About us

Hartford Street Zen Center – Issan-ji, Myō shū zan

Founded by Rev. Issan Dorsey and the Gay Buddhist Club in a Victorian house in the Castro district, Hartford Street Zen Center is the organization responsible for Issan-ji (One Mountain Temple), Myō shū zan (Mountian Name), a neighborhood temple and residential practice center in the Soto Zen tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. The center was also the site of the Maitri AIDS Hospice in the 1990’s, which now manages its own facilities.

Currently, the center can accommodate five resident Students or Priests. We host morning and evening zazen (meditation) sessions as well as Saturday speakers, monthly one-day sittings, and a variety of community events. HSZC houses an open and supportive community for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations to practice together and deepen our understanding of the Dharma.

Rev. Myō Denis Lahey

Rev. Myo Lahey

Rev. Myō is the Abbot at Issan-ji, Myō shū zan as well as Guiding Teacher at Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, California, and has previously served as the Prior at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

A Dharma heir of Tenshin Reb Anderson, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America (SZBA) and is a member of the Association for Sōtō Zen Buddhism of Japan (ASZB). Raised in an observant Roman Catholic home, Myō was drawn to religion and spirituality at an early age and found Zen Buddhism in his teens. He began sitting in 1969 at Haiku Zendo in Los Altos, California  where San Francisco Zen Center abbot Shunryu Suzuki Roshi was teaching, and practiced with many San Francisco Zen Center practitioners and teachers, including Issan Dorsey. Rev. Myō is available to the entire community for dokusan (practice discussion) by appointment.

Ceremonial Services

Hartford Street Zen Center is available for hosting ceremonial occasions such as Weddings, Commitments, Funerals, Memorials, Baby-Namings, and Comings-of-Age. Please contact Rev. Myō for more information.