Mountain Source Sangha was founded in 1994 by Taigen Dan Leighton in Marin County, California. In 2015, Mt. Source merged with Layla Smith Bockhorst’s Mountain Root Sangha (formerly in Corte Madera/Larkspur).

From the beginning, Mountain Source’s goal has been to provide an opportunity for Zen Buddhist meditation, education and community, in a less formal, neighborly setting. We support and explore how our own difficulties and the difficulties of others can be helped by Zen practice, and how these experiences relate to our everyday lives.

What is a sangha? A sangha is a Buddhist religious community, who practice together to support each other in our efforts to make the world kinder and safer. A sangha is a congregation much like any prayer group or church. You are welcome to join us at any time or reach out if you have any questions.

In 2008, founding teacher Taigen Dan Leighton relocated to Chicago to open the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate sangha. Since that time, the Mountain Source groups have been led at various times, individually and collaboratively, by Kiku Christina Lehnherr, Kokyo Henkel, Shinko Rick Slone, Sesei Meg Levie, Teishin Layla Smith Bockhorst and Anbo Stuart Kutchins. Mt. Source is now led by guiding priest Doshin Dan Gudgel.

Over the years, Mt. Source has met at several locations around Marin County and the Bay Area, including in San Rafael, Bolinas, San Francisco and Larkspur. We now meet online and in person in San Anselmo, CA.

The sangha is guided by a volunteer board of directors, which meets quarterly. All meetings are open to the public. Mt. Source Sangha is a Branching Streams member sangha, in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and the San Francisco Zen Center.

Tea and discussion in the Larkspur group
Teishin Layla Smith Bockhorst (left) and students have tea during one of the weekly sittings in Larkspur, ca. 2016.
Seven Soto Zen Buddhist practitioners sit zazen in St. Aidan's Episcopal church in Bolinas, CA.
The Mt. Source Bolinas meditation group sitting zazen in St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, in Bolinas, CA, led by Anbo Stuart Kutchins, ca. 2017.
A Buddhist altar with Buddha statue, flowers, incense burner and candle, set up in St. James Episcopal church in San Francisco, CA.
Buddhist altar at the weekly San Francisco Mountain Source sitting, ca. 2016.
Anbo Stuart Kutchins and Teishin Layla Smith Bockhorst
Anbo Stuart Kutchins and Teishin Layla Smith Bockhorst, ca. 2017