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

Biographical Details.

Jakuen Kōnin Melissa Cardenas

Rev. Konin began the practice of Zen in 1987, and was ordained into the Soto Zen tradition by Sekkei Harada Roshi, former Sokan of Europe, in 2007. She has lived and practiced at Hosshinji senmon sodo, one of only 27 training monasteries in Japan. Konin also practiced at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a traditional training monastery in the US, and at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center, an urban residential training temple. Konin is a Dharma Heir in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage, having received dharma transmission from Shosan Victoria Austin. Currently she is the Guiding Teacher at Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, New York in addition to her role as Guiding Teacher for Ekan Zen Study Center. She has led Spanish-language Zen study groups for a number of years. Konin was also Co-Chair of the SFZC Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity Committee, and Manager of the graduate student residence at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Konin is a professionally trained inter-faith chaplain, having worked in both hospital and hospice settings . She earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and worked in finance for many years. She is a long-time practitioner of yoga, a student of calligraphy and shakyo, and the mother of a 26 year-old daughter.

EZSC Guiding Teacher.

Konin has received Dharma Transmission (full ordination) and is a recognized Heir to the Soto Zen lineage as recorded in the US and Japan. She has full authorization to teach. Konin became an authorized 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 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.
— Rev. Konin Cardenas

Konin (center) continues to practice with Shosan Gigen Victoria Austin (left), her American 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.