September 24, 2013
Kathryn Stark Completes Dharma Transmission at Tassajara


From left: Konin Melissa Cardenas, Daijaku Kinst, Myogen Kathryn Stark, Shosan Victoria Austin, and Jim Abrams.


Shinshu Roberts and Jim Abrams at the commencement of one of the ceremonies in the process of dharma transmission last week.

Zen Center alumnus Myogen Kathryn Stark, MA, MDiv, received dharma transmission last week from Zen Center teacher Shosan Victoria Austin. Daijaku Kinst and Shinshu Roberts, who served as instructors for the ceremony, are the guiding teachers for Ocean Gate Zen Center in Santa Cruz, where Kathryn is currently a hospice chaplain. (Kathryn began formal Zen practice in 1990 and received priest ordination in 2003 from Sobun Katherine Thanas, Abbot of Santa Cruz Zen Center.) Kathryn’s husband, Jim Abrams, and Konin Cardenas also assisted with the ceremonies. Several members of this group had last been together at Tassajara during Shosan’s shuso practice period in 1987.


A view from Tassajara that week.

Kathryn’s new okesa is made from khadi that Shosan brought from India. Khadi is made by followers of Gandhi, who taught people how to weave as part of India’s bid for independence from Great Britain.

Having begun the process of dharma transmission in July at City Center, with Myozen Joan Amaral and Keiryu Liên Shutt, she completed it September 20 at Tassajara. Congratulations, Kathryn!