Windhorse Zen Community is a group of Dharma practitioners dedicated to a dynamic, engaged Zen practice, on the mat and in the world. The Windhorse is an ancient symbol of the boundless freedom and energy of our own intrinsic nature, and the fundamental perfection of all existence. With the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha on its back, the Windhorse carries this teaching of Original Perfection to beings in all directions.
At Windhorse, located in the Asheville area of North Carolina, we work to support each other in the challenging task of bringing this teaching to life in the midst of our daily lives.
Founded by Lawson Sachter and Sunya Kjolhede, Windhorse relocated from Upstate New York to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, just outside of Asheville. Both Sunya-roshi and Lawson-roshi are Dharma heirs of Roshi Philip Kapleau and have been practicing Zen for over 30 years. Married and ordained, with four grown children, they’ve been exploring ways of integrating traditional Zen practice within the context of family and relationship, social and environmental activism, and group and intrapsychic dynamics.
The basis for this exploration is a zazen (meditation) practice that integrates the concentrated energy and koan inquiry practices of Rinzai Zen with the deeply rooted faith-mind of Soto practice. Daily sitting and extended retreats, or sesshin, lay the foundation for seeing into the root illusion of a fixed, isolated self, opening the way for genuine and lasting change—in our lives and in the world.