Governance & Special Interest Circles

In very general terms, WPA circles fall into two main groups: WPA governance circles and independent circles.  Governance circles are created by the Board of Directors to perform particular tasks, which may be temporary or ongoing.  Independent circles are created by members of the WPA who share a common interest that relates to their work as Zen teachers.  Though there are “stewards” or “facilitators” for the various circles, they generally operate on the principles of council-style communication and shared decision-making.

You can explore the various circles by opening the toggle buttons below.

Governance Circles

Welcoming Circle

The Welcoming Circle helps new members by guiding them through the membership process.  The steward is Janet Jiryu Abels.



Welcoming Circle Site
Process Circle

The Ethics Circle is responsible for the ongoing evolution of the WPA’s official ethics guidelines and grievance procedures.  The steward is Carol Myoshin Bruce-Fritz.


Ethics Circle Site
Media Circle

The Media Circle oversees the development and maintenance of the WPA website and other communication processes.  The steward is Anne Seisen Saunders.



Race Circle Site
Boundaries and Grievance Training Circle

The Boundaries and Grievance Training Circle organizes training for those who are available to serve on a grievance investigation circle and to provide training for members of WPA sanghas in maintaining appropriate boundaries.  The steward for this circle Joan Hogetsu Hoeberickts.



Race Circle Site

Independent Circles

NOTE: The views and activities of independent circles do not represent the views, policies, or mission of the White Plum Asanga; of it governing Board of Directors; or of the general membership of the WPA.

Circle for Healing Prejudice and Nurturing Inclusion

The Circle for Healing Prejudice and Nurturing Inclusion is comprised of a group of White Plum members who investigate their own experiences and beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, with respect to diversity, inclusion, privilege/power differentials, racism, and creating/being an “other.” Members of this circle believe it is vitally important that these topics be brought to light and shared as a part of Zen practice.  The steward is Susan Myoyu Andersen.


Race & Privilege Circle Site