Allison is the resident teacher of SSZ.
She has been a serious Zen practitioner since 2004. She practiced for several years at a Chinese Rinzai temple, and attended her first Soto Zen retreat in 2009, where she met her teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer. She felt an immediate connection with Norman, and received the lay precepts from him in 2010. At that time, she received the name Kyoji Kanshin (Humble Self, Generous Heart). Shortly afterwards, at Norman’s suggestion, Allison moved to Tassajara Zen Mountain Center for residential training. She was ordained as a priest at Tassajara in 2013. After nearly five years at the monastery, she moved to San Francisco Zen Center’s Beginner’s Mind Temple in late 2014. Living in San Francisco gave her more opportunities for public service, and she became certified as a Buddhist chaplain by Gil Fronsdal at the Sati Center for Buddhist Chaplaincy, as well as being certified as an interfaith chaplain by the Sojourn Chaplaincy organization. She had the opportunity to serve as shuso (head student) during the Fall 2017 practice period at Beginner’s Mind Temple, led by Abiding Abbot Rinso Ed Sattizahn. She was shuso a second time at the Winter 2019 practice period at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, led by Zoketsu Norman Fischer. At that time, Norman strongly encouraged her to leave the monastery and to share her Zen attitude, spirit, and practice with the world. She became resident teacher in September 2019, when Eko Jeff Kelly retired after ten years leading Seattle Soto Zen.