Greetings from Bell Acres and the Zen Center of Pittsburgh! It seems here in Pittsburgh that we have gone from a very cold winter, skipped spring, and are now in a full blown Western Pennsylvania summer.
The past few months have been full of activity at Deep Spring Temple as we have been preparing for the arrival of Rev. Kotoku Crivello as our new Head Priest. We are so happy to welcome Kotoku and his wife Colleen as we transition from Kyoki’s leadership. The sangha is also eager to see what the future holds in the coming years for Zen practice here at our center. On behalf of the Sangha and the Board of Zen Center of Pittsburgh, we welcome the Crivellos into our community and practice. May we all embrace the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts and realize the Buddha Way!
Kotoku Ray Crivello is a Zen Priest in the Soto Zen tradition in the Lineage of Gengo Akiba Roshi.
His Zen studies began in his late teens as a temple resident at the New York Zendo Shobo-ji, in the Rinzai tradition under the Abbotship of Soen Nakagawa Roshi from 1970-1975. His duties there included assisting in the day to day management of the temple, attendant to the abbot and leading introductory meditation classes and retreats.
In 1976, Kotoku relocated to San Francisco where he lived and practiced at San Francisco Zen Center including two years of practice study at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, until 1983.
After completing University studies in 1986, he established a home practice until becoming Akiba Roshi’s disciple in the late 1990’s. Kotoku was ordained in 2004 by Akiba Roshi at his home Temple, Kojin-an in Oakland, California.
Following periods of formal monastery training or Angos held in America and in Japan, hosted by the Japanese Soto-Shu for western Zen Priests, Kotoku received Shiho, or dharma transmission with Akiba Roshi in 2012.
In addition to his ongoing commitment to assisting Akiba Roshi’s work in America, Kotoku has taught at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and North Coast Buddhist Sangha in Fort Bragg, CA. He has also taught and led Zen Meditation sessions for students of St Mary’s College, Moraga, Ca, UC Berkeley, and at the California School of Professional Psychology.
He has been called upon to lead ceremonies in California, New York and Colorado. In his home neighborhood in Southwest Berkeley together with his wife Colleen Teizen Crivello the couple has lead several series of neighborhood based meditation-for-health sessions under the auspices of the Life Long Medical Care organization.
Professionally, Ray has worked as an architectural and environmental planner, bringing together diverse groups into focused homogenous teams to create positive and healthful environments.
You can listen to one of Kotoku’s recent dharma talks here.
Colleen Crivello’s background is rooted in Zen from early days with San Francisco Zen Center where in 1979 she practiced at City Center. In 1999 she and her spouse met her teachers Yoshie and Gengo Akiba of the Oakland Zen Center where she was lay ordained as Teizen and served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for several years. She has adopted the role of sewing teacher guiding participants from multiple lineages in the path of the precepts through hand stitching in the Nyohe tradition.
Colleen has had a professional career as a technical designer in the field of women’s wear where fit and function are communicated globally.
Her passion is in building resilient communities through volunteers.
New to Pittsburgh in June 2015, Colleen Crivello welcomes the gift of residing at the Deep Spring Temple with her spouse Kotoku to engage with the local community in the Buddha way.
Jasmine and Lily complete the family of newcomers to Deep Spring Temple.