Teachers

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Jake Jiyu Gage, Roshi

Jake Jiyu Gage, Roshi has been a student of Zen Buddhism for twenty-eight years. He began his studies in 1985 with Taizan Maezumi, Roshi and received Dharma Transmission from Nicolee Jikyo McMahon, Roshi in 2003. Prior to his Zen studies Jiyu Roshi practiced and taught Transcendental Meditation for twelve years.

Jiyu’s interest in meditation began while a student at the University of California at Berkeley. Following his graduation from Berkeley Jiyu served in the Peace Corps in Saipan. He then returned to the United States to pursue a career in the public school system, co-founding the first charter school in Oceanside, California. He also worked as a financial journalist and editor of a weekly financial newspaper.

In addition to his Zen teacher responsibilities Jiyu also is a visual artist with works on display in many homes and other venues throughout the United States.

Jiyu Roshi co-founded the Three Treasures Zen Community with Jikyo Roshi and established the Vista Zen Center after receiving Dharma Transmission from Jikyo Roshi.

Both Jiyu Roshi and Jikyo Roshi champion the Home Temple concept using their own homes as temples to support students’ integration of their Zen practice with the other activities of their busy lives.

Annie Purna Pirruccello, RoshiBarry Kaigen Roshi

Annie Roshi was born in Evanston, Illinois to a family of ten and grew up on Chicago’s North Shore. She attended college in Los Angeles, where she majored in music initially. Having become interested in philosophies of Europe and Asia, she pursued an academic path and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University in 1992. Annie’s doctoral work emphasized European thought, but she continued to be deeply impressed by texts from China and India, and she currently specializes in comparative philosophy, Paralleling and sometimes intersecting her philosophical explorations, Annie’s meditation practice began in 1980 after reading Chinese works. For years afterwards, she explored meditative traditions from around the world.

In 1997, Annie became Nicolee Roshi’s student and received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) from her in 2009. Koan is her favorite means of working with Zen students, but Annie enjoys ancient Buddhist awareness practices, such as the foundations of mindfulness, as well as newer Zen modalities, including Nicolee Roshi’s Practice of Immediacy in the Arts® (PIA). In addition to teaching at the Vista Zen Center, Annie teaches at the Three Treasures Zen Community and is a professor of philosophy at the University of San Diego, where her teaching and research concentrate on comparative philosophy. Currently, her interests in Chinese philosophy (especially Confucianism) and Chan Buddhism occupy much of her time, and she makes periodic trips to China to learn more about them.

Aishi Sensei

Steve Aishi Sarian, Sensei

Steve Aishi Sarian was drawn to Zen in the ’80’s on a quest for spiritual intimacy. In early 1991, he began studying with Joko Beck at ZCSD, and Nicolee Jikyo McMahon in Vista. In 1995 he pursued Priest Ordination with Jikyo Roshi as his sole teacher.  She ordained him in 1998, and gave him Dharma Transmission in 2015.  During that time, he enjoyed a full and active role at Three Treasures Zen Community.

During his 20 years of Active Duty Naval service, he obtained his BS and MA degrees.  Since 1981 he has functioned in many aspects of the Substance Abuse and Addictions field, and has also spent many years working as an end-of-life care volunteer and volunteer trainer.  He is also a Hospice Chaplain, where he is able to serve, combining his priest vocation and end-of-life care.  After relocating back to California in 2018, from a 6 year job-related move out of state, Aishi accepted the position of the Employee Assistance Manager/California Division for BNSF Railway, out of San Bernardino, and also began teaching with Annie Roshi at Vista Zen Center.

Aishi Sensei is married to Carole Jian Sarian, who has traveled with and partnered with him on his journey since 2001, and with whom he shares time with their children and grandchildren.