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Our Teachers

Ruben Habito

Founding Teacher of MKZC

Ruben began Zen practice under Yamada Koun in Kamakura, Japan in 1971 when he was a Jesuit seminarian in Japan. He came to Dallas in 1989, and is now married with two grown sons. He is a faculty member at SMU's Perkins School of Theology where he teaches World Religions and Spirituality, and directs the Spiritual Formation Program.

Valerie Forstman 
Valerie began Zen practice with Ruben Habito in 1994.   She serves as guiding teacher of Mountain Cloud Zen Center in New Mexico and the Dancing Crane Zen Center in Gainesville, FL.


Helen Cortes

Helen began Zen practice in 1992.  She serves as Executive Director of the MKZC. She offers the orientation classes to new students and works with Ruben Habito in guiding regular practitioners.  Helen is a Benedictine Oblate of Osage Monastery.

Maria Habito

Maria began zen practice in 1987. She serves as guiding teacher of Sophia Zen Center in Indiana. She works as program director of the Museum of World Religions in Taiwan.

Lee Ann Nail

Lee Ann began zen practice in 1985. She serves as guiding teacher of the Salem Zen Center in Portland. She works as therapist in Portland, Oregon.

Lois Imbrogno
lives in Hawaii and continues to practice zen. She comes to Dallas half of the year to assist in zendo matters.

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