MZC provides a place for meditation, study and reflection, leading to mindful, compassionate action and inner awakening through traditional Soto Zen Practice.
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President: Susan Winecki. Vice President:Bob Balderson. Treasurer: Ted Weber. Secretary: Isabel Kent. Members at large: Mary Bernau-Eigen. Mary Anne Siderits. Justen Tabert.
Bob is a 25 year member of the Milwaukee Zen Center. He has served on the board several times. Originally from the Philadelphia area, he retired from a career in the Army in 1984 and came to Milwaukee in 1993 as an acting intern at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. He has performed with numerous groups in Milwaukee. He holds a MS in physics, an MBA and an MFA in Acting. Additional interests include downhill skiing, swing and tap dancing and Tai Chi; and volunteers to record books for the blind, guide blind skiers and serve as a plant health adviser in the master gardener program.
Isabel first became acquainted with the Milwaukee Zen Center in 2011. Now graduated with degrees in Art and Social Work, and receiving the Bodhisattva Precepts this year, her practice is comprised of engaging with all of these endeavors as one path. Isabel aims to bring the whole of this Bodhisattva work to her service on the Board and with the Sangha.
Mary Anne Siderits
After many years of teaching courses in the psychology of religion and spirituality, gender roles, child development, professional ethics and various aspects of clinical training, I retired in May 2016 from the full time faculty of the Marquette University department of Psychology. A long-standing interest in mindfulness and its practice brought me to the Milwaukee Zen Center in 2017. In calling myself a non-ceremonial Buddhist, I am simply alluding to my preference for meditation in solitude. However, I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to explore the history and essential character of Buddhism through group discussion of readings under Reirin's guidance and through participation in special communal events. In the course of this exploration I have welcomed then spirit of acceptance and conviviality demonstrated by my companions in the sangha.
Prior to resettling in Milwaukee, I hiked and camped in several U.S. National Parks, explored numerous countries over the last ten years, and served two years with the Peace Corps in Zambia teaching fish farming and HIV and malaria prevention. These experiences exposed me to the diversity of life, which diminished held perceptions. I carried this understanding into an exploration of Nagarjuna’s two truths: 1) Perceived understanding of how things exist (Conventional Reality); 2) True understanding of how things exist (Ultimate Reality). The two truths (Buddhism, generally) map a way to live a little more peacefully.
Being a member of the Milwaukee Zen Center (MZC) has helped deepen
my understanding of the Buddha's message. My intention as a board member of the MZC is to use the Buddha’s map to foster our growth along the Buddhist path. If we want to understand the true nature of things (ultimate reality) we must see through our delusion (conventional reality) without attachment. The best place to begin is exactly where we are now. I look forward to meeting you, serving you, and growing with you.
Susan Winecki has been a member of the Milwaukee Zen Center for over 10 years. For her, the Center has been a safe port, a place of calm and quiet in a world increasingly chaotic and stressful. She invites all members to experience it as a refuge and a welcoming community.