Dharma Rain - Our Teachers
The two resident teachers of the Dharma Rain Zen Center are called "sensei," which
indicates a teacher, and means "one who has gone before." In Zen
practice there is no line drawn between a daily life of mindful attention
and the spiritual exercise of meditation, so they serve both as teachers
to the Sangha (community), and temporal directors of the daily work of the
Whether lecturing, giving private counseling, pointing out a mistake, or
teaching by example, it is their purpose to help each student find his
or her own center
in meditation, understand the Precepts in daily life, and bring an energetic
mindfulness to all situations. Above all, they wish to help the students
fully realize their own potential in practice.
Abbot Kyogen Carlson
Abbot Kyogen Carlson (right) was ordained by Roshi Jiyu-Kennett in 1972 at
Shasta Abbey, where he trained as a monk for five years before receiving full
certification as a teacher (Dharma Transmission and inka). He remained
at Shasta Abbey another
five years to continue training, and to serve as a staff member and
personal assistant to Roshi Kennett. As Godo, Kyogen is the person
primarily in charge of lectures, classes, and other formal teaching.
Co-Abbot Gyokuko Carlson
Gyokuko Carlson (left) is co-abbot. She was ordained in 1975 by Roshi Jiyu-Kennett
at Shasta Abbey. In 1980 she graduated from the seminary program,
then remained at Shasta Abbey to deepen her practice and to help out
as a staff member until she and Kyogen-sensei married in 1982 and came
to Oregon to teach.
Gyokuko prefers working with people one-on-one or in small groups, and specializes in daily life practice which makes her the natural
person to be in charge of the daily affairs of the Center. That is the role of the Kanin, or Director.
In 1986, after much discussion, Kyogen and Gyokuko resigned their membership
in the organization headquartered at Shasta Abbey. Dharma Rain Zen Center
is an independent organization.