John began studying with Kobun Chino Otogawa at Haiku Zendo in February 1978, followed by sesshins at Hidden Villa. After the property purchases in 1979, John began sitting with Kobun at Kannon-do and in 1982 at Jikoji. John received priest ordination from Kobun in August 1988, was appointed shuso for the fall ango and underwent shuso hossen following rohatsu in December 1978. To broaden his experience, John studied with several other teachers, primarily Soto-Rinzai, as well, in the 1990s.
Following Kobun’s death, John practiced with Michael Newhall and led several sittings at Jikoi. John became Angie Boissevain’s student in 2014, having known Angie since his first meeting with Kobun. John has been leading sittings monthly at Floating Zendo since April 2018 and is a transmitted teacher in the Kobun/Vanja/Angie lineage.