leadership roles

Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan
Head of Practice (Tanto)


Shokuchi Deirdre Carrigan received training in Soto Zen practice as a resident of San Francisco Zen Center for 12 yearswas ordained as a priest in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage by Tenshin Reb Anderson in 2010, and was Shuso (head monk) with Abbess Eijun Linda Cutts in 2014 at San Francisco Zen Center/Green Gulch Farm. She has been teaching yoga in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988, as well as co-leading Zen and Yoga retreats at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm since 2002.

“May all beings be happy. May they be joyous and live in safety. All living beings…” – The Dhammapada


Kristin Miscall
Head of the Kitchen (Tenzo)


Kristin is a yoga, Zen, food, and dog enthusiast. She works as a psychotherapist in New York City and has held the role of Tenzo at BZC since 2016. She takes her kitchen practice home, where she plays with inventing various forms of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

“love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outter change; without collective change, no change matters.” – Rev. angel Kyodo Williams



Gayle Salamon
Assistant to the Tenzo (Fukuten)


Gayle Salamon began sitting in 2012 and received the precepts from Shohaku Okumura in 2017.  She has practiced at Sanshin-ji, at Tassajara, and currently serves as fukuten at Brooklyn Zen Center.




Alexandra Gekas
Assistant to the Tenzo (Fukuten)


Alex is a media professional with a decade of experience as a journalist, editor, content producer and operations director in print, digital and satellite radio. She has been practicing meditation for over 10 years with different communities but wasn’t moved to join a sangha until she walked through the doors of the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2015 and deeply felt she had found her spiritual home.

“Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.” – Alan Watts


Don Rider
Assistant to the Tenzo (Fukuten)


Don has been practicing at BZC since 2015. Working in the kitchen has taught him healthier ways to relate food and eating, and he’s honored to support others in discovering what kitchen practice has to offer.   When he’s not in the kitchen, Don enjoys yoga and western partner dancing.

“You won’t exhaust desires by searching; you will exhaust them by experiencing that which underlies them.” – Charlotte Joko Beck




Tom Weinreich
Assistant to the Tenzo (Fukuten)


Tom Weinreich is trained and employed as a research scientist, his family’s traditional occupation. He is also a Zen student and an aspiring community organizer. Tom co-facilitates the Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine sangha at BZC.

“Not knowing is most intimate.” – The Book of Serenity




Kristen Davis
Head of the Meditation Hall (Co-Ino)


Kristen Davis has been teaching yoga and Alexander Technique for over twenty years, and is the owner of Yogasana Center. Her Zen practice inspires her to use yoga and Alexander as a framework to challenge perceptions and conditioning, and become more awake and embodied. Kristen’s best mirrors and loves are her partner, David, their son, Arlo, and the family dog, Puck.

“When you do something just through your skill or just by your mind, you will not be supported by people and so you will not help others. Only when you do it with zazen mind can you help others, and you will naturally be supported by people.” – Shunryu Suzuki


Yoko Ohashi
Head of the Meditation Hall (Co-Ino) 


Yoko has a strong background in visual arts and yoga. She was born in Osaka, Japan, and her early experience of coming to live in the US inspired her to explore herself in this new culture. Yoko is grateful to have come across Zen in Brooklyn and looks forward to deeply rooting her practice in sangha.

“When you try to do something, you lose it, because you are concentrated on one out of one thousand hands.  You lose 999 hands. Before you try, you have it.” – Shunryu Suzuki



Maya Petrovic
Ino Assistant, Meditation Hall Staff and Tanto Assistant (Co-Head Doan and Jiko)


Maya began practicing Zen ten years ago—she was instructed to “just sit” by her teacher Byakuren Judith Ragir, who subsequently was instructed to “just sit” by her teacher, Katagiri Roshi. “Just sitting” led her to Brooklyn Zen Center where she now shares the roles of co-Head Doan and Jiko.

“Great is the matter of birth and death. Life is fleeting, gone, gone. Awake, awake, do not waste this life.” – Dogen



Erica Essner
Ino Assistant and Meditation Hall Staff (Co-Head Doan)


Erica Essner has been a Soto Zen Buddhist practitioner since 1985 and was lay ordained in 2015. Her work in dance education and dance performance is informed by her Zen practice as a tool for concentration and focus. Erica is currently pursuing her dance credential M.A. as a scholarship student at Hunter College.

“We simply cannot engage with either the ills or promises of society if we continue to turn a blind eye to the egregious and willful ignorance that enables us to still not ‘get it’ in so many ways.”  – Rev. angel Kyodo Williams



Dexter Ciprián
Guest Manager (Co-Shika)


Dexter Ciprian is a visual artist and the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He has been practicing Zen at Brooklyn Zen Center since 2014 and is interested in the dialogue between creativity, spirituality and social justice. He currently is co-Shika and co-facilitator of the POC sangha at BZC.

“Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.” – Audre Lorde



Byron Wollen
Guest Manager (Co-Shika)

Byron Woollen has practiced as a Zen student with BZC since 2013 and was lay ordained in 2017. Byron is a clinical psychologist currently in training at the NYU postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis.

“If you ask me where I come from, I have to converse with broken things.” – Pablo Neruda



Work Co-Leader (Co-Shissui)

Camille is a member of the BZC People of Color sangha, and also practices with BZC-affiliated Love Circle Sangha. She received precepts in December 2017. She enjoys practicing on the doanryo and shikaryo, and making friends with the many delightful people touched by the BZC mahasangha.

“Whatever illumines your path I will consider as my friend. There are no enemies, no barriers in the heart. There is only wishing you well.” – song from Plum Village



Flo Lunn
Attendant to BZC dharma teacher Greg Snyder (Jisha)


Flo Lunn has been practicing at BZC since 2013.  She spends her time being a mother, a yoga instructor and a zen student. She received precepts in December 2017.

“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.” – Buddha





Terence Caulkins
Attendant to BZC dharma teacher Laura O’Loughlin (Jisha) 

Terence Caulkins is a Franco-American acoustical engineer and sound artist who became a member of the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2008. Terence was lay ordained by Soshin Teah Strozer in 2012, and held the position of Ino at BZC from 2015-2016. He is currently Jisha to Laura O’Loughlin and co-facilitates the BZC Undoing Whiteness and Oppression group.

“Without any intentional, fancy way of adjusting yourself, to express yourself as you are is the most important thing.” – Shunryu Suzuki




Carl Erik Fisher
Rental Coordinator


Carl Erik Fisher M.D. is an addiction psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at Columbia University, with an academic focus on bioethics, law, and policy, and a clinical practice at the intersection between addiction medicine and contemplative practices. He has been a member of the Brooklyn Zen Center since 2014.

“If you want to live with spiritual security in the midst of constant change, you have to burn the flame of your life force in everything you do.” – Dainin Katagiri



For leadership role details please visit our Wholehearted Activity page.