In the Zen tradition, a teacher authorizes a student to begin teaching through the process and ceremony of transmission. It is a transmission of empowerment of the sacred realizations of the past Zen masters of the lineage. The private ceremony is a direct, non-conceptual exchange between student and teacher in a oneness of the Absolute. The Absolute recognizes itself in a particular way.
In June, Stephen completed his first ceremony of transmission with Zen master Mark Sando Mininberg Roshi. The ceremony recognizes, empowers, and authorizes Stephen as a lineage Zen teacher in the Maezumi Roshi/Glassman Roshi lineage of both the Soto and Rinzai schools of Buddhism.
This means Stephen is now fully authorized to teach the practices and meditations of the Zen tradition including supporting students in silent illumination meditation (Shikintaza) and koan practice. In the coming year, Stephen will complete his formal koan training with Sando Roshi, broadening his understandings as a teacher in these traditions.