Posted inGeneral News & Announcements

Announcement: Valerie Forstman Roshi joins Mountain Cloud

September 22, 2020

Mountain Cloud is thrilled to announce a milestone in its history. As of Tuesday last, the center opened its doors in a wide welcome to a second “full time” teacher — Valerie Forstman Roshi.

Some of you have already tasted Valerie’s remarkable clarity and depth as a dharma teacher, and Henry and she have been colleagues in Sanbo Zen for about a decade, and both have long studied side by side under Yamada Ryoun Roshi, Sanbo’s current international abbot (sometimes sitting literally side by side on teacher training retreats).

She and Henry are eyebrow to eyebrow on koan training, “just sitting” practice, and breath awareness practice, and what it means to undergo the immense change of heart implied by the term “awakening” — and what a long road it can be, not just to taste this, but to learn to somehow embody it and live it out in lives of compassionate service.

Formerly principal flutist with the Dallas Opera, Valerie holds a PhD in Biblical Interpretation (Hebrew Bible), and was for many years dean of admissions and student life at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX. She is passionately committed to issues of race, equity and inclusivity, and has found herself at the front line of work and activism in this area, while working at a graduate school that was especially committed to racial and LGBTQIA justice.

Mountain Cloud has been growing, and has urgent need of her immense and capacious heart! Thank you for joining us, Valerie!

With love and congratulations to all our sangha,


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