About Us


In the summer of 1977, Robert Aitken Roshi conducted mindfulness workshops at “Bangor Summer”—several weeks of community education and civil disobedience centered at the Trident Submarine Base in Bangor, Washington. There he met members of the Seattle Catholic Worker who, together with monks from Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, invited him to lead annual Zen Sesshin “for Christians and other interested travelers.” After his visit, small groups in Washington and Oregon began regular sitting. Attendees in these early years included Pat Hawk, Leonard Marcel, and Bob Walker. In 1982, on Aitken's advice, the group invited Fr. Willigis Jaeger, Roshi, to lead its annual retreat. Fr. Jaeger returned each year until 1988, when Pat Hawk Roshi, a student of both Aitken and Jaeger, began leading the retreats, which were sponsored by the Trappists until 1992.

Meanwhile, Abbot Bernard McVeigh and the monks of Guadalupe Abbey were encouraging individuals to deepen their spiritual practice through silent prayer and meditation. Monthly gatherings of laypersons began at the Abbey in 1985. In 1992, we joined in celebrating the opening of Bethany House and assumed the sponsorship of the Abbey's retreats and first Saturday sittings.

During 1990-1992 the first Saturday sittings at the Abbey were supplemented by third Saturday sittings at Leonard Marcel's house near Portland. A group of regular attendees gradually coalesced and Seven Thunders was incorporated in May 1992.

We remain grateful to the Catholic Workers, the Monks of the Trappist Abbey of Guadalupe, Abbot Bernard McVeigh, Robert Aitken, Roshi, and Fr. Willigis Jaeger, Roshi for starting us on the Way.

Coming Up

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 8:45am
Trappist Abbey
Monday, February 4, 2019 - 7:00pm
Stones & Clouds
Monday, February 11, 2019 - 7:00pm
Stones & Clouds
Saturday, February 16, 2019 -
8:45am to 3:30pm
Stones and Clouds Zendo
Monday, February 18, 2019 - 7:00pm
Stones & Clouds


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