Grace Schireson is a Dharma teacher in the Suzuki Roshi lineage empowered by Sojun Mel Weitsman, abbot of Berkeley Zen Center. She has also been empowered to teach koans by Keido Fukushima Roshi, chief abbot of Tofukuji Monastery in Kyoto Japan. Grace is the head teacher of the Central Valley Zen Foundation and has founded and leads three Zen groups and a Zen retreat center, in California. Grace is also a clinical psychologist who has specialized in women and families. Married for over forty years, she has two sons and three grandchildren.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Zen Bridge collects Dharma talks given by the Zen master Keido Fukushima Roshi. Fukushima Roshi’s anecdotes on his own training are humble, hilarious, and full of wisdom. His reflections on classical teachings intermingle with personal stories, allowing them to be accessible to all readers while at the same time transcendent. The power and authenticity of this true Zen master shines through in his words.
This book includes black and white illustrations of basic sitting and hand posture for meditation as well as selections of Fukushima Roshi’s calligraphy.
This landmark presentation at last makes heard the centuries of Zen’s female voices. Through exploring the teachings and history of Zen’s female ancestors, from the time of the Buddha to ancient and modern female masters in China, Korea, and Japan, Grace Schireson offers us a view of a more balanced Dharma practice, one that is especially applicable to our complex lives, embedded as they are in webs of family relations and responsibilities, and the challenges of love and work.
Part I of this book describes female practitioners as they are portrayed in the classic literature of “Patriarchs’ Zen”—often as “tea-ladies,” bit players in the drama of male students’ enlightenments; as “iron maidens,” tough-as-nails women always jousting with their male counterparts; or women who themselves become “macho masters,” teaching the same Patriarchs’ Zen as the men do. Part II of this book presents a different view—a view of how women Zen masters entered Zen practice and how they embodied and taught Zen uniquely as women. This section examines many urgent and illuminating questions about our Zen grandmothers: How did it affect them to be taught by men? What did they feel as they trying to fit into this male practice environment, and how did their Zen training help them with their feelings? How did their lives and relationships differ from that of their male teachers? How did they express the Dharma in their own way for other female students? How was their teaching consistently different from that of male ancestors? And then part III explores how women’s practice provides flexible and pragmatic solutions to issues arising in contemporary Western Zen centers.