About Us


Misha Shungen MerrillMisha Shungen Merrill is the guiding teacher for Zen Heart Sangha in Menlo Park and Woodside, California and has been practicing Zen since 1984. She was ordained as a Zen priest in 1988 and received Dharma Transmission in 1998 from her teacher, Les Kaye Roshi, the abbot of Kannon Do Zen Center and dharma heir in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the founder of San Francisco Zen Center. Misha worked at Peninsula School in Menlo Park for 33 years before retiring in 2022. She resides in Woodside with her husband.

Jill Kakushin Kaplan Jill Kakushin Kaplan has been practicing Zen since 1993 with Zen Heart Sangha and received Dharma Transmission from Misha in July 2013. She received priest ordination in 2001 and was Shuso (Head Monk) for the Sangha’s first practice period in 2008. She is currently serving as Tanto of the Sangha, helping to lead the evening and Saturday programs, as well as teaching the sewing of Buddha’s robes. Jill has a psychotherapy practice in Redwood City, is a teaching member of Sandplay Therapists of America, and has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. She resides in Redwood City with her husband and has two grown sons.

Board Members

Kathleen Dickey, Board President

Suzan Jensen, Treasurer

Jim Little, Secretary

Misha Merrill (ex officio)

Jill Kaplan (ex officio)

Bill Clopton

Alisa Tu



Links & Resources

We hope that the following website links may be useful in your exploration of Buddhist practice opportunities.

Ashland Zen Center
Berkeley Zen Center
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Clear Water Zendo
Crystal Springs Sangha
Hartford Street Zen Center
Insight Meditation Center (Redwood City)
Insight Meditation Center (San Jose)
Insight Meditation South Bay
Iron Bell Zendo
Kannon Do Zen Meditation Center
Middle Way Zen
Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group
San Francisco Zen Center
Twining Vines Sangha