Board of Directors

President Bob Rose

Bob Rose first became familiar with Zen teachings through the poetry of Gary Snyder. Inspired, he moved from Boston in 1970 and settled in northwest Washington, working as a carpenter and shipwright.  Advocacy work to protect Heart Lake on Fidalgo Island led to a long career conserving the state’s forest and farmlands.  He served as special assistant to the Washington Commissioner of Public Lands (1981-1993) and as Executive Director of Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland (1995-2006). Bob now works with Taylor Guitars to ensure a sustainable source of koa wood from Hawaii. 

Following a 2010 visit to the San Francisco Zen Center, he began practice with Red Cedar Zen, formally taking the precepts with Nomon Tim Burnett in 2014.  In 2016 he joined Mountain Rain sangha for a pilgrimage to Japan and has participated in numerous sesshins at Loon Lake and Red Cedar Zen with Zoketsu Norman Fischer. Bob served as Red Cedar’s tenzo for the past 5 years and was shuso for the 2021 winter practice period, leading the sangha in an investigation of Shi Tou’s Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage.  


Vice President Mary Durbrow

Bio coming soon

Secretary Terrill Thompson

Terrill Thompson began practicing zen in 1988 at Kansas Zen Center in Lawrence (Kwan Um School of Zen, under Zen Master Seung Sahn). In the late 1990s his practice transitioned to the Soto Zen lineage of Suzuki Roshi, first at the Chapel Hill Zen Center in North Carolina, then at Red Cedar Zen Community (RCZC) when he and his family moved to Bellingham in 2001. Over his 20+ years in Bellingham he has maintained a steady practice and has been especially active in RCZC's Wilderness Program. He took the precepts with Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Nomon Tim Burnett in 2010.   

Professionally, Terrill has worked since the early 1990s in the technology accessibility field, dedicated to improving the accessibility of websites, videos, software, hardware, and other technologies for individuals with disabilities. Since 2001 he has conducted this work while employed at the University of Washington.  He has been active in multiple professional organizations, including EDUCAUSE (a nonprofit association focused on information technology in higher education), where he founded the IT Accessibility Community Group in 2007 and served as its leader through 2012; and Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN), a nonprofit association that he co-founded in 2002 and served as vice president from 2007 through 2010. 

Interim-Treasurer and Member John Wiley 

Member John Wiley is temporarily serving as Treasurer

John Wiley began practicing Zen in 1995 with the Bellingham Zen Practice Group which was later named Red Cedar Zen Community.  He has maintained a regular practice at home, attending sesshins, and filling various roles in the sangha.  He received the precepts from Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 1998, was shusho in 2006 and received lay entrustment from Norman in 2010.

John’s career was in psychotherapy, first working at Bellingham’s Community Mental Health Center for 12 years, then in private practice for 27 years.  He retired in 2013.


Member IkuShun Desiree Webster

IkuShun Desiree Webster has been a Zen practitioner since 1987. She practiced for many years in the Plum Village traditionwith the Thich Nhat Hanh community and at a spiritual community here in WA (Mountain Lamp) which combined practice Plum Village style with the Zen style of Robert Aitken Roshi. She served on the board there for 2 years. She moved into our Soto Zen Lineage around 2015, took Jukai in 2017 and was Shuso (head student) for our Winter Practice period in 2023. Her formal teacher is Ryushin Andrea Thach, who has since returned to the Berkeley Zen Center.

Professionally, Desiree was a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, now retired. She worked at Boulder County Public Health for many years in CO, then worked for Sea Mar Community Health Center and at Peace Health where she and her colleagues ran the Nutrition and Diabetes Clinic there.

Member Mari Ritalahti

Bio coming soon

Member David Ketter

Bio coming soon

Member Barbara Noda

Barbara Noda's first introduction to Zen Buddhism was at Tassajara Hot Springs in Carmel Valley during the70’s. She backpacked in from Arroyo Seco, was greeted by a monk named Tony who showed her where to get tea, buy bread, and put down her sleeping bag. Since those days, she has returned many, many times to Tassajara as a guest or to attend workshops.

For a time during the 80’s, Barbara lived at the house of Mayumi Oda in Muir Beach near San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm. Mayumi Oda is an intensely devoted Zen Buddhist and renowned artist of Goddesses and paintings that embrace her spiritual path. Barbara helped Mayumi prepare the revision to her book Goddesses in 1988. She also assisted Mayumi in organizing and leading retreats for women and Asian women at her house in Muir Beach. Musim Patricia Ikeda, a Buddhist teacher and community activist, also lived with Barbara at Mayumi’s house. More recently, Barbara was part of a small sangha in Walnut Creek and also a member of the San Francisco Zen Center sangha.

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