Desert Mirror Zendo & Guest House, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was established in 2006; its official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status was granted in 2007. Founders Dainen (Great Perseverance) Russ Russell and her husband, Taisan (Great Mountain) Joe Galewsky were trained at San Francisco Zen Center, and were ordained by Zoketsu Norman Fischer, former co-abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, and the founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation. The mission of the Everyday Zen family of priests, lay teachers and practitioners is to share the Zen attitude, spirit, and practice with the world: listening to the world, changing it, and being changed by it.
The Desert Mirror sangha currently gathers for zazen (seated meditation) every weekday morning and two evenings a week, and about once a month we get together for special events such as movie nights, half-day retreats, or Sangha Day work practice. Zen and other mindfulness teachers from a variety of lineages visit from time to time. The weekly zazen schedule, dharma talks and special events are all offered at no cost to the community, though dana (the practice of generosity) is encouraged. Free meditation instruction is available on the first Monday evening of each month, or by appointment.
The lovely and comfortable Desert Mirror Guest House is a fully furnished, one-bedroom spiritual retreat cottage adjacent to the zendo. The Desert Mirror library is part of the ground floor communal space that includes a living room/dining room, bathroom and kitchenette used by the sangha for events and quiet Zen study projects.
The upstairs loft bedroom, which looks out into the tops of the fruit trees in the meditation garden, is private living space for Zen students, Buddhist and other mindfulness tradition teachers, academics on sabbatical, or any others who need a quiet, contemplative getaway for time periods ranging from one week to several months.
Rates for guest house occupancy are based on a sliding scale, and first preference is given to active Buddhist or other mindfulness practitioners who wish to participate in the zendo schedule and Desert Mirror sangha events.