Santa Barbara Zen Center

Sensei Gary Koan Janka, Head Teacher and Officiating Priest

The Santa Barbara Zen Center (formerly known as the Santa Barbara Zen Group) was formed in 1973 by two Santa Barbara residents who were students of Zen Master Taizan Maezumi, Roshi, at the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Over the years, the group has grown in both numbers and strength of practice.

As our community has evolved, we have included Zen students who have an array of primary teachers and lineages, both Soto and Rinzai. We also have participants whose primary training is in the Tibetan and Theravadan traditions. We are eclectic, but hold in common the Buddha’s teachings. All sincere practitioners are welcome to join us in our rich and active Sangha life.

Currently, SBZC offerings include:

The first Sunday of each month, the SBZC sangha gathers for tea after our regular program. Tea is followed by a meeting at which participants can raise issues and discuss matters of common concern.

Santa Ynez Valley Zen Sangha
In January 2017, SBZC member Carol Kanjin Abrahamson launched an affiliated sitting group in the Santa Ynez Valley. It meets on Wednesdays in the Grange Hall in Los Olivos.

Kanjin began practicing Buddhism in 1950. She received training in Zen and end of life care at Upaya Zen Center and studied trauma care at Naropa University and Tidewell Hospice. In 2007 she took refuge and bodhisattva vows with Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, her teacher at that time. She received priest ordination from Sensei Gary Koan Janka in February 2016. For fifteen years she has maintained a private practice providing care in the Buddhist tradition to persons with life-threatening brain disease and injury.

Read Our Vision, Mission, and Values

Please see EVENTS for specific SBZC and SYVZS offerings.

SBZC Board of Directors
Elisa Shozan Atwill, president
Pamela Nenzen Brown, treasurer
Susan Gwynne, secretary
David Dietrich, member-at-large
Gary Koan Janka, officiating priest and member-at-large
Carol Kanjin Abrahamson, member-at-large

We invite you to participate in the study and practice of the Dharma. If you have questions, please call Susan at 805.722.5562.