Gerry Shishin Wick Roshi is President and Spiritual Leader of GMZC. He is a Dharma Successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi having studied in both major lineages of Zen. He received transmission from Maezumi Roshi in 1990 after 24 years of Zen training under Maezumi, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and Sochu Suzuki Roshi. He administered the Zen Center of Los Angeles and the Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Human Values for 8 years from 1978 to 1986. He founded the Great Mountain Zen Center in 1996.
Shishin Roshi received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967, has worked as University Professor, science writer, journalist, oceanographer, software developer, and technical manager. He retired as the Director of Electronic Publishing for Merriam-Webster, Inc. in May 2007. He was an adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University, where he lead frequent classes and retreats. He is the author of books and numerous articles on Buddhism, physics and oceanography.
In January, 2006 he received Inka from Roshi Bernie Glassman in the Zen Peacemaker Order. In May 2007, he was elected President of the White Plum Asanga, the organization of Zen teachers in the lineage of Maezumi Roshi. In 2014 when Shishin Roshi stepped down as President of White Plum Asanga, he was acknowledged as an Elder in the organization.
Ilia Shinko Perez Sensei is Abbess at Maitreya Abbey in Berthoud where the Great Mountain Zen Center is housed. She was empowered to teach by Shishin Roshi in 2000 after 20 years of Zen training under Shishin Roshi, Philip Kapleau Roshi, and Pat Hawk Roshi. She completed formal Zen studies while simultaneously raising two children and running her business, Rama Imports. Shinko Sensei has an M.A. Degree in Archeology from Universidad Autonoma, Madrid, and has taught at the Caribbean University College, Puerto Rico.
She co-authored The Great Heart Way with Shishin Roshi.