Kanshin Allison Tait
Kanshin Allison is the resident teacher of Seattle Soto Zen.
Kanshin began her leadership in September, 2019, after the retirement of Eko Jeff Kelley, who for ten years had guided the SSZ community with strength, courage, and dedication.
Kanshin has been practicing zen since 2004. She comes to Seattle Soto Zen after ten years of residency at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and the San Francisco Zen Center. Kanshin joined the Tassajara Sangha in 2010 after taking lay precepts from her guiding teacher, Zoketsu Norman Fischer, receiving from him the name Kyoji Kanshin, meaning “Humble Self, Generous Heart.” In 2013 she was ordained as a zen priest by Rev. Fischer.
Kanshin transferred her residency to San Francisco Zen Center’s “Beginner’s Mind Temple” in 2014. During the Fall Practice Period of 2017, Kanshin received the honor of serving as Shuso, or Head Student. Besides assisting Abiding Abbot Ed Sattizahn, Kanshin delivered a series of Dharma talks to the San Francisco community.
While living in San Francisco, Kanshin pursued deeper opportunities for public service. She became a certified 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.
Before joining Seattle Soto Zen in the autumn of 2019, Kanshin assisted Zoketsu Norman Fischer by serving as Shuso of the 2019 Winter Practice Period at Tassajara. It is with Rev. Fischer’s encouragement that Kanshin comes to Seattle to share her Zen spirit and generous heart with the Sangha of SSZ.
Lay Teachers have practiced extensively with an ordained and transmitted teacher who, after a long course of study and practice, gives them Lay Entrustment, authorizing them to teach the Dharma independently.
Senior Practitioners have practiced Zen or other forms of Buddhism for decades. We draw on their extensive experience by asking them periodically to give Dharma Talks, lead introductory classes, and help in many other ways.