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Ezra Bayda

Ezra Bayda

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

Books & Audio

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  • Zen Heart

    Zen Heart


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About the Author

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.