Toni Packer joined the Rochester Zen Center in 1967 as a student/disciple of Roshi Philip Kapleau. She began counseling there in 1971 and assumed teaching duties in 1976. Her encounter with the teachings of J. Krishnamurti opened up and clarified her deep questioning of all established forms and traditions. In 1981, when the entire teaching responsibility at the Rochester Zen Center was transferred to Packer, it became clear to her that she could no longer work within the boundaries of a traditional religious organization. She left the Zen Center at the end of the year and together with friends founded what is now Springwater Center in Springwater, New York.