Bernie Rhie

Teacher Picture


Organization Williamstown Zen Group
Lineage Ordinary Mind Zen School


I began my Zen training in 1989 when I moved to the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, a Soto Zen temple located in Santa Rosa, California. SMZC was founded by Jakusho Kwong Roshi to carry on the lineage and practice traditions of his teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. I lived at SMZC for a little over three years, serving for most of that time as the tenzo. After leaving Sonoma Mountain, I began studying with Ezra Bayda, and then later with Elizabeth Hamilton as well, and I received dharma transmission from both of them in 2022. My view of Zen practice is deeply indebted to Ezra and Elizabeth and to the outlook of their teacher, Joko Beck, founder of the Ordinary Mind School of Zen.

These days, I lead the Williamstown Zen Group, a practice group based in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I’m also a professor of English at Williams College, and in recent years, I’ve been exploring ways to incorporate contemplative practices like meditation into some of my college courses. And I regularly lead meditations around campus for members of the college community.


Retreats and Events