Ezra Bayda teaches at Zen Center San Diego. He is also the author of Being Zen, At Home in the Muddy Water, Saying Yes to Life (Even the Hard Parts), and Zen Heart. For more information, visit www.zencentersandiego.org.
Books & Audio
Zen Wisdom for Living Free from Complacency and Fear
Ever feel like your efforts to live a life of wisdom, honesty, and compassion are hijacked by, well, life? Take heart. Ezra Bayda has good news: life’s challenges aren’t obstacles to our path—they are the path. Understanding that liberates… Read More
The Zen Way to True Contentment
Many books have been published in recent years on happiness. Ezra Bayda, a remarkably down-to-earth Zen teacher, believes that the happiness "boom" has been largely a bust for readers. Why? Because it's precisely the pursuit of happiness that keeps… Read More
Simple Advice for Living with Mindfulness and Compassion
There’s a secret to spiritual practice, and it’s surprisingly simple: learn to be present with attention. Do that, and the whole world becomes your teacher, you wake up to the sacredness of every aspect of existence, and compassion for… Read More
Bringing Meditation to Life
We can use whatever life presents, Ezra Bayda teaches, to strengthen our spiritual practice—including the turmoil of daily life. What we need is the willingness to just be with our experiences—whether they are painful or pleasing—opening ourselves to the reality… Read More
Ezra Bayda was born in 1944 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in philosophy, he became a carpenter and a builder, an occupation he worked at for thirty years. His favorite activities include bodyboarding, playing basketball, and playing the conga drum.
Bayda has been practicing Zen meditation since 1970. He originally trained in the Gurdjieff tradition, living in a community led by Robert S. de Ropp. He began formal Zen practice in 1978, studying first with Maezumi Roshi, and then later with Kwong Roshi. In 1992 he began working with Joko Beck, and he began teaching in 1995, receiving Dharma Transmission in 1998.
His teachings are a blend of the Zen and Gurdjieff traditions, and are also influenced by Stephen Levine and Pema Chödrön, with their emphasis on the need for loving-kindness as an essential part of practice. He has been a hospice volunteer for over ten years.
He now lives and teaches at Zen Center San Diego with his wife and fellow Zen teacher, Elizabeth Hamilton. He also leads meditation retreats in the United States and abroad and periodically visits the Santa Rosa Zen Group, which he founded in 1995.
Videos & More
Ezra Bayda talks about his new book, Beyond Happiness.