Our team at Zen Caregiving Project is devoted and deeply dedicated to our work. Regardless of our title, we each see ourselves as caregivers and our lives are enriched by those we serve.
Amanda, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, lived and taught in Southeast Asia in 2000 where she began Vipassana Meditation in the S.N. Goenka tradition. She discovered Zen Caregiving Project through a mindfulness grief group and became a volunteer caregiver in 2011, and later joined its staff as Volunteer Coordinator until 2014. Amanda completed Clinical Pastoral Education training at the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in 2016-2017 and recently returned to UCSF as a staff chaplain. Amanda facilitates both our Open Death Conversations and Mindful Caregiver Education.
Cassandra, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, has served as a volunteer caregiver at the Zen Hospice Project Guest House for five years and is committed to providing mindful support to families and residents experiencing the end of life process. Cassandra is an active facilitator in the Mindful Caregiver Education and Open Death Conversation programs and is passionate about providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to explore their relationship with death and compassionate care. Cassandra is also trained in being an End of Life Doula and has an academic background in Holistic Psychology and Counseling.
Hephzibah Plotkin, MPH
Hephzi, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, has been a member of the Zen Caregiving Project community since 2008, serving as a volunteer caregiver at both, Laguna Honda Hospital and the Guest House. Since 2014 she has facilitated Open Death Conversations and Mindful Caregiver Education courses. A teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Hephzi seeks to be present in each moment at the bedside for whatever is arising. She has also been a therapist in Scotland since 1989 and has been trained as a Rosen Method Bodywork practitioner.
Loretta Lowrey is a volunteer caregiver with Zen Caregiving Project. She served on Laguna Honda Hospital’s AIDS and Palliative Care wards from 1992 – 1995, and returned to serve there in 2013. She has been a facilitator for ZCP’s biannual New Volunteer Training since 2017. During her career in non-profit management, she held leadership positions in development and community programming at SFMOMA, Hospice by The Bay, George Mark Children’s House, and OMCA.
Loretta is an alumnus of the Metta Institute’s End-of-Life Practitioner Program, which focuses on mindful and compassionate caregiving, and a certified facilitator for the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ Conscious Aging Program.
As Supervising Instructor of Education Programs, Mary leads all Zen Caregiving Project’s (ZCP) course offerings. She is responsible for delivering teacher training, and she mentors emerging instructors and develops ZCP’s custom curricula.
Since starting with the organization as a volunteer bedside caregiver in 2005, Mary has also facilitated New Volunteer Trainings and served as Volunteer Program Coordinator.
Mary’s decades of mindfulness and compassion practices, along with personal experiences as a family caregiver, are the groundwaters of her teaching. Mary has also completed Buddhist Chaplaincy Training at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and was trained at Stanford University to teach Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT™). She has dual CCT Instructor certification from Stanford University School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and Compassion Institute (CI).
Roy, Zen Caregiving Project's Executive Director, has been an end-of-life caregiver and educator since 1997. He trained with Zen Hospice Project (ZHP) to become a volunteer and served at the bedside for six years at the Guest House facility before serving for seven years on San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital’s Palliative Care Ward. Roy served on the ZHP board of directors from 2002 until 2008. In 2008, he completed a yearlong end-of-life caregiver training at the Metta Institute in Sausalito, CA.
A dedicated practitioner in the Soto Zen tradition, Roy is a student at the San Francisco Zen Center. Roy is certified by the Stanford University School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), and the Compassion Institute as a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT©) instructor.
Roy also guides wilderness-based rites of passage programs in partnership with EarthWaysLLC of Sebastopol, CA.
Teresa Bouza is a journalist, a writer, a caregiver, and a Zen practitioner. She was born in Latin America, grew up in Spain, and has spent most of her professional career in the US over the last two decades. She has worked for The Wall Street Journal as well as Spain’s global news agency EFE, the Spanish business daily Cinco Dias and Hispanic TV station Univision. Teresa graduated from Columbia University and is a recipient of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford. A longtime meditation practitioner, she is an active member of Kannon Do Zen Center in Mountain View (California). Teresa is the co-author of “A Sense of Something Greater: Zen and the Search for Balance in Silicon Valley.” She is currently taking care of her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. She loves spending time outdoors.
Teresa Bouza es periodista, escritora, cuidadora y practicante de meditación Zen. Nació en Latinoamérica, creció en España y ha desarrollado la mayor parte de su carrera profesional en Estados Unidos. Ha trabajado para el diario The Wall Street Journal, la agencia global de noticias EFE, el diario financiero español Cinco Días y la cadena de televisión Univision. Cursó estudios de posgrado en la Universidad de Columbia y obtuvo una Beca John S. Knight de Periodismo en la Universidad de Stanford en el año 2012. Teresa practica meditación zen desde hace dos décadas y tiene una participación activa en el Centro Zen Kannon Do de Mountain View (California). Es coautora, junto con su maestro Zen, Les Kaye, del libro “A Sense of Something Greater: Zen and the Search for Balance in Silicon Valley.” (“Sentir que hay algo más grande: Zen y la búsqueda de una vida equilibrada en Silicon Valley.”). En la actualidad cuida a su madre que tiene Alzheimer. Le encanta pasar tiempo en la Naturaleza.