Certified Big Mind Facilitators

In 1999, Genpo Roshi created the Big Mind process, which includes and embraces both Zen and Western Psychotherapy, and he continues to lead the innovation and evolution of the Big Mind process, offering it as a upaya or skillful means to those attending Big Mind/Big Heart Retreats, Big Mind Facilitator Training Retreats, workshops, and video and teleconferences.

Eighteen years after creating the Big Mind process, in order to ensure its continuation, Roshi has selected the following students, all of whom have trained extensively and for many years, who continue to train with him in both Zen and the Big Mind process, as the first Certified Big Mind Facilitators.

These individuals are authorized to use the Big Mind logo, and conduct Big Mind workshops for those within their professions and others. At this time only Roshi has the authority to train and certify Big Mind Facilitators.


KamieDr. Kamie Buddemeier has been a student of Genpo Roshi since 2006, studying both Big Mind and Zen, and receiving Shukke Tokudo ordination in 2008. She is a physician who lives in Wisconsin and works as an Interventional Cardiologist. She initially sought out training in Big Mind as an adjunct to patient care and healing, and quickly realized the breadth and scope of the Big Mind process and the need to be also trained in Zen to be a most effective facilitator. She has used Big Mind with patients and also general community groups in both Wisconsin and Chicago.


Mark EstermanMark Esterman leads the Salt Lake Zen Group in Salt Lake City, and also teaches courses on Zen and Meditation in the University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning program.   He began his study of Zen in 1969 with Japanese Zen Master Seikan Hasegawa, and moved to Utah in 2004 to study with Genpo Roshi from whom he received Shukke Tokudo ordination in 2004 and Dharma Transmission as a successor and teacher of Zen in 2014.  He has a PhD in English and American Literature, and he and his wife run an independent publishing company which has published books in a variety of fields including education, music, art, children’s books and gardening as well as Buddhism.   They have three children and two grandchildren.

DanielaDr. Daniela Solzbacher joined Kanzeon Sangha in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 2004. She met Genpo Roshi at a Big Mind workshop in Amsterdam and was instantly blown away by its potential, its simplicity and directness. She became a formal student of Genpo Roshi in 2006, and ordained as a Zen monk in 2009. She permanently moved to Salt Lake City in 2010, leaving her job as an ENT surgeon to study with Roshi full time. With the goal of integrating her medical background and Zen practice, she decided to switch careers and become a psychiatrist. She joined the faculty at the University of Utah and currently works at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute in Salt Lake City.

Mary Ellen SloanMary Ellen Sloan began studying with Roshi in 2001, received Shukke Tokudo in 2005, and Shiho (Dharma transmission) September, 2017. She has been Roshi’s assistant/attendant since February 2011, and is a full-time volunteer with Big Mind and Kanzeon. She leads a meditation group in Salt Lake City, uses the Big Mind process in working with individuals, and along with other of Roshi’s senior students has organized a Big Mind facilitation practice group in Salt Lake City. She is an attorney, and in 1975 began representing Native Americans and other low-income individuals. After joining the office of the Salt Lake County District Attorney in 1988, she was appointed Chief of the Tax and Revenue Unit, and the Assistant Division Administrator of the Civil Division, becoming the first woman to hold such positions. She lives in Salt Lake City and has one daughter.

Paul ThielkingDr. Paul Thielking is board certified in Psychiatry and Palliative Medicine. He works at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital with patients who are experiencing physical, emotional, and spiritual distress related to serious medical illness. Dr. Thielking has been studying Zen and Big Mind with Roshi since 1999, and received Shukke Tokudo in 2005.  He integrates the Big Mind process into his work with patients, and also in self-care workshops he leads for health care professionals.  He and his wife have two sons and live in Salt Lake City.

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