Keizan Scott Roshi – Founder and Teacher
Rev Dr David Keizan Shoji Scott is the founder and leader of the StoneWater Zen Sangha. He is an ordained Buddhist priest and lineage holder in the Soto Zen school, having received Shiho (Dharma transmission) from Tenshin Fletcher Roshi in October 2009. Keizan is also a widely published writer on Japan, Zen Buddhism, comparative religion and cookery.
After gaining a doctorate at Manchester University, he left academic life to travel and write. He went to Okinawa in 1974 where he studied karate with Master Kanei Uechi at the dojo in Futenma. On his return to Liverpool, he started his own dojo and founded the Uechi-Ryu Karate Association (Great Britain).
Roshi has been a Zen practitioner with White Plum Asanga since 1982, intially under the guidance of Genpo Merzel Roshi of the Kanzeon Sangha.
In 2002 he was given the rank of Hoshi (“Dharma holder”) by Genpo Roshi.
In 2006, he was ordained as a monk by Genpo Roshi at the Kanzeon Zen Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he was authorised by Genpo as a Big Mind facilitator.
In November 2008, Keizan formally became a student of Tenshin Roshi who he had by then known for fifteen years, and was ordained as a priest by Roshi at a Denkai ceremony at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, California. This qualified him to give Jukai (precepts) and Shukke Tokudo (ordination).
In October 2009, Tenshin Roshi recognised Keizan as a lineage holder in a Dharma transmission ceremony in Liverpool. He was given the name “Keizan Shoji”.
In 2014 Keizan was nominated and elected as a full board member of White Plum Asanga and is acting representative for Europe including the UK.
In April 2019 Keizan was given Inka by Tenshin Roshi. He is now addressed as Keizan Roshi.
Shinro Doubleday Sensei – Teacher, London Group Leader
Tony Shinro Doubleday Sensei began the practice of Buddhist meditation in 1979. He first encountered Zen in 1982, since when he has participated regularly in sesshin (retreats) with Taizen Maezumi Roshi, Genpo Merzel Roshi, Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi and David Keizan Scott Roshi and other senior teachers in Maezumi Roshi’s lineage. He received Jukai (Bodhisattva precepts) from Genpo Roshi in 1987. In 1992 he co-wrote The Elements of Zen with David Keizan Scott Roshi, from whom he received Shukke Tokudo (monk ordination) in 2010, Hoshi (‘Dharma Holder’ certification) in 2016, and Shiho (Dharma Transmission) in 2020. Shinro Sensei has facilitated Zen practice groups and taught in introductory workshops since 1987 and has led the StoneWater Zen north London group since 2010. He also has three decades of experience in Budo (the Japanese martial arts), in which he trains today at the Tetsushinkan Budojo in north London. His paper Somatic Commonalities in the Study of Budo and Zen appeared in the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practice in 2015.
Suigen Kenworthy Sensei – Teacher, Liverpool
John Suigen Kenworthy has trained with Keizan Sensei since 2003. He received Jukai in 2005, Shukke Tokudo in 2009 and took Shuso in 2013. John worked for over 30 years as a clinical psychologist in the health service and has more recently worked in a counselling role, supporting foster carers and looked after children.’ He received Hoshi (‘Dharma Holder’ certification) from Keizan Sensei in April 2018, and Shiho (Dharma Transmission) in March 2021.
Kogen Heale Sensei – Teacher
Simon Kogen Heale grew up as part of a Quaker community which provided him with his first experiences of shared silence. In his early twenties he travelled overland to Asia encountering Buddhism for the first time in China and Tibet. He continued to combine travel with working with homeless communities, University life and Buddhist practice throughout his twenties. During a sesshin in the UK in 1999 he met Genpo Roshi and shortly after moved to SLC, Utah, where he lived mostly for 6 years. He next spent over a year at Yokoji training with Tenshin Roshi and there he completed Hossen Shiki.
Simon moved back to the UK in his early forties. From 2010 until present he has continued his practice with Keizan Roshi who he met along with Tenshin Roshi, at the same early sesshin in 1999.
Arriving back in the UK he trained at the Karuna Institute as a Core Process Psychotherapist and as well working as the Assistant Director of the Centre for Better Health, a Mental Health Charity in Hackney, East London. Simon now lives and works as a psychotherapist in Sheffield, England with his partner and her daughter . They all enjoy everything the Peak District National park, which is on their doorstep, has to offer including cold water swimming and foraging. Kogen Sensei received Shiho from Keizan Roshi in March 2022.
Jeremy Ryokan Sensei – Teacher
The inner life and the mystery of life spoke to Jeremy from his early years. Seeking clarity he studied Theology at Bristol University and there encountered Zen. A mentor taught him to meditate in the Burmese Forest Tradition. Imbued with Christian spirituality, drawn by the East, pulled into the peace movement and social action,and years of work with refugees and survivors of political violence, his journey took him deeply into contemplative Catholicism.
Occasional meditation practice was utterly transformed when he met Fr Ama Samy, a Jesuit Priest and Roshi, dharma heir of Yamada Koun in India in 1998. A deepening appreciation of Zen co-existed alongside Christianity and transformed his appreciation of the mystery of the incarnation, which resonated with a timeless non-duality.
Back in England he met Fr Patrick Eastman, freshly returned from the USA, and joined the newly formed Wild Goose Zen Sangha, part of the White Plum Asanga, which led to transmission as Sensei in 2016. In the following year God just disappeared, the notion of living in a created world gave way to the ceaselessly unfolding mystery of the Tathagata, and at the centre of it the liberating beat of the Heart Sūtra: “Form is no other than emptiness.”
This hasn’t been a simple process, as he has delved into the mythos of Buddhism to lend scope to his experience. Friendship with Dave Keizan Scott led to a wonderful invitation to join Stonewater Zen Sangha and to follow the path of ordination, which has filled him with profound joy.
Dharma Holders (Hoshi)
A Hoshi is authorised by Roshi to hold interviews, give talks, and lead workshops and sesshin.Hoshi training can lead to Shiho or Dharma Transmission.
Dorinda Genju Talbot – Hoshi
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Dorinda was inspired to begin Zen practice after meeting students of Genpo Merzel Roshi in London in 1987 and attending her first retreat that same year. She received Jukai (Bodhisattva precepts) from Genpo Roshi in 1989, Shukke Tokudo (monk ordination) from Genpo in 1992, and Hoshi from Keizan Roshi in 2022. Dorinda works as a Core Process Psychotherapist in south London, and leads the StoneWater Zen London group in Brixton Hill, south London.
Sarah Kokai Thwaites – Hoshi
Sarah began practicing with StoneWater Zen in 2014, receiving jukai in 2015, shukke tokedo in 2017, and Hoshi in 2022. In her work life Sarah manages a voluntary sector organisation in Liverpool and in her spare time is usually outdoors, preferably in cold water. She produces the SWZ newsletter and helps run the online Introductions to Zen sessions.
Tim Zenki Steel – Hoshi
Tim leads the local group in Hayes, Kent.
Stephan Shigetsu Sundermeier – Hoshi
Originally from the north of Germany, Stephan first met Keizan Roshi on Ameland, Holland at Genpo Roshi’s Maha Sangha Gathering in 2010.
Soon after that Stephan committed to a formal teacher/student relationship and moved to Liverpool to practice & study with Roshi, receiving Jukai in 2013 and Shukke Tokudo in 2018.
A restauranteur & chef by trade Stephan served the sangha as Tenzo (head cook) for many years.
He now lives & practices with Roshi in the Lake District, functioning as Roshi’s personal attendant (Jisha).
Alasdair Taisen Gordon-Finlayson – Hoshi
Alasdair has been a Zen practitioner since 1991, and started studying under Keizan Sensei in Liverpool in 2004 taking tokudo in 2011. He is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Northampton with specific interests in social psychology, mindfulness and meditation, and the psychology of spirituality. He convenes the local StoneWater sitting group in Northampton and was made an assistant teacher in April 2018 and received Hoshi in 2023.
The assistant teacher is a recognition by Roshi that the recipient is a long serving and experienced member of the sangha.This person is qualified to assist Roshi in formal ceremonies, and to lead beginners classes and zazenkai. Roshi may also ask them on an occasional basis to give talks and conduct interviews. The Assistant Teacher role has now been superseded by Risshin.
Suzanne Tsuko Adey – Assistant Teacher, Liverpool
Suzanne has been a counsellor and therapist for over twenty years and a practitioner at StoneWater Zen Liverpool for fifteen years, taking Jukai in 2007 and Tokudo in 2014. She was made a Risshin and an assistant teacher by Keizan Roshi in 2020.
Colin Shinjo Salmon – Assistant Teacher
After being introduced to meditation at university, Colin Shinjo practiced Zen with a few different groups and traditions before joining Roshi and the Liverpool Sangha in 2010. He received Jukai from Roshi in 2013 and later Tokkudo in 2023. Colin organises the children’s group and supports the University of Chester Chaplaincy service. Outside of the Sangha, he works in education in Liverpool and enjoys writing.
Mark Kogen Shawcroft – Assistant Teacher
Mark Kogen Shawcroft started practising Zen in 2000 after a chance visit to the London Buddhist Society. He stated practising with Stonewater in 2009 and received Jukai in 2011 and Shukke Tukudo in 2019. He has supported local groups in Derbyshire and Sheffield and works as a cognitive behavioral therapist. Zen practise has helped Mark to appreciate life as it is and has given him the opportunity to find fellowship in others. When not sitting Zazen you can find Mark collecting comics or hanging out with trees.
Risshin is a new designation given by Roshi and recognises a person with a long term and substantial commitment to the practice who functions as a pillar that supports the sangha, or simply a Guardian of the Sangha.