Myoshin Kate McCandless and Shinmon Michael Newton are the resident teachers for the Mountain Rain Zen Community. Both began Zen practice in 1983 as university students in Japan, with a Rinzai priest at an ancient temple on Mount Tsukuba, later moving to Kyoto and practicing Soto Zen with Shohaku Okumura. Since returning to Vancouver in 1987 they have practiced with Zoketsu Norman Fischer. They received priest ordination from him in in 2003 and dharma transmission in 2011.
Kate has worked as an organic farmer, ESL teacher, translator and as a clinical counselor in women’s health and hospice/bereavement care. Michael teaches Asian studies and religious studies at Simon Fraser University. Both are committed to supporting Mountain Rain as a lay practice community in connection with the wider community, the arts, and the natural world.