The teachers of the Three Treasures Zen Community, Nicolee Jikyo McMahon Roshi, Barry Kaigen McMahon Roshi and Annie Purna Pirruccello Sensei, represent almost 100 years of combined study and practice of meditation and Zen Buddhism in the tradition of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, one of the seminal founders of Zen in the United States. Their goal is to promote a deep understanding of the nature of life and to alleviate the suffering we all share as part of human existence. They are members of the White Plum Asanga, an organization of Zen teachers in Maezumi Roshi's lineage spread throughout the United States and Europe.
Barry Kaigen McMahon Roshi
Barry Kaigen McMahon, Roshi, began his Zen training in California with Taizan Maezumi Roshi in the early 1970s. He soon moved to Japan and spent almost five years with Maezumi Roshi’s Rinzai teacher, Osaka Koryu, Roshi, as the sole foreigner living at the Hannya Dojo, a lay Zen training school in Tokyo. He moved back to the United States in 1978 and entered the US Navy as a fighter pilot, flying F-14s off the deck of the USS Nimitz. The Navy’s technical education prompted him to deepen his studies of modern physics and he was invited to the Naval War College to give a talk entitled “Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and Buddhism” in 2003.
His life has included family, sports, acting, flying, as well as deep spiritual training. He received Dharma Transmission from Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi in 2003 and Inka (Final Seal of Approval) in 2010.
He is married with one grown son, two step-children and four step-grandchildren.
Nicolee Jikyo McMahon Roshi
Nicolee Jikyo McMahon, Roshi, received Dharma Transmission from Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 1995. She is a co-founder of Three Treasures Zen Community. She is semi-retired but still continues to lead and co-lead retreats throughout the year. She is trained in the usage of Genpo Roshi's Big Mind Process. She originated the Practice of Immediacy in the Arts® (PIA) an innovative means to access our natural, creative abilities in the arts, music, writing, poetry, movement. PIA does this by opening our present moment-by-moment experience and energizes creative flow. She is married, and has two grown children, a stepson, and four grandchildren. She also works part-time as a Marriage and Family Counselor.
Annie Purna Pirruccello Sensei
Annie Sensei was born in Evanston, Illinois to a family of ten and grew up on Chicago’s North Shore. She attended college in Los Angeles, where she majored in music initially. Having become interested in philosophies of Europe and Asia, she pursued an academic path and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University in 1992. Annie’s doctoral work emphasized European thought, but she continued to be deeply impressed by texts from China and India. Paralleling and sometimes intersecting her philosophical explorations, Annie’s meditation practice began in 1980 after reading Daoist works. For years afterwards, she explored meditative traditions from around the world.
In 1997, Annie became Nicolee Roshi’s student and received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) from her in 2009. Koan is her favorite means of working with Zen students, but Annie enjoys ancient Buddhist awareness practices, such as the foundations of mindfulness, as well as newer Zen modalities, including Nicolee Roshi’s Practice of Immediacy in the Arts® (PIA). In addition to teaching at TTZC, Annie is professor of philosophy at the University of San Diego, where her teaching and research concentrate on comparative philosophy. Currently, her interests in Chinese philosophy (especially Confucianism) and Chan Buddhism occupy much of her time, and she makes periodic trips to China to learn more about them. Annie is married to Daniel Sheehan, an experimental physicist.