About Us

Fr. Greg Mayers, C.Ss.R, Roshi, with (L-R): Nona Strong, Tony Tackitt, The Rev. Alice Cabotaje

An Inclusive Zen Sangha

EMPTY CLOUD ZEN is a Zen sangha based in the United States. Our teachers are authorized in the lineage of Willigis Jäger’s Empty Cloud, and trained in the koan teachings of Sanbō Zen.

EMPTY CLOUD ZEN guiding teacher Fr. Greg Mayers Roshi was the resident Zen meditation teacher at Mercy Center Burlingame in Northern California for fifteen years. In 2019, Fr. Greg gave transmission to three of his senior Zen students.

The Rev. Alice Cabotaje Roshi, MDiv, BCC, ACPE, is a Zen teacher studying under Fr. Greg Mayers. Alice began Zen koan studies with Fr. Greg in 2004, and in 2019 received full transmission as an Authentic Zen Master in the Empty Cloud lineage.

In 2003, she started sitting with the Mercy Center East-West Meditation group, then led by Fr. Thomas Hand, S.J. In 2004, when she met Fr. Greg, she recognized him as her second spiritual teacher. Through Fr. Greg, Zen has become her practice of integrating koans into daily life.

Nona Strong Roshi is a Zen teacher studying under Fr. Greg Mayers. Nona first attended a contemplative retreat with Fr. Greg in 1993, and began Zen koan studies with him in 1996. In 1999, Nona traveled to Würzburg, Germany for six weeks’ study with Willigis Jaeger, Fr. Greg’s own teacher. Upon her return, she continued to study with Fr. Greg and served as his assistant at contemplative and Zen retreats.

In 2019 Nona received full transmission as an Authentic Zen Master in the Empty Cloud lineage. She continues her Zen journey through regular communication with Fr. Greg, and is currently engaged in communication with Fr. Greg and other senior Zen teachers.

Tony Tackitt Roshi is a Zen teacher. He makes his home in Amarillo, Texas, with his wife and son.  He began as a Zen student with Pat Hawk Roshi from 1992 to 1998, and became a Zen student with Fr. Greg Mayers Roshi in 1998, focusing on koan study. Tony began teaching Zen in 2016, and in 2019 received full transmission as an Authentic Zen Master in the Empty Cloud lineage of Willigis Jäger, Roshi, OSB.

Through Zen practice, Tony has found a sense of liberation and freedom from convention that he shares with his Zen students. Zen teaches that when the heart and mind are bending towards silence, one learns to listen, learn, and live without trying to make things any different than they are. Then we can see what is true about life, and it is that truth, that vision, that brings freedom to our own lives.

We are allied with Empty Cloud Sangha, Randy Wolbert Sensei.