KC Kyozen Sato, Sensei | I. Generation
KC Kyozen Sato, (Roshi Ma Sato), DPT, MBA is a Zen Buddhist teacher and Dharma Successor in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, an ordained full Zen priest, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is founder of Muhei-an, No Walls Hermitage based out of St. George Utah. She has joined The Zen Garland Order: An International Community for Zen Practice, Education, Healing and Service, a cooperative alliance of Zen Teachers founded by Roshi Paul Genki Kahn and Roshi Monika Genmitsu Kahn. Roshi Ma serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of The Zen Garland Order and is a member of its Teachers’ Circle. The Zen Garland Order has member training centers around the USA and Europe.
In 1999 she started her spiritual quest looking for a teacher in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. Her search ended in 2001 just a few miles away from her home when she found the Kanzeon Zen Center, Salt Lake City, UT and became a student of Roshi Dennis Genpo Merzel. Genpo Roshi ordained her in 2009. She became a teacher at Kanzeon and was given Denbo, Dharma Succession, by Genpo Roshi in both Maezumi Roshi’s Zen tradition and in the Big Mind Process. Roshi Ma teaches her own version of the Big Mind Process called Morningstar.
She received her Masters of Business Administration in Marketing in 1993 and was a member of the Board of Directors of Cirque Corporation for five years, which developed and successfully marketed the first touchpad input device for laptop computers.
She has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and has practiced as a sports medicine orthopedic physical therapist since 1990. Later that same year she founded the Physical Therapy Impact Program in Salt Lake City Utah at the 4th St. Medical Clinic for the Homeless. This program brought together the expertise of volunteer physical therapists with homeless people in a safe and caring environment. The PT Impact Program received national recognition from the American Physical Therapy Association and Sensei Zero was awarded the 4th Street Medical Clinic Volunteer Award. Based largely on her work developing programs for the homeless, in 1995 she was awarded Utah Physical Therapist of the Year.
After a decade of participation with residential Zen training centers, Roshi Ma is currently focusing her Zen teaching on individuals in the context of their lives. She offers individual guidance (dokusan) through phone and video contact. She also offers classes and workshops online, including Morningstar and koan practice.
Muhei-an, No Walls Hermitage, is the online temple and training home for Roshi KC Zero Ma Sato, known to her friends and students as Roshi Ma.
During her many years training and teaching, Roshi Ma has seen problems in Zen training when students become too attached and focused on their teacher, the physical beauty of a temple or training space, the idealized notion of enlightenment, and even the rituals of liturgy and Zen practice techniques.
Zen is about how we live and conduct our lives. Roshi Ma wants to work with practitioners in the contexts of their lives, addressing as Zen practice the tasks, motivations, emotions and actions that moment by moment make up our daily lives — work, play, relationships, community, responsibilities, ethical and political commitments. Evaluating Zen practice from the perspective of our lives keeps us from blindly assuming that “doing Zen” automatically deepens us in wisdom or compassion.
Zen practice should advance human development. Roshi Ma does not separate human development and spiritual development, nor divide secular from sacred. Life itself is the zendo and the universe of enlightenment. Roshi Ma offers personal guidance on Zen practice on video platforms and by phone. She also offers classes, workshops, and supervised individual retreats online.
Roshi Ma is a member of The Zen Garland Order for Zen Practice, Education, Healing and Service and a member of their Teachers’ Circle. Roshi Ma shares the Zen Garland Order ethical code, training paths and curricula, and standards for empowerments. The Zen Garland Order is a cooperative affiliation of lineage-holding Zen Teachers.