Inspiring the Discovery of a Wiser World

Konin Cardenas, a nun in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition.

Biographical Details.

Jakuen Kōnin Melissa Cardenas

Konin serves as the Guiding Teacher of Ekan Zen Study Center. She took up Zen in 1987, and was ordained into the Soto Zen tradition by Sekkei Harada Roshi in 2007. Konin has had priest training at Hosshinji senmon sodo in Japan, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center, an urban residential training temple. She has received Dharma Transmission in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage, and she completed Zuise. Konin also teaches the Dharma in Spanish as an expression of her Latina heritage. She completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education to offer inter-faith chaplaincy, and has provided spiritual care in both hospital and hospice settings. Konin earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and worked in finance for many years before becoming a full-time practitioner. She studies calligraphy, and enjoys mothering her 27 year-old daughter.

EZSC Guiding Teacher

Konin has received Dharma Transmission (full ordination) and is a recognized Heir to the Soto Zen lineage, as recognized in the US and Japan. Her title is Osho ( 和尚 ) and she has full authorization to teach. Konin became an authorized zazen (meditation) instructor at San Francisco Zen Center more than a decade ago, and later continued as a non-resident Practice Leader, and Dharma teacher in English and in Spanish . 

Having experienced the teachings of Zen in all kinds of secular and monastic settings, I want to offer a practice that is integrated, where there is no separation between practice and daily life. Ekan Zen Study Center offers that practice.
— Ven. Konin Cardenas

Konin (center) continues to practice with Shosan Gigen Victoria Austin (left), her Practice Teacher since 2003. See more about Shosan on the Curriculum Advisors Page. Zenkei Blanche Hartman (right), a teacher with whom Konin had practiced closely, was the former Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center.