Sensei Dean Williams

Dean Williams

Sensei Dean Williams is the guiding teacher of the Crooked River Zen Center in Cleveland, Ohio. His interest in Zen Buddhism began in the early 70s when he was working on his BA in philosophy. He began formal zen practice in 1997. He was lay ordained in 2000, ordained as a Buddhist chaplain in 2001, and as a priest in 2003, all while studying with Sojun Diane Martin, the resident teacher at Udumbara Zen Center in Evanston, IL. In 2006 he served as shuso during the fall practice period at Udumbara.

Dean received dharma transmission in 2014 from Shoho Michael Newhall, the abbot of Jikoji Zen Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, making him a dharma holder in the Kobun Chino lineage.



I take refuge in the Buddha ◊ I take refuge in the Dharma ◊ I take refuge in the Sangha

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To study the Buddha Way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be actualized by all things.

~ Eihei Dōgen Zenji


Zen practice is to get to our True Mind, the mind not accessible to thinking. This mind cannot be consciously known by ordinary efforts. An unusual effort is necessary. This effort is zazen.

~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi