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.
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.
Sarah joined Zen Caregiving Project in 2022 and is the Chief of Staff. With more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector for both community and health services, Sarah brings a wealth of knowledge in cross-sector partnerships, fundraising, and sponsorships. She has been an adjunct professor teaching writing, journalism, and philanthropy courses at Whitworth University and Eastern Washington University.
Sarah is a writer having published articles in national journals and magazines on grief and loss as well as having co-written a chapter on child death in the United States for the graduate textbook, The World of Bereavement: Cultural Perspectives on Death in Families. She has also facilitated support groups in Eastern Washington through the MISS Foundation for the past 18 years bringing peer-to-peer support to families whose children have died.
Alistair Shanks is the Volunteer Program Manager at Zen Caregiving Project where he has worked since 2004, first as a hospice volunteer and training facilitator, and in his current position since 2016.
He completed his clinical residency, (CPE), at UCSF and currently serves as a chaplain at both the Parnassus and Mission Bay campuses.
He has a Master’s degree from the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and has presented at the Association of Professional Chaplains conference and Harvard Divinity School.
Alistair has been a dedicated practitioner and teacher of the Daoist Internal Martial Arts of Tai Chi, Qigong, and Ba Gua for 27 years, something that has given him a deep appreciation for the wisdom and power of somatic practices to regulate and heal both body and mind. Past volunteer work includes leading mindfulness meditation sessions in the San Francisco County Jail and serving as a volunteer chaplain at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. He has played and toured internationally with several Bay Area bands for the past four decades.
Lev joined the team at the beginning of 2015 after years of working in a UCSF nonprofit healthcare training center and Silicon Valley film production studios. Lev brings the "tech", coordination, collaboration, and creativity from her experience in production, distance learning and filmmaking into our daily operation. She has even been a contributing artist, retelling stories told by our guest house residents, their families, staff, and volunteer community through video. Serving as our Operations Manager, Lev feels right at home with providing warmth, care, and attention in everything we do.
Mary Doane is Zen Caregiving Project’s Supervising Instructor of Education Programs. In addition to teaching our Mindful Caregiver Education courses, Mary designs our teacher trainings, mentors emerging teachers, and adapts our caregiving curriculum for use with partner organizations.
Mary trained in 2005 with Zen Hospice Project, beginning ten years as a volunteer bedside caregiver, serving first at Laguna Honda Hospital and later at the Guest House facility. During this time she facilitated New Volunteer Trainings and later served as Volunteer Program Coordinator.
Mary completed Buddhist Chaplaincy Training at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies and is certified by the Stanford University School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and Compassion Institute (CI) as a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT™) Instructor. She offers CCT in person in the San Francisco Bay Area and globally online.