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Our Teachers

Al Fusho Rapaport, Roshi has practiced and taught Zen for almost 50 years. He studied with Kozan Roshi, Maezumi Roshi, and Genpo Roshi until receiving Dharma Transmission from Shuzen Roshi in 2008. As President of Open Mind Productions, Al produced the first Yoga Journal Conferences as well as the Buddhism in America Conferences from 1996 until 2001. He is author of Open Mind Zen: A Guide to Meditation, and currently serves as  Director of Open Mind Zen International and MBSR Florida in Melbourne, Florida. Roshi is a member of the White Plum Asangha, the American Zen Teachers Association and Secretary/Treasurer of the Lay Zen Teachers Association.

Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt, Ph.D., Roshi has been practicing Zen since 1979. She received Dharma Transmission from Fusho Roshi in 2012.Linda was ordained as a Zen priest in 1992 and served as Shuso, or Head Priest in 1998. She has also studied with Genpo Merzel Roshi and Nico Tydeman Sensei. In her work life she is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches based in Germany. She has been teaching in adult education since 1971 and has degrees in Education and Performance Studies, where she specialized in religious ritual and traditions.She has been practicing Tai Chi and Chi Kung since 1978, and for twenty years directed teacher-training programs in both arts. She is the author of Tai Chi as a Path of Wisdom(Shambhala Publications, 2001) and Co-Author of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: The MBSR Program for Enhancing Health and Vitality (New World Library, 2017).

David Jitsusan Vititoe, Ph.D., Sensei has been practicing Zen since 2005 and received Dharma Transmission from Fusho Roshi in 2019. Dave is a Lay Monk in the Open Mind Zen school and is a current member of the Lay Zen Teacher’s Association. In the early 2010’s, Dave volunteered at the Lake County Correctional facility, teaching meditation and emotional intelligence techniques to inmates in the corrections system. Dave received his doctorate in physics in 1997 and now working as a scientist and engineer building software systems for the U.S government. He currently lives in Melbourne, Florida.

Rev. Michael Jiun Stamper, Ph.D., Sensei has been meditating since the early 90’s, practicing Zen since 2009 and receiving Dharma transmission from Roshi Rapaport in 2020. Mike has a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies/Depth Psychology, and a BA/MA in Economics. He was ordained as an interfaith chaplain/minister in 2010, after graduating from Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, is an interfaith spiritual director, and was trained in Buddhist Chaplaincy at SATI in Redwood City, Calif. He has volunteered as a chaplain with the Florida Department of Corrections since 2009. He is retired from the banking industry and lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in the Melbourne. They have 7 children and one grandchild.

Andy Hoseki Solis, Sensei is Co-founder of Open Mind Zen Naples and a long time Buddhist practitioner.  He was introduced to meditation through the martial arts in the mid-seventies, both of which he applied as a collegiate and professional tennis player.  He currently practices law in Naples, Florida, and is a Director with the law firm of Cohen & Grigsby, PC. Hoseki became a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s in the late 1990’s. In 2009, he was ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh as a member of the Order of Interbeing and became a student of Roshi Al Rapaport’s in 2015. Andy received Dharma Transmission from Roshi Rapaort in 2020.

Frank Seisho Diaz, Ph.D., Sensei began practicing Zen at Tallahassee’s Cypress Tree Zen Center in 1994. He joined Open Mind Zen in 2005 and received Dharma Transmission from Fusho Roshi in 2021. He is the founder and resident teacher at Open Mind Zen Indiana and is currently an tenured professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he teaches courses in music education and teacher wellness and conducts research on mindfulness in music and related arts. He has spent much of his career integrating contemplative practices into his work as a teacher, musician, and scholar, and is a frequent presenter on the topic at workshops and conferences both nationally and internationally.

Kellie Shojaku Garza M.A., LMHC, CST., Sensei is a licensed mental health counselor and has been practicing psychotherapy since 2004. A large part of her practice and focus has been on working with trauma survivors. Kellie received Dharma Transmission from Fusho Roshi in 2021. She enjoys integrating psychology with her Zen practice and teaching.

Robert Koho Epstein, Sensei has practiced meditation and a wide range of spiritual practices over the past 40 years. This includes Zen and mindfulness meditation, Yang style T’ai Chi, Iyengar Yoga, and Advaita Vedanta. Robert taught Iyengar Yoga and practiced deep tissue massage for 15 years in New York and was ordained by the New Seminary as an Interfaith Minister. He also started his acting studio and began training actors in Meisner Technique, a moment-to-moment acting method that he still teaches today. Robert received Dharma Transmission from Fusho Roshi in 2022.

Gail Zivin, Ph.D. has been meditating and aiming to live Buddhist precepts since 1991. Roshi Al Rapaport recognized her as Assistant Teacher with Open Mind Zen in 2016 and Hoshi, or Senior Assistant Teacher in 2019. She took lay precepts in the Theravada tradition in 1998 with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana and in the Zen tradition in 2001 with Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara. She has been Vice President of the Philadelphia Buddhist Association since the mid 90’s, where she teaches meditation and supports the practice of others.  She brings practical help from the Dharma to patients in her psychotherapy practice. Since 1987, Gail has been Professor of Psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University where, among other subjects, she teaches Boundary Awareness and Ethics.

Russell Kyofu Seikyo Mitchell is a Certified Safety Professional. He is also a Fellow, and currently serves as President of the International System Safety Society Inc. Russ has studied under Fusho Roshi since 2012. Russ is a lay monk within Open Mind School of Zen, having received Hoshi (assistant teacher) status in 2020. Russ is also a Dharma transmitted priest in the Clear Mind School of Zen. Russ teaches mindful awareness as a critical element in the practice of system safety and industrial/occupational safety as well as meditation within corporate environments. Russ participates and assists with the Open Mind Sangha in Bloomington, Indiana.

Rev. Joshua Paszkiewicz, D.Min., (aka Sunyananda) has been studying and teaching Buddhism full time as a Zen Priest since 2010, and has been practicing formally since his childhood. Sunyananda holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies, an M.A. in Religion, a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Psychotherapy, and board certification as both a Pastoral Counselor and a Clinical Chaplain. Sunyananda has served as an official delegate to many major Buddhist events both nationally and internationally, including the first White House Buddhist Leader’s Conference, and the United Nation’s World Day of Vesak. Sunyananda is a fully authorized teacher in Vietnamese and Korean Zen schools, and was made an Assistant Teacher (as a student of Fusho Roshi) in Open Mind Zen in 2019.