Heather Shoren Iarusso Comes to Belfast

heather shuso ceremony

After her shuso ceremony at Tassajara, with Djinn Gallagher and Paul Haller 

Visiting teacher Heather Shoren Iarusso arrives in Belfast in late October for a two-month stay. During her visit she will give talks, meet with students, and take part in many events. Her first offering will be a dharma talk on the morning of Sunday, October 27, when she she will give her “Way-Seeking Mind” talk describing her journey towards practice.

Heather first moved to Tassajara in June 2008 thinking she’d stay for six months. Ten years later, she is finally leaving the peace and beauty of the monastic valley to take up residence in SFZC’s city temple in San Francisco – and fortunately for us, she will stop off in Belfast en route. Heather was ordained in October 2015 by Teah Strozer, who was the guiding teacher of Brooklyn Zen Center. Heather worked at BZC for two years as the ino, program director, communications coordinator, and the interim executive director. Heather served in various practice roles at Tassajara including the ino, tenzo, and most recently as shuso with our teacher Paul Haller. She has also participated in meditation intensives with Pema Chodron, Tenshin Reb Anderson, Shohaku Okumura, and Shodo Harada. Heather holds master’s degrees in communications, creative writing, and English literature. She enjoys traveling with her spouse Tanya when they’re not sitting in silence. We are so happy to welcome her to Belfast.

heather ordination

Heather puts on her priest’s robe for the first time, helped by Greg Snyder of Brooklyn Zen Centre

heather and teah

Heather after her ordination with her teacher, Teah Strozer

Congratulations to New Priest Myles Cowherd


Myles and Paul in the San Francisco Zen Centre courtyard after the ceremony. Photo by Elliot Charney

Great congratulations to our friend and dharma brother Myles Cowherd, who was ordained as a priest on September 14 in San Francisco Zen Centre by our teacher Paul Haller. Myles lives in San Francisco Zen Centre but travelled to Benburb in May 2017 to sit sesshin with us and do jukai with a group of Paul’s other students. We hope he will visit again soon to show us his new robes. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos.


Paul ritually shaves Myles’s head during the ceremony, while Abbot Ed Sattizahn looks on. Photo by Elliot Charney


Myles and Paul share a laugh. Photo by Elliot Charney

myles jukai

Myles with Paul and the others taking the precepts at Benburb in May 2017. Photo by Shundo David Haye