Sara Jisho Siebert is a Soto Zen Buddhist priest who was led to Buddhism by the suffering around her and in her work to prevent domestic and sexual violence. Her path to understand suffering and joy led her to Los Angeles – where she first met her teacher, Gengo Akiba Roshi, then to Papua New Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, monasteries in Japan, and Haiti. At present she works for Beyond Borders, an organization working in Haiti, committed to preventing violence against girls and women and ending child slavery. She is recognized as an International Zen Teacher (Kokusaifukyoshi) by the Soto Shu.
Eric Daishin McCabe came to Buddhism through the gate of the First Noble Truth of suffering: not just that “life is suffering,” but life is going extinct. Not just the suffering of old age, sickness, and death, but of the awareness of the suffering caused by the genocide of indigenous peoples and of the legacy of slavery in the United States.
He received his B.A. in Religion and Biology at Bucknell University in 1995, where he studied Ecology and the Religions of the world. His early mentors were Prof. John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker with whom he studied Inter-Religious Dialogue with a special interest in Indigenous lifeways. He subsequently apprenticed with Patricia Dai-En Bennage Roshi of Mount Equity Zendo in central Pennsylvania for 15 years.
Daishin also practiced at several Soto Zen Monasteries in Japan, particularly Zuioji and Shogoji for two three month periods, and for shorter stints at Hosshinji, Kappa Dojo, Gotanjoji and Hokyoji.
He has been deeply influenced by the teachings of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, and had the opportunity to study with him in France.
Upon completing his 15-year apprenticeship he continued training both as a Behavioral Health Chaplain and as a facilitator of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga. He has been recognized as an International Zen Teacher (Kokusaifukyoshi) by the Soto Shu, and as having the theological equivalency of a Master of Divinity by the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Daishin presently teaches World Religions at Des Moines Area Community College, offers Integral Yoga and Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes online, and offers meditation retreats. He also serves on the Membership Committee of the SZBA board.
The Soto Zen Buddhist Association seeks to make Zen practice available to everyone. We work to transform barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, political affiliation, economic class, sexual orientation, age, and ability. We find harmony in both our differences and what we share.