Zen Center Celebrates 20 Years in Home of Syracuse Founder



The Abbot and Board of Trustees of the Zen Center of Syracuse cordially invite you to join us to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of the establishment of our home at the historic Joshua Forman House property 266 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, New York, and to support the renovation of our residence hall kitchen.

Please RSVP here.


1:00pm Anniversary Chanting Service in the Carriage House Zendo
1:40pm Outdoor Meditation Walk on forest trail and along Onondaga Creek
2:00pm Welcome and thanksgiving
Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi, Abbot
2:15pm Dharma Talk, “The Testimony of Time” 
Carthusian Father Michael Holleran, Archdiocese of New York, and Dharma Teacher, Dragon’s Eye Zendo, Church of St. Francis of Assisi
3:00pm Performances and Exhibition on Forman House Third Floor
Rob Bridge, Zoe Mullan-Stout, eclectic world musical offering Zoe Tehmekah, solo dance and audience interactive movement
4:45pm Artists Susan D’Amato and Dairin Shawn McGuire speak on their work
5:30pm Celebratory dinner in Forman House Dining Room
Zen Center of Syracuse historical displays in Dharma Hall
6:45pm Poetry reading in Dharma Hall
Shiju Ben Howard


  • Father Michael Holleran

    Michael was raised Roman Catholic on Long Island. He was educated by the Jesuits in high school (Regis) and college (Fordham), and was a Jesuit himself for five years. After that, he spent twenty-two years in the RC silent contemplative order of hermit monks, the Carthusians. This included twelve years in the American foundation in Vermont (where he was the first Carthusian ordained a priest in the Western hemisphere in1979), seven years at the Mother House, the Grande Chartreuse, near the French Alps (subject of the recent documentary “Into Great Silence”, where he was also in charge of making the Order’s famous liqueur), and three years in England. In 1994, he left the monastery, and has since served successively as a priest in a number of parishes in Manhattan and the Bronx. During that time, he studied various types of yoga meditation, including kundalini, for eight years under Master Choa Kok Sui, who additionally helped introduce him to the riches of the Kabbalah. Michael also renewed contact in 1994 with his old friend and mentor, then Sensei and now Roshi Robert Kennedy, SJ, from whom he received Dharma Transmission as a Sensei in the White Plum Asanga of the Zen tradition in June, 2009. Michael is currently a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, serving at the Church of Notre Dame, at Columbia University. He also runs his Dragon’s Eye Zendo at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in midtown Manhattan. Passing on the contemplative tradition in its many facets is a great passion.

  • Zoë Mullan-Stout and Rob Bridge

    Zoë Mullan-Stout was born in Dublin, Ireland and has lived most of her life in Marcellus, NY. She grew up playing a variety of sports and musical instruments, and now performs as a folk duo in the Syracuse area with her sister, called Alison and Zoë. The duo recorded a SAMMY-nominated, five-song album at Subcat Music Studios in August of 2015. Zoë recently received her Associates Degree in Humanities with a Music Minor from Onondaga Community College. She is currently working on her Bachelor's Degree at Goddard College with a focus on Music and Healing.

    Rob Bridge has studied and performed music all around the world. Although he can be seen locally with groups including the Society for New Music and Symphoria, his current interests focus more on small hand-held percussion instruments from a variety of cultures. Rob is a Professor of Music at Onondaga Community College where he is chair of the music department. He has degrees from the University of North Texas (B.M.E.), Southern Methodist University (M.M.), and the Eastman School of Music (D. M. A.). In 1995 he was awarded the Eastman School’s “Performer’s Certificate”.

    Together: Zoë and Rob use folk melodies and eclectic instruments from around the world to create a unique new sound. Kalimbas, mbira's, dumbeks, and frame drums mix well with acoustic guitar and vocals to create a fresh experience for the audience.

  • Dr. Tehmekah MacPherson

    Dr. T. is an artist, educator, and healer. She engages performance experiences with her audiences that encourage connection with the ‘space of Now’. She offers Dr.T’s Movement Meditation workshops and classes based on a physical listening and present moment sensing practice that she designed to nurture balance and wellness by combining her dance background with embodied symbolism, Eastern influences, and Indigenous insights. Dr. MacPherson teaches dance at Syracuse University and specializes in Afro-derived dance forms as expressed in the U.S. She is founding director of the College Preparatory D.A.N.C.E camp at Colgate University and founding director for Dance Dimension Institute - an organization that offers cultural and creative experiences with dance to enable community building, learning, and healthy living. For more information about DDI please visit www.dancedimensioninstitute.org

  • Dairin Shawn Erin McGuire

    My pottery is driven by a deep, lifelong compulsion to express myself through the visual arts. The process of making wood-fired ceramics is especially resonant in my life. These elements of earth, water, air and fire meet this creative urge with the intention of making something with a quality that's very difficult for me to describe. My pieces can be both very visual and tactile but ultimately there is something else that I'm trying to convey with my work. I think the best way to describe this 'something else' would be to say that you know it when you feel it, it's a type of intimacy or connection that's made with user. That's my aim.

    I live in Cazenovia, NY where I maintain my studio and kiln nestled in a beautiful wooded gorge along Chittenango Creek.

  • Susan D’Amato

    Susan D’Amato is a visual artist engaged in drawing practice. Her work is a response to investigations concerning broad scale subjects such as origin, time, memory and the natural world. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and has exhibited her work in prominent venues across the country. Her drawings are in the curated registry of The Drawing Center, New York, NY, and were included in The Drawing Center’s LineAge; fall selections 2005 exhibition and featured in its accompanying publication, Drawing Papers 55. In 2005 she received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Drawing, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Fellowship in Drawing/Works on Paper. Publications include The International Drawing Annual, (INDA) editions 10, 2016, and 4, 2009 Manifest Press, The Hand magazine issues 11 and 13, 2016, Drawing Essentials, Oxford University Press, 2007, Contemporary American Realism, Fort Wayne Museum of Art Catalog, Fort Wayne, IL. 2008, Salt Hill Journal, Syracuse University Press, 2015, Stone Canoe Number 6, Syracuse University Press 2012. Her work has been supported by numerous national and international residency fellowships including Yaddo, The Millay Colony, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The Constance Saltonstall Foundaiton, The Sitka Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, among others. Her work is in the private collections of patrons throughout the country and Europe. D’Amato holds an MFA in Drawing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BFA in Painting, with concentrations in Drawing and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her studio is based in Syracuse, NY, where she is an Associate Professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Art, at Syracuse University.

  • Shiju Ben Howard

    Ben Howard is Emeritus Professor of English at Alfred University and the author of ten books, most recently Firewood and Ashes: New and Selected Poems (Salmon 2015). Since 1998 he has led the Falling Leaf Sangha, a Zen practice group in Alfred, New York. Immovable Awareness, his third collection of essays on Zen practice, will be published this fall. Visit his blog One Time, One Meeting at www.practiceofzen.com and his website at www.howardbw.com.

Sat, Oct 15, 2016 - 1:00pm - 7:00pm
Program fee: 
n/a, see kitchen renovation link at top