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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.


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.

Other appointed teachers and their sanghas.

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.


Mountain Cloud Zen Center Santa Fe, NM


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.

Salem Zen Center, OR

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.

Sophia Zen Center.
www.sophiazen.orgSouth Bend, IN

Find Us

Physical Address:

White Rock UMC, Room 201
1450 Old Gate Lane
Dallas, TX 75218

Mailing Address:
PO Box 270494 
Dallas, TX 75227-0494

Opening Hours

Wednesday 7:30–9 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM–12 PM
Monday 12–1 PM

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