Teaching

As a senior teacher in Soto Zen and Iyengar yoga, Victoria regularly teaches in both traditions.

She has been teaching Zen since 1987, and received Dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1999. Victoria began teaching yoga in 1984, and has done personal study with BKS Iyengar. She continues her studies with the Iyengar family in India, and with Manouso Manos in the US. She currently holds the Senior Intermediate certification in Iyengar yoga.

Victoria believes in teaching only what she personally understands and has practiced for a long time.

She brings a tested sense of yoga as meditative awareness practice, which is especially suitable for building emotional stability in a student who wishes to practice with his or her obstacles, therapeutic issues, and life situations.

In Soto Zen, Victoria’s emphasis is the practice of zazen (seated meditation) and sokushinzebutsu (this very mind is Buddha). For Zen and meditation sitters, Victoria invites us to practice with all of ourselves, not just in discrete separate parts.

In Iyengar yoga, she starts with building body awareness through action. For experienced students, Victoria is interested in depth of study through focus on specific topics, such as the use of yoga to address specific issues, personal ethics and development, and meditation.

Though she recommends personal, live, hands-on interaction between teacher and student as the best way to learn either discipline, written and online resources can be an entry point for study and reflection.

VIDEO LECTURES
Livestreamed Dharma talks:

  • Love: The Open Door to Big Mind — December 10, 2016 
  • Earth Contemplation — April 23, 2016
  • October 17, 2015
  • June 21, 2014
  • Samatha and the Four Mahabrahmaviharas — May 17, 2014
  • December 28, 2013
  • October 5, 2013

AUDIO LECTURES
Plum Blossoms — play from berkeleyzencenter.org
Summer Practice in Nature — play from sfzc.org
Steadiness of Vow — play from sfzc.org
Hearing the Cries of the World — find here on Page 7 at berkeleyzencenter.org
It is Just Us: The Mirror — play from sfzc.org
Concentration and the Four Divine Abidings — play from sfzc.org
Consciousness — play from sfzc.org
Taking Buddha’s Seat — play from sfzc.org
Emptiness, Readiness — play from sfzc.org
Women Priests on Dogen — Panel Discussion on Teachings in Receiving the Marrow play from sfzc.org
Forgiving the Unforgiveable — play from sfzc.org
Restoring Innocence When the Sky is Crying — play from sfzc.org
The Energy for your True Intention — play from sfzc.org
Mindfulness of Feelings Through the Body — play from sfzc.org
Going Against the Grain of Karmic Life — play from sfzc.org
Becoming Silent and Still — play from sfzc.org
Body and Mind Practice of the Way — play from sfzc.org
Preparing the Ground of Body Practice — play from sfzc.org
A Special Transmission Without Words — play from sfzc.org
Continuous Practice — play from sfzc.org
A Community for a Day, Abiding Forever — play from sfzc.org
Building the Temple of Your Life — play from sfzc.org
Turning Towards Adversity — play from sfzc.org
What Is the Meaning of Its Reaching Everywhere? — play from sfzc.org
Lou Points to the Truth — play from sfzc.org
Sesshin Under the Bodhi Tree — play from sfzc.org
Awakening to Delusion — play from sfzc.org
Sitting — play from sfzc.org
Mindfulness of Breathing — play from sfzc.org
Ceremonies of Nourishing the Dark Side — play from sfzc.org
Undoing the Nuts and Bolts of Suffering — play from sfzc.org
Zazenshin: The Point of Zazen — play from sfzc.org
This Mind is Buddha — play from sfzc.org
The Bodhisattva’s Four Methods of Guidance — play from sfzc.org

SELECTED ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
By Victoria

  • “Suzuki Sensei’s Zen Spirit,” in Buddhist Women on the Edge: Contemporary Perspectives from the Western Frontier, Marianne Dresser (Ed.), 1996, North Atlantic Books, pp. 209-216
  • “Zen or Yoga? A Teacher Responds,” in Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind: Writings on the Connections between Yoga and Buddhism,” Michael Stone (Ed.), 2010, Shambhala Publications, pp. 44-63
  • Victoria Austin: San Francisco Zen Center, “Not Lay, Not Monk”‘” in Emerging Communities-Ancient Roots: A Christian Exploration of Contemporary Intentional Communities, Episode 11, Julian Collette, November 1, 2011
  • Practicing the Middle Way: An Interview with Zenkei Blanche Hartman and Shosan Victoria Austin, November 16, 2011 at San Francisco Zen Center
  • “The True Human Body, Shinjingakudo,” in Receiving the Marrow: Teachings on Dogen by Soto Zen Women Priests, Eido Frances Carney (Ed.), 2012, Temple Ground Press, pp. 139-162
  • Right Leadership: How Effectiveness Meets Compassion in Today’s World, Interview with Konin Cardenas at San Francisco Zen Center, October 2, 2013
  • “Zongchi and Bodhidharma’s Flesh,” in The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women, Florence Caplow and Susan Moon (Eds.), Wisdom Publications, 2013, pp. 125-127
  • “The Seated Meditation Pose for a Woman’s Life,” in Seeds of Virtue, Seeds of Change: A Collection of Zen Teachings, Jiko Cheryl Wolfer (Ed.), 2014, Temple Ground Press, pp. 63-78
  • “The Yoga of Meditation Posture: Shosan Victoria Austin on Yoga Practices for Sitters,” in SFZC blog, April 1, 2014 read on sfzc.org
  • “Inconceivable Joy,” tribute to the life of Zenkei Blanche Hartman, read on tricycle.org
  • “The Yoga of Meditation Posture,” read on sfzc.org
  • “Practicing the Middle Way: An Interview with Zenkei Blanche Hartman and Shosan Victoria Austin, 2011, read on sfzc.org
  • “Is That So? — This Very Mind is Buddha,” August 2010, read on sfzc.org

Articles about Victoria

  • “Refuge: A Month of Asana for Practitioners Who Have Health Conditions,” on IYISF blog, Renee Razzano, August 18, 2016
  • “Victoria Austin: Zen Buddhist Priest,” in Crossing the Boundary: Stories of Jewish Leaders of Other Spiritual Paths, Alan Levin (Ed.), 2015, Regent Press
  • “Yoga for Sitters Series a Success!” on IYISF blog, Rachel Quinlan, February 20, 2015
  • “Two Roads Diverged,” Lion’s Roar Staff, 2013 http://www.lionsroar.com/two-roads-diverged/

ONLINE ARCHIVE
Spring Sesshin Teachings 2008, with Michael Wenger at San Francisco Zen Center

OLDER LECTURES

  • San Francisco Zen Center, Green Gulch Farm, and Tassajara in 2010 and before: San Francisco Zen Center Lecture Archive; search within the archives by year.
  • Berkeley Zen Center in 2013 and before: Berkeley Zen Center Talks; search by year.
  • “Aligning the Body with the Precepts,” transcript of talk given at Chapel Hill Zen Group, May 19, 2001 http://www.chzc.org/shosan.htm

Other lectures can be found at Audio Dharma Audio Dharma Archive and through other Buddhist organizations.