We were very fortunate to have writer and lay Zen teacher Vanessa Zuisei Goddard join the Middle Way School Board of Trustees in the fall of 2021. Zuisei brings decades of experience as a dharma practitioner and community member, as well as a depth of understanding of children through her work as co-founder of the Zen Kids program at Zen Mountain Monastery. She has been involved in MWS since before we opened, leading ikebana and storytelling at one of our first open houses and participating in our early “Dialogues” gathering.
Zuisei is currently based in the south of Mexico. She was in residence at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper, where she trained full time from 1995 to 2014, fourteen of those years as a Zen monk. In 2018, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Roshi, who is an advisor at the school, gave Zuisei dharma transmission (authorization to teach). She teaches meditation, particularly focusing on the application of dharma teachings to our daily lives. She offers retreats and workshops for children, teenagers, and adults—all based on her conviction that there are few tools as powerful as meditation to transform, empower, and clarify.
Her articles have appeared in Tricycle, Lion’s Roar, Buddhadharma, and Parabola, and her first book, Still Running: The Art of Meditation in Motion, was published by Shambhala Publications in August of 2020. She is Tricycle Magazine’s Teachings Editor.