Join us for one of our services at the Zendo: 18005 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon, WA 98070, (previously Island Funeral Services.) Feel free to come 10 minutes early for instruction, or just jump right in.

  • Sunday Service: 10:00am-12pm
    Early Sunday Sit: 8:30-9:30am
  • Monday – Friday: 6:30-7:30am
  • Monday Evening: 7:00-8:45pm
  • Wednesday Evening: 7:00-8:30pm
Join us on Zoom HERE
Email to request password

About Us

a welcoming place and a nourishing community

Our Sangha

The Puget Sound Zen Center is a community dedicated to practicing Zen, to teaching and living Buddhist principles, to supporting a vibrant sangha, and to serving our wider community.

Located on Vashon Island, the center is part of the life of the island while serving the wider Puget Sound area.  Starting in January 2020 you will be able to find us in West Seattle as well. Our community is open to all regardless of age, ethnicity, religious affiliation, disability, or gender identity, or sexual orientation.

We hold practice daily and schedule a number of retreats annually.  We also offer dharma study classes, discussion groups, community service opportunities, a precepts program and an ordination program. We are members of the Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness and the Northwest Dharma Association.

Some at the Zen Center have been practicing Zen or other forms of meditations for decades and some are just starting out.  Some attend services with other spiritual communities in addition to Zen.

Wherever you are in your spiritual practice you are welcome here.


Koshin Christopher Cain is Abbot of the Puget Sound Zen Center. Koshin was born in 1965 and grew up in London, England, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a BA in American Studies in 1987. In 1990 he moved to Mt. Baldy Zen Center in California, he ordained in 1991, and trained at Mt. Baldy as a monk from 1991 to 1999.

In 1999 Joshu Roshi made him an Osho, or teacher. From 1999 to 2002 he served as Vice-abbot of Mt. Baldy Zen Center. In 2003 he moved to Vashon Island and became the founding teacher of the Puget Sound Zen Center. Since 2009, Koshin has been the formal teacher of the Rinzai Zen Center in Oslo.

He is responsible for the direction of the Zen practice there, and visits the center twice a year. Koshin is married to Soshin Lidunn Cain, and they have a son, Lars, born in 2001, and daughter Eva, born in 2004.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors works with the Abbot, Committees, and the sangha to create an overall vision and goals for the Zen Center, and oversees the carrying out of these goals.

Email:  |  A copy of our bylaws can be found here.

Josh Lawler

Josh joined the PSZC shortly after he and his family moved to Vashon in late 2017. He is the father of two boys—who sometimes join him for sits. Josh is a scientist and professor at the University of Washington where he studies conservation and climate change. He has been meditating since 2003 and is grateful for the balance his practice has brought to his life and the support of the PSZC sangha.

Zen member Gerrit van Roekel
Gerrit van Roekel

Gerrit spent his childhood in Holland. He studied to be an Agricultural engineer. He went on UN missions to Kenya and Tanzania. For the Sangha Gerrit records the dharma talks and takes care of our social media. He lives with his family, dogs and chickens.

Jean smiling and holding onions and kale from her garden.
Jean Spohn

Jean began regular meditation 15 years ago with a group at the Saltwater Unitarian Church in Des Moines. She lives with her husband, Tom, in Burien. They enjoy tandem cycling, kayaking, hiking and skiing together. Jean is a retired Project Manager who now loves to garden and play the piano as much as possible. Two children, 4 grandchildren and one great-grandchild live close enough to visit frequently. Jean meditates each morning as well as weekly in the evening with the new Monday West Seattle PSZC satellite as well as the Tuesday Saltwater group.

Diane Sweetman
At large member

Diane has been a member of PSZC since 2016. She and her husband John have lived in Burton since coming to Vashon in 2002. Diane is a retired teacher, former accountant, part time weaver, gardener, traveller and life long student. She came to the Zen Center to meditate and study Buddhism and now enjoys a new role as sangha treasurer. Zen offers her daily reminders that time flies like an arrow.

Cynthia Perkins
At large member

Cynthia began studying Buddhism with Seattle Insight Meditation 25 years ago. She continued in the Vipassana tradition until five years ago, when her desire for a local, close community of other practitioners brought her to the Zen Center. Before retirement, she worked in marketing/public relations and taught yoga. Now, she walks her two Scotties, reads a lot and plays a decent game of ping pong.

Read the Board’s Reflections on the Legacy of Racism here

In February 2014 the Board announced its decision to end PSZC’s affiliation with Rinzai-ji, Inc. A copy of the letter announcing that decision can be found here


Building Leadership
Diane Sweetman
Kevin Hoffberg

Communications Committee
The Communications Committee publicizes the events and activities of PSZC with the goal of reaching as many potential stakeholders and attendees as possible. It manages the website, print communication, ads and flyers. Contact:
Chair: Lynda Fitzpatrick (Since 2018)
Chad Bishop
Kara Hill
Laurie Bardill
Natalie Padilla
Myoshin Elizabeth Fitterer
Ryushi Todd Walker
Seizan Stephen Black – Design

Ethics Committee
The purpose of the Ethics Committee is to ensure the ethical conduct of members and teachers in all programs and activities.  It is on-call to address any ethical issues that may arise for the sangha, and to provide a yearly ethics review. Email to contact the committee with an ethical concern or issue, or for more information. The ethics committee charter is here, and the teacher ethics policy and process document is here.

The Board and Ethics Committee voted in October 2016 to enact a Code of Ethics and Grievance and Reconciliation Policy for sangha members. It can be found here.
Chair: Rachael Osborn (since 2023)
Susan Rogers
Sheila Eckman

Fundraising Committee
The Fundraising Committee raises funds to supplement PSZC’s income and meet the annual budget.
Chair: Berneta Walraven (since 2019)
Anshin David Steel
Diane Schairer
Jude O’Reilley
Seizan Stephen Black

Grounds Leadership
John Sweetman
Anshin David Steel

Membership Committee (including Sangha Care)
The Membership Committee takes care of sangha members and strives to encourage individuals who are interested in the practice, activities and work of PSZC to join as sustaining members. We welcome people to the sangha and express appreciation to sangha members. Contact:
Chair: Joyce Hunziker (Since 2020)
Berneta Walraven
Cynthia Perkins
Diane Schairer
Elizabeth Nelson
Sharon Shaver
Stevee Duber

Programs Committee
The Programs Committee is responsible for developing the annual program calendar and subsequent monthly schedule of events and activities. Anyone is welcome at our meetings, and ideas for new Zen Center programs are always welcome anytime. Contact:
Chair: Shuko Sissel Johannessen (since 2021)
Stephen Dockter
Rachael Osborn
Elizabeth Nelson

Steering Committee
Created in 2022, the Steering Committee serves to maintain the vision of the Abbot, Board and Sangha in developing the Zen Center and grounds. It coordinates the efforts of the Building Committee and the Grounds Committee so the overall result is comprehensive and meets the PSZC mission, goals and values.
Chair: Lidunn Overdahl Cain (since 2023)
Eko Jeff Kelley
Karen Hedlund
Sheila Eckman

Tech Team
Judy Tweet
Kara Hill
Kevin Hoffberg

West Seattle
Diane Schairer
Jean Spohn
Jeff Skolnick
Joanne Loeliger
Junko Belcourt
Laurie Bardill

Zen Center Crew
Beth Glennon
Beverly Miller
Cedar Simmons
Gayle Kellner
Mary Milne-Ashby
Myoshin Elizabeth Fitterer
Patrick Christie
Roxanne Thayer
Stephen Dockter
Susan Traft

Weddings & Funerals

Weddings and funeral officiating by the Abbot are included as part of Zen Center membership. Reasonable travel reimbursements are to be paid directly to the Abbot.

For nonmembers, wedding and funeral officiating by the Abbot is offered at a rate to be determined by the Abbot plus travel expenses, paid directly to the Abbot, and is subject to the Abbot’s overall availability.

For both members and non-members, pre-marital counseling by the Abbot is offered at a rate of $50 an hour, to be paid directly to the Abbot.

Contact to inquire.


The Zendo
18005 Vashon Highway SW
Vashon, WA 98070

On Monday evenings we hold services at the Fauntleroy Church in West Seattle.
United Church of Christ
9140 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136-2556
4th floor chapel, room 402


Mailing Address

PO Box 2644
Vashon WA 98070


A place for committees and the board to store documents and work in progress. This page is password protected. Email to obtain password.