The Puget Sound Zen Center is a community dedicated to practicing Zen, to teaching and living Buddhist principles, to supporting a vibrant sangha, and to serving our wider community.
Located on Vashon Island, the center is part of the life of the island while serving the wider Puget Sound area. Our community is open to all regardless of age, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, or gender identity, or sexual orientation.
We hold practice a few times a week and schedule a number of retreats annually. We also offer family programs, dharma study classes, discussion groups, community service opportunities, and a precepts program. We are members of the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness and the Northwest Dharma Association.
Some at the Zen Center have been practicing Zen or other forms of meditations for decades and some are just starting out. Some attend services with other spiritual communities in addition to Zen.
Wherever you are in your spiritual practice you are welcome here.
Koshin Christopher Cain is Abbot of the Puget Sound Zen Center. Koshin was born in 1965 and grew up in London, England, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
He graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a BA in American Studies in 1987. In 1990 he moved to Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California, he ordained in 1991, and trained at Mt. Baldy as a monk from 1991 to 1999.
In 1999 Joshu Roshi made him an Osho, or teacher. From 1999 to 2002 he served as Vice-abbot of Mt. Baldy Zen Center. In 2003 he moved to Vashon Island and became the founding teacher of the Puget Sound Zen Center. Since 2009, Koshin has been the formal teacher of the Rinzai Zen Center in Oslo.
He is responsible for the direction of the Zen practice there, and visits the center twice a year. Koshin is married to Soshin Lidunn Cain, and they have a son, Lars, born in 2001, and daughter Eva, born in 2004.
An interview with Koshin was published in “Sweeping Zen” in July 2012. To read it, click here
PSZC’s Teacher Ethics statement can be found here.
The Board of Directors works with the Abbot, Committees, and the sangha to create an overall vision and goals for the Zen Center, and oversees the carrying out of these goals.
To contact the entire board, email firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of our bylaws can be found here
In February 2014 the Board announced its decision to end PSZC’s affiliation with Rinzai-ji, Inc. A copy of the letter announcing that decision can be found here
Although relatively new to Zen, Jim Hunziker jumped into the PSZC with both feet running. He comes with a wealth of knowledge to offer our sangha, bringing the experience from being president of a non-profit that funds girls schools in rural Afghanistan and the local Honor Society of Nursing, as well as (over the years) positions in various nursing organizations. He is a semi-retired Nurse Practitioner.
Treasurer and Vice President
Berneta has been a Zen Center member for about 3 years. She and her partner, Sheila, have lived on Vashon for 19 years. They moved here from Boston, wanting to escape snow and find a more manageable work/life balance. Having spent most of her career as a lawyer working on civil rights issues, she now works for King County and volunteers with Honoring Choices Vashon, a group that strives to make death awareness more a part of everyday life. Berneta really likes bingo, thinks pit bulls get a bad rap and wishes she had become a professional surfer.
Member at large
Claire grew up in upstate NY and was raised in the Jewish and Unitarian traditions. Claire met her husband Chris during orientation of law school and after graduating, they spent a year together in Juneau, Alaska. Chris introduced Claire to Zen Buddhism and they were delighted to find the sangha at the Zen Center upon moving to Vashon in 2013. Zen offers Claire a new lens through which to think about the world, relationships, and herself. She tries to use zazen as a tool to meet everyday challenges and to more fully appreciate life’s gifts.
Member at large
Lynda was born with her mind made up and is now learning by example, through the sangha, to be more curious. Lynda grew up in Southern California where she attended the local Self Realization Fellowship meditation center. Moving to Israel, England and New Zealand she dabbled (it must be said) with various ‘brands’ of meditation. Arriving at the Puget Sound Zen Center in 2010 she found a community that was warm and accepting and solid. She joined the Board to dive in.
Programs Committee: email@example.com
The Programs Committee oversees the logistics of existing Zen Center programming, and dreams up all kinds of great new things our Zen Center can do and be.
Membership Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Membership Committee cares for and supports members, and offers a welcoming, caring presence to all in our community.
Communications Committee: email@example.com
The Communications Committee oversees the website, print communication, ads and flyers. We are always looking for volunteers!
Children’s Program Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
This group oversees overall planning for the Family Zen group, as well as it’s annual retreat.
Property Committee: email@example.com
The property committee takes care of our home. Anyone is welcome at our meetings.
Ethics Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ethics committee is on-call to address any ethical issues that may arise for the sangha, and to provide a yearly ethics review.