Shinko Seiwa Leslie Bartholic is the Abiding Teacher of Mt. Zen Group. She began Zen practice in the early 90s with a Thich Nhat Hanh sitting group and with monthly sittings at Green Gulch Zen Center. In 1999, Leslie began practicing at Berkeley Zen Center, where she held many traditional Zen temple positions, including serving on the Board of Directors and Practice Committee. She received lay ordination from Sojun Mel Weitsman Roshi in 2002, served as Shuso in 2011, and received lay Entrustment July 10, 2017.
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Myoho Joshin John Busch is Head Priest of Mt. Diablo Zen Group, leading monthly Saturday Programs and co-leading the Wednesday evening program with Leslie Bartholic. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, he was stationed near Ajahn Chah and practiced at his forest monasteries. His first Zen Teacher was the renowned Tassajara chef Kainei Edward Espe Brown-roshi. John then trained under Sojun Mel Weitsman-roshi and Hozan Alan Senauke-roshi at the Berkeley Zen Center. He entered Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery in 2011 where he completed a three-month residential practice period (Ango). He served as head student (Shuso) at MDZG in 2016 and received Dharma Transmission from Baika Heaton in 2018. John is trained as a chaplain, hospice caregiver, Grief Recovery Method™ specialist, and home funeral guide.
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Myosho Baika Andrea Heaton née Pratt (b.1960) is the founder and Abbess of Mt. Diablo Zen Group in Pleasant Hill, California. Baika is a Dharma heir in the lineage of the great Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki-roshi—founder of the San Francisco Zen Center. She has practiced Zen meditation since 1987 and received Dharma transmission in 2011 from Myoan Grace Schireson, Abbess of Central Valley Zen, California. Baika also has undergone Soto Zen training with Sojun Mel Weitsman-roshi of Berkeley Zen Center where she was a resident for many years. She is a graduate of the SPOT Leadership Program of the Shogaku Institute and has been certified by Mindfulness Schools to teach Mindfulness to children in public schools. Baika is a recipient of the Peace and Justice Award in Contra Costa County. Currently, Baika leads the daily ZOOM Zendo program.