Board of Directors
Tricia McFarlin President
Judson Dunn Vice president
Parmita Derden Secretary
Gary Grubitz Treasurer Gaelyn Godwin Abbot

Forbes Alcott
Tom Biddle
Gayle Klaybor
Dan Le
Troy Porter
Carter White

Judson Dunn

Cathy Crouch, Chair
Tricia McFarlin
Gary Grubitz
Carter White
Parmita Derden
Leo Golub

Tanto Glen Duval
Tanto Louise Dreyfus
Ino Vicki Glenn

Judson Dunn, Tom Biddle

Zen Temple Organization

Houston Zen Center, or Sho Un Ji, Auspicious Cloud Zen Temple, is led by the Abbot. The assistant teachers are:

  • Kogen Glen Duval
  • Nessho Cathy Crouch
  • Hokyo Louise Dreyfus
  • Shinji Mary Carol Edwards

Glen, Cathy, Louise, and Mary Carol have advanced in their Zen training through many years of daily meditation practice and longer retreats. They have also undergone training as Shuso, or Head Student, during a yearly retreat and given many Dharma talks. Each has received Lay Entrustment in a ceremony acknowledging their understanding and commitment. All HZC Members are encouraged to engage in regular one–to–one meetings (dokusan) with the Abbot, and it is recommended that they also meet in Practice Discussion with one or more of the assistant teachers.

The Assistant Teachers are available to discuss Zen practice and the issues around it with all members and interested visitors. Information about appointments is posted on the bulletin board in the Center or you can email the Tanto, Head of Practice, for further information.

The Zen meditation practice and training is guided by the Abbot with the assistance of the Tanto/Head of Practice, Glen Duval, and the co–Tanto/Head of Practice, Louise Dreyfus, along with the Ino/Head of the Meditation Hall, Zengetsu Vicki Glenn. Other practice positions include: Tenzo/Head Cook; Work Leader — Judson Dunn; Shika/Guest Manager – Basia Sobaskiewicz; Sewing Teacher, Vicki Glenn; and Head Steward. Members also serve on various crews, such as assisting the cook, the Ino and the steward. A Mandela, or diagram, of the various crews and roles will be posted on this site in the near future.

The administrative structure of a Zen temple functions in parallel with the practice structure. Houston Zen Center is well served by its Officers and Board of Directors who are highly competent, generous and upright members of Houston Zen Center and the larger Houston community. Along with the Abbot, the Board oversees the growth of the Center, develops and manages its budget, and cares for all contingencies. The members select the Board, as described in the Bylaws, and the monthly meetings of the Board are open to all members.

Ethical Guidelines and Procedures
HZC has a written policy that explicitly describes the members' commitment to practice together in alignment with Buddhist precepts. The policy includes procedures for addressing and resolving questions of conduct of the leaders and members should they arise.
The policy can be accessed here: Houston Zen Center Ethical Guidelines and Procedures. Further questions can be addressed to the Board President, Tricia McFarlin.

Further information about HZC's governance can be obtained from Zen Center's President, Tricia McFarlin, or the Secretary of the Board, Parmita Derden.

HZC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), center.

picture of zen practioners sitting in meditation at Houston Zen Center


photo of GAELYN GODWIN, Abbot Gaelyn is a Zen priest, and a Dharma successor in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi. Gaelyn began training at San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) in 1985 and was ordained by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi in January 1991. She received the Dharma name, Setsuan, which is translated as Snow Hut. Her second Dharma name is Konjin, Establish Love. She became Tenshin Roshi's Dharma successor in 2003 in the U.S., and was acknowledged in 2005 at the head Soto Zen temple in Japan, qualifying to receive the title of Kaikyoshi.

Gaelyn lived and trained at San Francisco Zen Center for 18 years, 12 of those years were at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, SFZC’s monastery, serving in many positions, from kitchen crew through Director. She lived and trained at Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm and Beginner’s Mind temple for 6 years. She served on SFZC’s Board of Directors for 7 years and currently advises the Affiliates Council. She trained in Japan, at Hosshinji with Harada Sekkei Roshi in 1991–92, and with Robert Aitken Roshi in Hawaii in 1995–96. Gaelyn moved to Houston in 2003 to serve as the Guiding Teacher of the Houston Zen Community. In April 2012, Houston Zen Center hosted an international gathering of Zen teachers for the Mountain Seat Ceremony, or Shin San Shiki, in Japanese, during which Gaelyn was installed as the Abbot of HZC.
She has two stepdaughters, Jessie, an economist in Chicago, and Sarah, an obstetrician in San Francisco, and four grandchildren, Oscar, Rose, Joachim and Sofia.

She values interfaith communication as well as intra–Buddhist communication to further understanding of the various Buddhist schools. She maintains close ties, both official and social, with the Soto Zen head temple in Japan.
She is a member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and served as the President of the Board. She is also a member of the American Zen Teachers Association and the Association of Soto Zen Buddhists. She hopes to see the teachings of Buddhism flourish and show their Western colors and Western styles for the benefit of everyone.

Visiting Teachers

photo of Reb Anderson, Roshi Reb Anderson is Senior Dharma Teacher at San Francisco Zen Center. He came to San Francisco from Minnesota in 1967 to study Zen Buddhism with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and in 1970 was ordained by him as a priest and given the name Tenshin Zenki, Naturally Real, The Whole Works. Since that time he has continued to practice and teach at San Francisco Zen Center, which includes Green Gulch Farm, the San Francisco Beginners Mind Temple (City Center), and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He served as abbot from 1986 to 1995.

Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center
photo of Linda CuttsSenior Dharma Teacher Eijun Linda Cutts came to San Francisco Zen Center in 1971, where she practiced with Suzuki Roshi, Zentatsu Baker and Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi. She was ordained as a priest in 1975 and has lived at Tassajara and San Francisco City Center and since 1993, she and her family have lived at Green Gulch Farm. Linda is married to Steve Weintraub, a zen priest and psychotherapist, and they have two children.

photo of Arlene LueckArlene Lueck has been a resident practitioner at the San Francisco Zen Center for more than fifteen years. She was ordained as a priest by Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1996. She has served as Head Monk, and currently guides the practice at Green Dragon Temple, Green Gulch Farm.

Head Priest Austin Zen Center
photo of Kosho McCallKosho McCall is a Soto Zen Buddhist Priest and Teacher in the lineage of Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki. He was born in Indiana in 1948 and grew up in Maine. He ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1976 and in 1988 went to study at the San Francisco Zen Center for the next 20 years. He ordained as a Zen priest in 1997. For twelve years he lived and trained at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, becoming its Head of Monastic Practice in 2004. He received Dharma Transmission (permission to teach) from his teacher, Zenkei Hartman Roshi. In 2009, Kosho accepted the Austin Zen Center’s invitation to become their Zen teacher.

photo of Flint Sparks Flint is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest serving the Appamada group in Austin, Texas, as well as a psychotherapist. He began his formal Zen training at the San Francisco Zen Center with his teacher, Zenkei Blanche Hartman. Flint travels widely, leading retreats all over the world.

photo of KAZ TANAHASHIKaz has had solo exhibitions and done painting performances in art galleries, museums, and universities internationally. Trained in Japan as a painter and calligrapher, Kaz has been active in the United States since 1977. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and is listed in Who's Who In America. He is the founding director of A World Without Armies: The Costa Rica Initiative.

Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center
photo of SOJUN MEL WEITSMAN Sojun Roshi is an original student of famed Zen Master Suzuki Roshi. In 1964, Sojun Roshi began to practice at San Francisco Zen Center on Bush Street, and in 1969 he was ordained by Suzuki Roshi as resident priest at the Berkeley Zendo. He received Dharma Transmission from Suzuki Roshi's son and successor, Gyugaku Hoitsu, at Rinsoin temple in Japan in 1984, and was officially installed as Abbot of Berkeley Zen Center in 1985.

Along with his responsibilities in Berkeley, Sojun Roshi helps train students and teachers at several affiliated temples. From 1988 to 1997 he served as Co-Abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. Sojun Roshi has given Dharma Transmission to numerous students, each of whom draws on their experience and understanding in offering Sojun and Suzuki Roshi's teaching to others.