Guiding Teacher

Brian Joshin Byrnes is a Zen priest and teacher in the White Plum Lineage and Zen Peacemakers. He founded Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community in 2017.

Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community was envisioned as a place of community-engaged Zen practice, accessible to all. Joshin maintains a core practice of bearing witness and social action, especially within economically marginalized communities. He guides the sangha, offers dharma talks and trainings, and leads bearing witness street retreats around the country.

Joshin’s offerings are informed by his experience leading social change nonprofits in the areas of HIV/AIDS and community-based philanthropy. Earlier in life, Joshin studied philosophy and theology while he was a member of the Dominican Order, a social-justice oriented Catholic mendicant religious community. He was also a conservatory-trained musician and musicologist. Joshin and his partner, Bernie Schlager, have three children and many grandchildren. All of these threads are woven into his Zen practice and the service-oriented, creative, and family-style culture of Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community.