Bill Boyle has been a member of the
Area Zen Group since its inception. In 2005, he completed his koan
study with the
founding teachers Manfred Steger and Perle Besserman, and now offers
talks and interviews (dokusan). Bill has an M.A. in Education from
University and operates a hotel management firm in northern New Jersey.
David Boyle completed his koan study
with Bill Boyle, and now offers dharma talks and interviews (dokusan).
David has an M.A. in Education from Rutgers University and teaches in
the Elizabeth Public Schools district.
Manfred Steger holds
a PhD in political
science from Rutgers University. In 1981 he started his Zen training in
his native Austria with Genro Koudela Roshi at the Bodhidharma Zendo in
Vienna, an affiliate of Joshu Sasaki Roshi's Rinzai-ji Order in
California. In 1986, he became a student of Robert Aitken Roshi at the
Diamond Sangha in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he completed his koan
practice. Since 1988, he has taught Zen in Honolulu, Austria, and
Princeton. In 1991, he voluntarily resigned as Junior Teacher of the
Diamond Sangha and, with his wife Perle, founded the Princeton Area Zen
Group as its first teacher. He is currently Professor of Political
Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Professor of Global
Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of
Technology (RMIT), Australia. He is also the research leader of the
Globalization and Culture Program in RMIT University’s Global Cities
Perle Besserman holds a PhD in comparative
literature from Columbia university. She began her Zen practice in 1981
with Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi of Ryutakuji Monastery in Mishima, Japan. She
was a founding member of the Soho Zendo in New York and, in 1984,
joined the Diamond Sangha as Robert Aitken Roshi's student in Honolulu,
Hawaii. After working with Pat Hawk, a successor of Robert Aitken, she
completed her koan study with Manfred Steger. In 1992, she began
teaching at the Princeton Area Zen Group Group. She is currently
Professor Emerita of English at Illinois State University. Recent published works include two novels, Kabuki Boy and Widow Zion, and the nonfiction work Zen Radicals, Rebels, and Reformers.
Both Manfred and Perle continue
to be involved with the Princeton Area Zen Group. They were leading meditation retreats in the Princeton
area immediately prior to the COVID pandemic, and they have both been active in guiding the group through its recent phase as a virtual sangha.