Zen and the (Impossible) Art of Parenting


6:30 PM - 8:00 PM


Is parenting impossible? Yes, in that there’s no way to “get it right” and that it can often feel impossible. And then yes, it is possible! because everyday, as parents, we are doing it.

This is an online four-part class series for parents and caregivers on how the practice of Zen can support a practice of parenting. We will be exploring our relationships to impermanence, grief, healthy and unhealthy attachment, self and non-self, karmic inheritances, and explore together how to create paths of caregiving that are community-rooted and supported by the teachings of Buddha.

Come as you are, no practice experience is required. Each class will have a dedicated time for meditation practices, the sharing of stories and teachings- both from the tradition and from our own lived experiences, and time to connect with and support one another.

The class will meet online on four consecutive Thursday evenings, from March 14 to April 4, from 6:30-8:00pm EST. Registration closes March 13.

BZC is committed to offering classes, workshops, and retreats on a sliding scale in an aspiration to move towards equity within our sangha. To that end, we offer an equitable pricing model as a mindfulness practice and a mirror of our relations to histories of wealth. Please see the Equitable Pricing Model to determine your registration rate level.

If you’re unable to pay at the lowest rate, please use this form to apply for an exemption.


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.

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.


To request a refund for this program you must notify BZC in writing at least 2 days before the beginning of the program. This supports the organizing effort involved in managing registrations and cancellations.

Zen and the (Impossible) Art of Parenting