Roshi Paul Genki Kahn is founder and Spiritual Director of ZEN GARLAND: A Community Order for Zen Practice, Education & Service, in Airmont, NY USA.
Genki began dedicated yoga and meditation practice in the 1960s. In 1970 he entered residential Zen training with Aitken Roshi in Hawaii. He transferred to the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1972 to become a monk and priest under Taizan Maezumi Roshi, served as his personal attendant, and was the Director of Training there. In 1980 he came to New York with Roshi Bernie to establish what has become the Greyston Mandala. He received Final Vows as a Priest from Roshi Dennis Genpo Merzel. He is a Dharma Successor of Roshi Bernie Glassman and received Inka from him.
Roshi Genki is a Past President of the Zen Peacemakers. He founded High Mountain Crystal Lake Zen Community in 2004, which later became Zen Garland when the community bought 5 acres of land in Airmont, NY to bring a full range of contemporary Zen training to the greater metropolitan area. He is focusing his efforts on developing Socially Engaged Buddhism in the West, and providing thorough Zen training paths for the general public and thorough education and practice paths for the senior, committed students seeking ordination in the Zen Garland priesthood and training as a Zen teacher. He has innovated new Paths in Christian Zen with Roshi Ann Ankai Wagner and in Red Path (Native American) Zen with Roshi Duncan Sings-Alone.
Over the past 25 years, Genki has designed and administered public and private mental health programs for disadvantaged people in New York and New Jersey. He pioneered quality treatment for persons with co-occurring conditions of mental illness and drug and alcohol addictions. During the crack wars in the South Bronx in the early ’90s, he created the MICA Program at Fordham Tremont Community Mental Health Center, that today still treats over 100 people daily. Last year he supervised four clinics for at risk youth in the Bronx, two of which were in high schools.
Roshi Ann Ankai Wagner, Founder and Director of Christian Zen and Christian Zen Minister, works in the tradition of Thomas Merton, integrating the teachings of Jesus with the transformational methods of Zen. Roshi Ankai is a Christian contemplative, an activist who has directed and founded service centers for the poor, and a Dharma Successor of Roshi Paul Genki Kahn in the Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi lineage of Zen. She is a member of the White Plum Asanga.
She began her contemplative practices with Thomas Keating in Contemplative Outreach. She completed training as a Spiritual Director with the Diocese of NY. She was Co-Director for six years, and is currently a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace Lay Associates.
Roshi Ankai has a deep commitment to Earth, nature and its inhabitants. She supports Thomas Berry’s ecological vision of the interdependence of all creation, and is a member and former Board Member of Waterspirit, an environmental center in Elberon, NJ.
Her work in social service has included serving as Director of Eva’s Kitchen’s Food Program, providing hot meals to the homeless 7 days a week. She Co-Founded Oasis: A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, NJ, a nonprofit engaged in feeding, clothing and educating hundreds daily. She remains on their Board, and helped guide them through the transition from the dilapidated church basement they began in to a $5 million facility.
She is married to Ron Wagner, has grown children and seven grandchildren.
Rev. Monika Genmitsu Kahn is a Zen Master Teacher and Zen Buddhist Priest ordained and empowered by Roshi Paul Genki Kahn, in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi. Roshi Genmitsu began her spiritual practice in 1977, studying for three years under Pastor Paul Huber who taught Christian contemplation and social action in Bern, Switzerland. Rev. Kahn practiced contemplation daily and tutored disabled children at a special school.
From 1996 – 1997 she practiced a full year of the Christian “Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola” under Christian Rutishauser SJ in Bern, Switzerland. Rev. Kahn began her Zen practice in 1997 with Pierre Stutz (priest until 2004, today author) in the open monastery ‘Abbaye de Fontaine-André’ in Neuchâtel.
To become a Zen Buddhist Priest, Rev. Kahn studied with four organizations in the White Plum Asanga beginning in 1999: Lassalle Haus, Edlibach, Switzerland, Peacemakers Circle Switzerland, Bern, Switzerland, Zen Peacemakers Seminary, Montatague, MA, USA, and with her Teacher Roshi Paul Genki Kahn and the Sangha of Zen Garland, in Wyckoff, NJ, and now in Airmont, NY, USA.
From 1991-1998 Rev. Kahn directed a Training Center for women going to run farms and for the last ten years she was involved in the management of a therapeutic residence of young learning disabled students in an institution for Vocational Training in Switzerland. She is very interested in social projects and spiritually based social engagement with an integrative approach.
She works as a Priest, Pastoral Counselor, Zen Teacher and Chief Executive Officer for Zen Garland since it was founded in 2010 and lives at the Sanctuary in Airmont. She received Dharma Transmission in January 2012.
Genmitsu is studying the Native American practices with Grandfather Duncan Sings-Alone, Roshi and his wife Priscilla Buffalo Woman Cogan. She facilitates a Red Path Zen Group at the Sanctuary.
Rev. Cathleen Kanno Dowd is a Zen Buddhist Priest and Christian Zen Minister in the Zen Garland Order. She is the Spiritual Director of one of our affiliates, Ryuka-an, Running Flowers Hermitage, in Saugerties, NY and a residential teacher at the Sanctuary in Airmont, NY. She has a private practice in acupuncture and counseling, and is a Registered Nurse with long experience in Emergency Room services.
Sensei Kanno began her Zen practice in 1977 at ZCLA where she studied with Maezumi Roshi and with Zen Master Bernie, and received Jukai from Roshi. For two years she served as Head Cook, Tenzo, feeding a growing residential and local community that ranged from 30 to 80 people.
In 1980 when Zen Master Bernie Glassman, Daido and Genki moved to Riverdale to establish the Zen Community of New York, Sensei Kanno moved in to practice and help develop that center. She remained a Zen student there until 1982 while working as an Emergency room nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital.
She moved to Saugerties near KTD, the American seat of His Holiness the Karmapa Of the Kagyu Lineage and began to study Tibetan Buddhism. She felt a deep connection to Kenpo Karthar Rimpoche and Bardor Tulku Rimpoche. Over the next few decades she attended retreats, practices and empowerments. During this time she trained for several years and became licensed as an acupuncturist, gradually replacing nursing with her private acupuncture practice.
Sensei Kanno resumed her Zen practice at Zen Garland with Roshi Genki in 2012. She has helped develop Zen Garland, its community and organization. Her name, Kanno-Doko is a favorite expression of Dogen Zenji, and can be translated as Cosmic Communion. She is helping teach Zen and develop the Christian Zen Path with Roshi Ankai at the Zen Garland Sanctuary.