also awarded a PhD for a thesis exploring the nature of personhood from theological and philosophical perspectives. His book, The Divine Dance of Love, was published in 1996; he has also written various articles and book chapters. As well as being an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Universities of York and York St John, and a Governor of St Peter’s School in York, he is an experienced spiritual director and retreat leader.

Chris has practised meditation in one form or another for much of his adult life. The discovery of the writings of the late Fr Bede Griffiths OSB prompted a visit to stay at Shantivanam, (Saccidananda Ashram of the Holy Trinity) in Tamil Nadu, South India, the ashram led by him from 1968 until his death in 1993. The encounter with a different religious and spiritual culture was life-changing and, for the ten years when he was Chaplain at Chigwell School in Essex, Chris used to take a group to experience the life at Shantivanam for ten days each year.

He was first introduced specifically to the practice of Zen by his then spiritual director, an Anglican priest, who was also a member of the Oxford Zen Centre in the Sanbo-Zen tradition. In 2010, Chris became a formal student of Patrick Kundo Eastman Roshi, founder in 2005 of the Wild Goose Zen Sangha. He received Jukai in October 2015 and Dharma Transmission from Kundo Eastman Roshi in July 2016, being given the name Ryushin (Dragon Heart) on that occasion.

A practising musician, Chris is married to Sue, a complementary therapist, and has four adult children.