Sarita Tamayo-Moraga

Sarita Tamayo-Moraga currently serves as Crystal Springs Sangha’s guiding teacher. Sarita is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, joining the SCU faculty after receiving her Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Chicago in 2002.

Sarita began Zen practice in 1999. Right after beginning Zen practice, Sarita was debilitated by a chronic repetitive strain injury. This life-changing injury led her to connect with Darlene Cohen’s emphasis on chronic illness as a way to penetrate suffering. Sarita then became Darlene’s student soon thereafter, and was priest-ordained by Darlene in 2010. Sarita received dharma transmission from Darlene right before Darlene’s passing.

In addition to Crystal Springs Sangha, Sarita co-leads the Santa Clara University Zen Group and Brown Bag Zen (also at SCU).

Darlene Cohen (1942 – 2011)

Until her passing in January 2011, Darlene Cohen served as Crystal Springs Sangha’s guiding teacher. Darlene was born in Ohio in 1942 and came to Zen practice in 1970 through the San Francisco Zen Center. Diagnosed with a debilitating form of rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 36, living with chronic pain became a central feature of Darlene’s practice and influenced her subsequent work with those suffering from chronic illnesses. Darlene was ordained by Dairyu Michael Wenger and founded Russian River Zendo together with her husband Tony Patchell.

Along with Crystal Springs Sangha, Darlene also led the Wild Geese Sangha at the Hartford Street Zen Center and the Suffering and Delight study groups. Darlene also wrote four books, “Arthritis: Stop Suffering, Start Moving” (1995), “Finding a Joyful Life in the Heart of Pain” (2000), “Turning Suffering Inside Out” (2002), and “The One Who Is Not Busy: Connecting with Work in a Deeply Satisfying Way” (2004).