Desiree spent her childhood and younger years in Boulder, CO and although she didn’t realize it until later, her desire to find this Buddhist path was ever-present. After returning from a trip to Japan with her Japanese mother and Caucasian father in the early 80’s, she picked up a book by Phillip Kapleau Roshi, read a paragraph—and was shocked to find that this was what she’d been searching for. The great Buddha in Kamakura stirred something deep and alive in her!
Soon after sitting with the Denver Zen Center for awhile, a friend led her to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and Thich Nhat Hanh. Here she found her root teacher and for years practiced in the Plum Village tradition. She took the five mindfulness trainings and continued in that tradition after moving to the Pacific Northwest where she practiced with Dharmacharya Eileen Kiera and the community there which integrated practice with Eileen’s partner Jack Duffy Roshi—a Dharma heir of Robert Aitken Roshi. At Mountain Lamp she enjoyed and practiced both flavors of Zen.
After some time, Desiree felt the yearning to delve more deeply into the Japanese lineage and tradition. Feeling the the need to move away from Mountain Lamp, she wandered for a while until landing here at Red Cedar. During that time she connected deeply with her teacher Ryushin Andrea Thach, who has since returned to the Berkeley Zen Center. Desiree received the precepts in 2017 in jukai with Ryushin Andrea. Desiree and Ryushin Andrea continue their formal study together in addition to Desiree’s commitment and practice with the teachers and community here at Red Cedar.
She feels very settled and happy to practice here amongst this wonderful community and looks forward to offering her presence and continued practice here with everyone. She is retired and has a son at WWU who recently moved up to Bellingham leaving her and her spouse to settle into the “empty-nester” routine!
Bob’s spiritual journey and meditation practice began early in his adult life. After a few years of Transcendental Meditation practice, he spent a good chunk of his 20’s living as a monastic in Guru Maharaji’s ashram. Fast forward to 25 years ago. That’s when Bob began Zen practice. He met Norman Fischer a few years later and has been a student of Norman’s and Everyday Zen for the past 22+ years. Bob received the precepts in 2004 in Jukai with Norman. The annual sesshin with Norman at Mar de Jade in Mexico has been Bob’s anchor for practice over the years with Samish Island being his introduction to Red Cedar Zen about 20 years ago. Bob moved to Bellingham in 2021 and is now blending his practice with Everyday Zen and Red Cedar.
Andrea began formal practice in 1994 in the Vipassana tradition. In 1997 she joined a Buddhist Peace Fellowship program for socially engaged study and practice and met Kushin Maylie Scott, who became her first teacher and lay ordained her in 2000. Andrea has practiced at BZC since 1999, was ordained in 2005, was shuso in 2009 and received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 2015. She also has studied with Shohaku Okumura for many years. After a rewarding “post transmission fellowship” at Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham, WA, she returned in 2019 to continue practice at her home temple and medical practice in the communities she loves.