ROSS BOLLETER ROSHI
Ross Bolleter Roshi is a Zen teacher in the Diamond Sangha lineage. He teaches primarily in the Zen Group of Western Australia. Ross was authorized to teach in1992 by John Tarrant Roshi, and received transmission from Robert Aitken Roshi and John Tarrant Roshi in 1997. He has taught extensively in Australia and New Zealand and has successors in both places.
Ross’s first book: The Five Ranks of Dongshan: Keys to Enlightenment was published by Wisdom Publications, Massachusetts, USA in 2014, and his second book: The crow flies backwards: Western koans with commentaries was released by the same publisher in 2018.
A third book, The Songbook: Reflections on Dongshan’s “Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi” and Other Zen Poems and perhaps, even a fourth book, Zen and the Passions are expected to be published in 2023.
Ross has two grown children, Amanda and Julian, and is a grandfather twice over. He is also well known as a musician, composer and poet.
On 18th June 2023, Ross Bolleter Roshi passed the Dharma to Mari Rhydwen Roshi and Ross retired as a teacher. Ross Bolleter Roshi returned in an emeritus capacity, together with Mari Rhydwen Roshi and Chris Barker Sensei, led a deep and powerful 7-Day Djilba (First Spring) Sesshin in late September 2023.
MARI RHYDWEN ROSHI
Born in Wales, Mari Rhydwen began her Zen training in Japan under Yamada Roshi. There she met Robert Aitken Roshi, founder of the Diamond Sangha, and when she arrived in Sydney the following year, she found that the Aitken Roshi had agreed to visit Australia to teach and she became his student.
Later, moving to Perth, she continued her training under Ross Bolleter Roshi. Since being invited by him to teach in 2005, she has maintained regular sitting nights wherever she lived, and has co-taught sesshin in New Zealand with Arthur Wells and in Western Australia with Ross Bolleter and Glenn Wallis of New Zealand. She received transmission in 2014.
Mari's focus has been on combining Zen practice with engaging work as a linguist specialising in Aboriginal languages, community involvement and family life. During early sesshin with Aitken Roshi in Sydney, Mari and her partner were among the pioneers in attending with children. Now Mari is coordinating an Aboriginal community language centre where she continues exploring Hakuin’s dictum that says, more or less, that practice amidst the unpredictable chaos of ordinary life is much better than practice done in the midst of tranquillity.
IAN SWEETMAN ROSHI
The ZGWA is deeply grateful to Ian Sweetman for the inestimable ways in which he contributed to the establishment and continuation of Zen practice in Western Australia between 1985 and 2012. Ian was born in Brisbane, Queensland where he lived for 21 years.
He moved to Darwin NT and lived there for about 10 years before moving to WA. Ian sat his first sesshin with Aitken Roshi in 1985. He was also a student of John Tarrant Roshi and Ross Bolleter Roshi who gave him permission to teach in 2000 and transmission in 2006. While he is not presently teaching within the group, Ian taught intensively between 2000 and 2012. He currently works as a clinical psychologist in a mental health service in Western Australia.
CHRIS BARKER SENSEI
Chris is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design, working in the Masters of Animation, Games and Interactivity at RMIT. He has an honours in Architectural Studies from the University of Adelaide and received further training in Animation at RMIT in 1999, completing his Doctorate in Creative Industries at QUT in 2009. Chris is an artist and researcher with several national and international exhibitions of his work, exploring the entangled relationships of places and persons.
Chris began his Zen training in 1990 with the Adelaide Zen Group, doing his first sesshin with Ross Bolleter in 1993, and completed his formal koan training in 2020. In the interceding years Chris has travelled the way across Australia, being Resident at the Adelaide Zen Centre, the Sydney Zen Centre and the Zen Group of Western Australia, attending sesshin throughout. Chris has worked with Ross Bolleter as his primary teacher, but also with Mari Rhydwen Roshi, John Tarrant Roshi, Subhana Barzaghi Roshi, and Father Ama Samy Roshi. Chris also credits Judith Peppard and Susan Murphy Roshi as deep and abiding core teachers. In March 2022, Ross Bolleter Roshi gave Chris Barker permission to teach in the Diamond Sangha tradition.
Chris is a father of two boys, Nicholas (22) and Thomas (17), and is a resident of Castlemaine in Central Victoria. In 2010, with Kynan Sutherland and Jane Taylor Chris began the Castlemaine Zen group, which has established a solid ground of practice in the Central Goldfields.