Becca Shoshin Topol Sensei
Becca Shoshin Topol Sensei began her Zen training at the Providence Zen Center in the Kwan Um School of Zen, when she was a college student at Brown University, where she majored in East Asian Studies and Japanese language. During a two-year period studying, working and living in Japan and traveling throughout Asia, she completed a temple home stay at Hwa Gye Sa Seoul International Zen Center, in Seoul Korea.
Upon returning from Asia, she graduated Harvard Law School and then moved out to Los Angeles, where she resumed her Zen training, at the Santa Monica Zen Center in 2000 with Bill Yoshin Jordan Roshi. She began studying with Barry Kaigen McMahon Roshi in 2010 and received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) in June 2022.
Becca is a screenwriter and producer for film and television. She drew upon her experience living in Japan, working on koans, and engaging in the student-teacher relationship to write the feature film “The Ramen Girl”. In addition to other movies and televisions shows, she developed and produced the series “Mira Royal Detective” for Disney, which took her to India. For Becca, zen practice has been instrumental in opening up creative pathways in work and life and she encourages students to do the same.
Becca, who is based out of Los Angeles, is married, has one child, and two cats. Her family belongs to Temple Sinai of Glendale.
Steven Konshin Gelb Sensei
Steve Konshin Gelb Sensei received dharma transmission from Barry Kaigan McMahon in 2020. He is co-chair of SanDiego350’s transportation committee and a member of the San Diego Transportation Equity Working Group. He taught for 26 years in the University of San Diego’s teacher education and leadership studies programs before retiring in 2015. In addition to working for the environment, he has organized and facilitated conflict resolution workshops in California state prisons, volunteered at the Jewish Family Services migrant shelter in San Diego, supported immigrants imprisoned in the Otay Mesa Detention Center, and mediated community disputes for the National Conflict Resolution Center. He is an avid cyclist and supporter of active transportation.
Steven Joshin Hicks
Steve Joshin Hicks Sensei started studying with Barry Kaigen McMahon Roshi at Three Treasures Zen center in 2005, receiving transmission from him in 2022. In addition to working with his main teacher, he also studied extensively with Nicolee Jikyo McMahon Roshi and Annie Purna Pirruccello Roshi. Professionally he worked as an electrical engineer in the telecommunications and semiconductor industry for 25 years before retiring in 2014. Steve still consults part time, as well as teaches programming and electronics at his local library on a volunteer basis. He also volunteers for the Orcasound citizen science project writing software. For fun he enjoys skateboarding, and more recently is trying to learn to juggle.