Count the Stars: 

A Class in Meditation and Koans with Rachel Boughton


Classes in Santa Rosa at Monan’s Rill, 6-8pm April 1, 8, 22, and 29th and May 6th, with a Retreat at the Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center on May 3rd from 1-5pm.

Meditating with koans is as surprising as counting the stars in the sky. Come to deepen or inform or explore or simply be curious. 

Rachel Boughton will be offering a 5-week springtime koan class at Monan’s Rill, a residential community in the oak and madrone-covered hills of NE Santa Rosa, about 30min from downtown.


Whether you are new to meditating with koans, or want to deepen your understanding of how koans can keep you company over time,  this class will enrich your practice experience.  The class will be held on Wednesdays from 6-8pm in the Monan’s Rill community building, from April 1-May 6 (skipping Apr 15), and the sliding scale cost of $120-180 will also include a half-day retreat at the Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center open to class participants only.  Please contact Rachel at for registration information, or to learn more.  Maximum of 12 participants.



The class will include anything you need to know to start or renew a meditation practice, or to get support for having a regular ongoing practice. It will also introduce you to the Rinzai Zen practice of koan meditation - meditating with a story, poem, or conversation, often passed down by centuries of teachers, that can keep you company in your life and open up your world. The best way to learn about what they are, of course, is to live with them a while.


Rachel Boughton, Sensei, discovered meditation long ago, by a fortuitous accident when she was in high school, after reading a book and sending off 25 cents for instructions. This led to an interest in teaching beginners and she has been developing classes to introduce people to both koans and meditation which she teaches at PZI centers. She is the director of the Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center. She has taught meditation for 15 years and been with Pacific Zen Institute since 2001.


She is also a sculptor and artist and mother and writes a blog about meditation called Zennotes. You can contact her through You can see a video of a talk by her at our 2014 Winter Retreat at


Cost: Payment for this class is on a sliding scale of $120-$180, Retreat and all 5 classes included. 


Registration Page


When & Where

The dates of the class are: Wed 4/1, Wed 4/8, Wed 4/22, Wed 4/29 and Wed 5/6, all from 6-8pm at Monan's Rill on St. Helena Road (about 30 minutes drive from downtown Santa Rosa).


The half-day retreat will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, May 3, from 1-5pm at Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center 825 Sonoma Ave., Ste B, Santa Rosa



For information and scholarships please contact


This is a 6 session class for anyone who would like to delve into the practice of meditation and koans, and would like make that practice come naturally and easily. You don't need to be a beginner, although you can be. The class works for anyone who wants to go deeper into their own life, to have a greater appreciation and facility with the way things come and go, and with our own minds.


This class is an extension of the 4 week Meditation for Anyone class, including some of the same material but taking time to go further into koans and koan practice. It covers some of the material from the original Count the Stars koan class, with more emphasis on the basics of meditation.

Come as you are, you need no preparation to meditate. You will learn many different ways that you can have a meditation practice: sitting, standing, walking around, stopped in traffic, too busy to think straight, or at peace in the garden.

Here is meditation without having to believe in anything or having to do it right. You will learn some ancient wisdom and some practical tips and all the necessary pieces of a portable meditation practice that you can use wherever you go and in whatever life you have.


Instructor: Rachel Boughton has taught meditation for 15 years and been with Pacific Zen Institute since 2001.  She discovered meditation long ago, by a fortuitous accident when she was quite young, after reading a book and sending away for instructions. It worked and has been a fascinating adventure ever since.  For more information email santarosazen-(at)




Meditation and Koans Introduction: First Mondays 


If you've always wanted to learn to meditate or it only just occurred to you or you want to refresh your memory, this is a chance to get the simple directions, to ask questions and perhaps to set down the burdensome question of "am I doing this right?"


On the first Monday evening of every month, we will be offering this class at the Santa Rosa Creek Zendo from 6 to 7pm.


What is meditation? How can I have a regular practice? What do koans have to do with it? This event is free of charge, although donations are gratefully accepted. If you would like more information or to reserve a spot email