Dharma Teacher & Senior Priest
Kosen Gregory Snyder is a dharma teacher, senior priest, and co-founder of Brooklyn Zen Center. He is also the Senior Director 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 interfaith and community networks organizing around peace-building, anti-violence and social justice initiatives, and currently sits on the Brooklyn Borough President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Community Partnerships. Kosen’s practice of Zen and the dharma includes an understanding that personal and social liberation are a deeply integrated process of mutual unfolding. In addition to teaching in a formal Zen context, he facilitates Undoing Whiteness and Undoing Patriarchy workshops and ongoing groups that focus on investigating self-identities that may unconsciously perpetuate societal suffering. His efforts include ensuring the dharma is truly available to everyone, supporting young people in practice, developing a community-responsive Zen center, and advocating for bringing the illumination of conditioning around patriarchy, racism and economic exploitation to the center of our Buddhist exploration of self. He is devoted to co-creating an American dharma movement that fully embraces a deep social engagement focused on transforming inequity, bias and violence in ourselves, our communities and the world.
Dharma Teacher & Senior Lay Practitioner
Laura O’Loughlin is a dharma teacher, senior lay practitioner, and co-founder of Brooklyn Zen Center. Before she began training with Teah Strozer, Laura was a student of Darlene Cohen’s. She is also a psychotherapist, affiliated with the Buddhist Psychotherapy Collective, with her own practice in Manhattan. As a clinician, Laura uses mindfulness and body-oriented practices to support healing and transformation and address developmental and societal trauma. Before co-founding Brooklyn Zen Center, Laura had trained and lived in various Buddhist communities since 1997, including Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center. Laura was also Director of Austin Zen Center, where among other things she studied the interface between eastern and western psychologies. Laura received lay dharma entrustment from Teah Strozer in 2017. In her current work, Laura is interested in how trauma modalities can support our collective healing from histories of racist and patriarchal violence. Laura co-facilitates the undoing whiteness group at BZC and leads retreats exploring patriarchal trauma and affirming the sacred feminine.
Priest and Practice Leader
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.
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.
Soshin Teah Strozer, Honorary Founding Teacher
Soshin Teah Strozer is BZC’s honorary founding teacher. She visited Brooklyn Zen Center’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.