Dharma Teacher Senior Priest
Kosen Gregory Snyder was raised in an Appalachian mountain valley along the banks of the Susquehanna river where his Pennsylvania Dutch family have lived and farmed for many generations. He is a dharma teacher, senior priest, and co-founder of Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) and Ancestral Heart Zen Temple. He is also the Senior Director and Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary, where he directs and teaches in a Masters of Divinity program focused on Buddhism and Inter-religious Engagement. Kosen received priest ordination and dharma transmission from Soshin Teah Strozer, BZC’s honorary founding teacher, and is a lineage holder in the Suzuki Roshi lineage of Soto Zen. Kosen is active with multiple inter-religious, spiritual, and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-racism, social justice, and living harmoniously with the Earth.
Dharma Teacher Senior Lay Practitioner
Shingetsu Laura O’Loughlin is a dharma teacher, co-founder of Brooklyn Zen Center and currently serves as Director of Ancestral Heart Zen Temple, a Soto Zen training temple in upstate New York. She is also a clinical social worker in private practice since 2007. Before co-founding BZC, Laura trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, San Francisco Zen Center and Austin Zen Center where she served as Director. Laura received lay dharma entrustment from Teah Strozer in 2017. Laura is interested in how, alongside Zen training, other embodied wisdom modalities can support our collective healing and transformation from histories of racial, patriarchal and ecological violence. Laura co-created and co-facilitates the undoing whiteness program at BZC and leads retreats exploring patriarchal trauma and affirming the sacred feminine.
Priest and Tanto (Head of Practice)
Kidō Ian Case has been a student at Brooklyn Zen Center since its inception in 2005. During this time he has taken on various administrative and practice roles at the center, including serving for several years as Ino (head of the meditation hall). He was in residence for 15 months at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 2015-2016 and was ordained as a priest by Teah Strozer in October 2016. He served as shuso (head student) at BZC for the fall 2019 practice period. Ian holds an MA in Linguistics from the City University of New York and a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. He served as BZC’s director from 2019 to 2022 and currently serves as Tanto (Head of Practice).
Lay Practice Leader
Yoko Ohashi has been a student of Zen since she walked in the Brooklyn Zen Center in 2006. She continues to be mystified – being offered dharma this way in Brooklyn, all the way across the ocean from her motherland, Japan. Yoko is grateful for her teachers, sangha family, her husband and her son, who continually clarify the path for her. She was lay-ordained by Teah Strozer in 2015, served as a Shuso for the fall of 2016 practice period, and has practiced various roles at the center. Yoko holds a Masters of Fine Arts in New Forms from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.
Zen Priest, Dharma Teacher
Sarah Dōjin Emerson’s formal practice in Soto Zen began in 1996. She lived and trained at Tassajara Zen Mountain center and other sites of the San Francisco Zen Center from 1997-2007. She received Dharma Transmission from Abbott Konjin Gaelyn Godwin of the Houston Zen Center in 2015. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, and has worked in the fields of mental health and pastoral care with children and adults. She experiences Bodhisattva Zen practice as deeply supportive to inquiring into, challenging and transforming systems of oppression, particularly racial inequities and the harm they cause within convert Buddhist sanghas, and in U.S. society generally. Sarah has also worked for many years in grief support- clinically, ritually and in community- specializing in child loss. She lives with her partner, Charlie Pokorny (who is also a Soto Zen Buddhist priest), their children (who are her most profound and constant teachers) and numerous pets in Brooklyn, NY.
Zen Priest, Dharma Teacher
Charlie Korin Pokorny grew up in Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago. He was ordained as a priest by Reb Anderson in 1999 and received dharma transmission in 2018. He practiced as a resident at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm and studied koans with Daniel Terragno. Charlie and Sarah served as head priests at Stone Creek Zen Center 2014-2022. He teaches at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley (including courses on Buddhist philosophy, history, meditation and ritual practice). Charlie, Sarah and their children moved to Brooklyn in 2022.
Soshin Teah Strozer, Honorary Founding Teacher
Soshin Teah Strozer is BZC’s honorary founding teacher. She visited BZC’s city temple to lead retreats from 2006 through 2010. BZC then invited her to be our resident teacher for half of each year, which Teah generously did from 2010 through 2016. Teah is a Zen Buddhist priest, dharma teacher, and lineage-holder in the Soto Zen tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. She received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. Teah has been practicing meditation since 1967, lived at Tassajara Monastery for 11 years, and has studied directly under Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Dainin Katagiri Roshi. Teah has taught for many years at the San Francisco Zen Center and also at the Bay School of San Francisco, where she served as the chaplain. Teah served as BZC’s founding dharma teacher from 2007 through 2017.