Since 1998, nine of Roshi Kjolhede’s disciples have been authorized and are currently functioning as independent teachers in our lineage. Pictured left to right are the late Gerardo Gally (Mexico), Ven. Sante Poromaa and Ven. Kanja Odland (Finland and Sweden) to either side of Roshi, Ven. Amala Wrightson (New Zealand), and Robert Goldmann (Germany). Not pictured are Rick Smith (Madison, WI) and Richard von Sturmer (New Zealand) as well as John Pulleyn and Ven. Dhara Kowal who serve as co-directors of the Rochester Zen Center.

In traditional Buddhist terms, “Sangha” is defined as the community of ordained monks and nuns. However, Zen communities in the West are largely made up of lay practitioners, necessitating an expansion of the definition of Sangha. At the Rochester Zen Center, the title “Cloud-Water Sangha” designates those centers led by students of Roshi Bodhin Kjolhede, some of whom are now independent teachers themselves. “Cloud-Water” is a literal translation of “unsui,” the name used in Japan for a novice monk; clouds and water are much admired in Zen as models of adaptability and egolessness.

For more information, please see our Wider Sangha page.