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October 7, 2015

2

Changing of the Guard at Milwaukee Zen Center

On September 20, Milwaukee Zen Center celebrated their 30th anniversary and at the same time greeted their new resident priest and teacher, Reirin Alheidis Gumbel, who “graduated” from Green Gulch Farm Zen Center after 12 years of residency (three of those at Tassajara).

Teachers of MZC, L to R: Reirin Gumbel (new teacher), Tozen Akiyama (first teacher), Tonen O’Connor (second teacher) and Hoko Karnegis (interim director).

Teachers of MZC, L to R: Reirin Gumbel (new teacher), Tozen Akiyama (first teacher), Tonen O’Connor (second teacher) and Hoko Karnegis (interim director).

Though in a different lineage—Tozen Akiyama, who became the first resident teacher in 1985, and Tonen O’Connor, his disciple, are in the Kodo Sawaki lineage; Hoko Karnegis, who served as interim director of practice when Tonen stepped down, is a student of Shohaku Okumura’s—Reirin has been warmly welcomed by the sangha.

MZC has a history of strong community outreach, and Reirin wants to keep up interfaith work and engagement with prisoners, homeless people and seniors. A women’s group is planned, and dharma events for young people will eventually be added. Reirin is looking forward to picking up her fiber arts supplies, and offering classes in knitting, spinning and weaving.

MZC building

As a retiree, Reirin feels fortunate to be able to put all her strength into this work, which she feels she has been preparing for: to be a dharma guide to lay practitioners who are looking for a community of like-minded people and meaningful activities.

Congratulations to both Reirin and MZC.

(Left: MZC building.)

MZC sangha, with Reirin's teacher, Green Gulch Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder (seated left), and Green Gulch resident Hakusho Ostlund (third row, second from left).

MZC sangha, with Reirin’s teacher, Green Gulch Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder (seated left), and Green Gulch resident and fellow student of Fu, Hakusho Ostlund (third row, second from left).

 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kogan Sheldon
    Oct 9 2015

    Great congratulations to Reirin and her new sangha, and thanks to News for this article with lovely photos. How my heart feels expanded by the work of Zen in Milwaukee, at SFZC, and throughout the U.S.!

    Reply
  2. Susan King-Köcher
    Aug 8 2016

    LIebe Alheidis, dear Reirin!
    Here is your former classmate Susi King from Kassel in Germany. Glad to see you are well and happy. It would be wonderful to hear from you.
    All the best,
    Susan King-Köcher
    Hans-Sautter-Str. 11
    34134 Kassel
    Germany

    Reply

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