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Junko Mary Lou Holland: Speaks On A Zen Life

Junko Mary Lou Holland is the senior zen student in the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha. She began as a student of Jakusho Kwong who was born as William Kwong in Santa Rosa, California, on November 14, 1935.

In the 1950s, while studying to be an art teacher at San Jose State University, Kwong was in a car accident that nearly killed him. Kwong and his wife Laura were looking for an alternative lifestyle at this time, when Bill happened upon an article in a Japanese newspaper with a feature story on Shunryu Suzuki.[2]

In 1960, he began studying Soto Zen with Shunryu Suzuki in San Francisco and became one of his first students.[3 In 1971 Suzuki began preparations to give Dharma transmission to Kwong, having given transmission to Richard Baker that previous year, but Suzuki died soon after without carrying it out.[4] After preparatory study with Kobun Chino, Kwong later completed Dharma transmission with Hoitsu Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki's son and first dharma heir, in keeping with Suzuki-roshi's intention.

In 1973, with Laura (ordination name Shinko) and four sons, Kwong moved to an old farm in Sonoma County, California, with the intention of establishing a meditation center there. The land today encompasses at least eighty-two acres of land, and is known as Sonoma Mountain Zen Center. (

It is her time at SMZC, that Junko speaks of frequency to those who have not had an extensive monastic experience. This gives us all an insight into this experience and the continued impact on her Zen practice today.

Junko also worked with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her research in aging and death . Junko also had a practice in counseling those facing sickness, old age. and and death. At the same time raising children and grandchildren. Trained as a classical pianist she also met and worked with some of the best Jazz musicians from the 1940-2000.

Please join us July 21, 2020 at 7PM/ET to hear her Dharma Talk. Email to, if you do not have the ZOOM url and password.





Zazen every morning via ZOOM from 6:30-7:15 AM/ET. Email to, if you do not have the ZOOM url and password.

Tuesday 7/27/2020, 7:00-8:15 Eastern, weekly Zen Services: A Woman of Zen:

Tuesday 7/27/200, our schedule for August services will be announced...

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