David Rynick, Roshi, was born in 1952, in Houston, Texas. He grew up in upstate New York, where his father was a Presbyterian minister with a great faith in a God who is present in our every day lives. He spent his senior year in high school as an exchange student in Nagasaki, Japan. David earned his BA cum laude in Sociology in 1974 from Wesleyan University. For the next decade David studied and taught pottery, aikido and dance improvisation. In 1984 he earned an MA degree in studio art at Wesleyan.
In 1977 he met Melissa Blacker and they married in 1982. Their daughter, Rachel Blacker Rynick, was born in 1986.
Starting in 1984 David began teaching art at a private high school and in 1990 became headmaster, a job he continued until he became a full-time life and leadership coach and consultant in 2003. He currently works with religious leaders and churches as well as other individuals who want to more fully align their lives and their values.
In 1981 he and Melissa began studying Zen with the independent teacher Richard Clarke. Since 1991 David has been studying with George Bowman, the first Dharma successor to the Korean Zen master Seung Sahn. Zen Master Bowman has also studied extensively with the Japanese Rinzai master Joshu Sasaki, and his Single Flower Sangha shows the marks of both traditions.
In 1992 David and Melissa were joined by several friends in beginning a Zen meditation group at their Worcester home. A year later they also began a sitting group at the First Unitarian Church in Worcester, where both David and Melissa had been and continue to be active members. David served as president of the church’s Board from 1998 through 2001.
David received Inga, formal recognition as a Zen teacher and Dharma heir from George Bowman in October, 2005. In 2006 he was elected a teacher of the Boundless Way Zen sangha. In 2011 he received full Dharma transmission from George Bowman, marking David’s emergence as a fully-ordained lineage holder in the Linji tradition.
David is a member of the American Zen Teachers Association