Sat, May 20|
Saturday Community (Student Talk by Craig Sanmon Stepanek) - ON SITE (in Zendo)
Student talk will be given by Craig Sanmon Stepanek, a student of Kwong-roshi and SMZC resident, following 10:30 am zazen. 10:30 am - 11:00 am Zazen 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Student Talk
Time & Location
May 20, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT
Zendo, 6367 Sonoma Mountain Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, USA
About This Event
Student talk will be given by Craig Sanmon (山門) Stepanek, a student of Kwong-roshi and SMZC resident, following 10:30 am zazen.
Craig was born in 1960 and grew up in San Jose, CA back when it was known for its family farms and plum orchards. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the Navy to be a nuclear electrical engineer where he served four years onboard the USS California. Upon completion of his naval service, he enrolled in college as a psychology/biology major. In his second summer of college, he spent two months in India working in Kalighat with Mother Teresa and traveling around India. There, he met Fr. Bede Griffiths at his Benedictine monastery, Shantivanam Ashram, on the banks of the Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu, Southern India.
His experiences there caused him to alter the course of his life forever. Upon returning to the US, he left college to find the sort of enlivened community of simplicity, harmony, and well-being he had experienced that summer in Southern India. As he was hitchhiking and wandering around the western US looking for such opportunities, he had a chance encounter with the Rev. Joan Halifax who pointed him to Jakusho Kwong-roshi. Within a month, he was living in SMZC as a resident on a work/study program. Craig received Jukai (Mountain Gate) from Kwong-roshi in 1991. He ended up spending nearly five years as a resident before meeting his future wife and leaving residency to raise his family.
After more than 25 years working as a landscape/gardening contractor and growing his family, he has returned to living full time as a resident. He looks forward to helping actualize the Mandala Project and contribute to maintaining the spirit of strong life at the heart of SMZC’s Samgha. He enjoys sailing and gardening when time permits.