Sonoma Mountain Zen Center was formed in 1973 to continue the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and to make everyday Zen available to people in Sonoma County. We are situated on 80 acres of rolling hills and mountainous land, located 11 miles from the town of Santa Rosa. Our sangha consists of a small residence and a larger membership that joins us in Zen practice from the local area, as well as other parts of the United States and Europe.
Our programs offer a variety of ways to engage in Zen practice. We emphasize a commitment to the practice of sitting meditation (zazen) every day as a way to deepen our true nature and to actualize it clearly in our work and daily activities.
Jakusho Kwong-roshi was born in Santa Rosa in 1935 and began studying Zen with Shunryu Suzuki-roshi in 1959. He received ordination at San Francisco Zen Center in 1970 and began establishing Sonoma Mountain Zen Center in 1973 as his commemoration to his teacher. Kwong-roshi completed Dharma transmission in 1978 through Hoitsu Suzuki-roshi at Rinsoin, Japan. This authorized him as Dharma successor to Suzuki-roshi's lineage. Kwong-roshi travels annually to the Southwest, Iceland and Poland to lead sesshins for affiliate sitting groups. He teaches ordinary Zen in everyday life as nothing special but the aliveness we bring to each moment.