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I’m pleased to announce that I gave dharma transmission to Spencer McWilliams on September 1, 2023 in the Ordinary Mind Zen School and in the White Plum Asanga lineages.

About himself Spencer writes that he was “… born in Oakland, California, and raised in Greeley, Colorado. He was educated at Otero Junior College (AA), California State University Long Beach (BA) and the University of Rochester (PhD, Clinical Psychology), and he enjoyed a 43-year career in higher education as a professor and academic administrator. He retired in 2014 as Professor Emeritus of Psychology at California State University San Marcos.


He began Zen training at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in the early 1980s and took jukai from Maezumi Roshi, receiving the dharma name Shinkan (mind-mirror). He became a student of Charlotte Joko Beck at his first sesshin at ZCLA and continued working with her on an uninterrupted basis for nearly 30 years at the Zen Center of San Diego and Prescott, Arizona, until her death in 2011.  


His primary influence, of course, is the teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck, which he continues to review through her books and recorded talks. He has also been influenced by Hubert Benoit, Huang Po, Nagarjuna, Sengcan (Seng St’an), and a plethora of writings and teachings from numerous authors on Zen, Buddhism, and related topics.  He has published academic articles and book chapters regarding Zen and its relation to post-modern psychology and mindfulness.  He looks forward to making further contributions as he continues to deepen his practice. 

Spence currently divides his time between San Diego and Placitas, New Mexico.

Contact: .“

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