The Abbot and head teacher of Sweetwater Zen Center is Anne Seisen Saunders, Roshi. Seisen has been practicing and teaching Zen Buddhism for nearly 20 years.
Seisen is a student of the late Taizan Maezumi Roshi and a Dharma successor of Bernie Tetsugen Glassman, Roshi, cofounder of the Greyston Mandala and the Zen Peacemaker Order.
Seisen lived at the Zen Center of Los Angeles for 15 years, and worked on ZCLA's administrative staff. She served for four years as the co-abbot of Zen Mountain Center, a traditional monastery and practice center in Idyllwild, California.
The founding of SWZC marks Seisen's return to San Diego. Before coming to Zen practice Seisen attended UC Berkeley and then later went to UCSD, where she worked as a biochemist. Establishing SWZC is the unfolding of her vision for an urban residential Zen practice community.