Flint Sparks
Flint Sparks, Ph.D.

Flint—is a licensed psychologist with over twenty-five years experience in the practice of psychotherapy. He works with adults in a private practice setting and sees clients in individual, couples, and group therapy. His academic training includes graduate degrees in both biology and psychology, with post-doctoral certifications in Hakomi Therapy and Group Therapy. Flint is also currently training with the Center for Self Leadership in the Internal Family Systems model.

Flint teaches and consults with a focus in two main areas: health psychology and the psychology of contemplative practices. His early research and counseling experience with the terminally ill inspired him to continue investigating the influence of the mind in illness and in healing. As a result, he expanded both his clinical training and his own personal work to include biofeedback, relaxation therapies, visualization, as well as more traditional meditation practices. His current teaching and training reflect this range of clinical and transpersonal experiences. As an example, Flint is an adjunct faculty member with the Seton Cove, a spirituality center associated with the Seton Health Network in Austin, Texas.

Along with his work as a psychologist, Flint was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest at the Austin Zen Center. He began his formal training at the San Francisco Zen Center with his teacher, Zenkei Blanche Hartman. Along with other teachers in the Soto tradition, Flint is fortunate to also work with Ruben Habito, head teacher at the Maria Kannon Zen Center.
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Flint's blog posts

Flint's TEDx 2011 Talk

TEDx Austin

Peg Syverson
Peg Syverson, Ph.D.

Peg has been studying and practicing Zen since 1966. Since 1990, she has been a student of Joko Beck, who has authorized her to teach. From 2001 to 2006, she also trained with Flint Sparks at Austin Zen Center in the formal Japanese tradition of Suzuki Roshi, and was ordained as a Soto Zen priest there in 2004. She had formal priest training in residence for six months at Austin Zen Center and six months at Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clatskanie, Oregon, under the guidance of the Abbots, Jan Chozen Bays and Hogen Bays.

In March, 1995, Peg had launched a Zen sitting group based on Joko's model, initially called Live Oak Zen Meditation group and later named Ordinary Mind Zen-Austin. The group met once a week on Sunday mornings at Live Oak Unitarian Church, and then after "camping out" in several other locations, finally moved to its present location at 913 East 38th St. in September 2005, when it was formally incorporated as a 501 (c)3 non-profit.

At that time we were able to expand the offerings to include daily morning meditation, Wednesday evening meditation, classes, one-day sittings, inquiry group, and retreats. In 2006, with Joko's authorization, Peg began formally teaching and offering individual practice discussion. She was delighted when Flint Sparks joined the group as a senior teacher a year later. In May, 2009, Ordinary Mind Zen-Austin officially changed its name to Appamada. You can read more about this change here.

Peg is also a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. She teaches courses such as Zen Rhetoric, Non-violent Rhetoric, Information Architecture, and Knowledge Ecologies, for undergraduates and graduate students. She is the Director of the Undergraduate Writing Center, which provides one-on-one consultations for 11,000 student writers each year.

Peg has formal training and certification as a facilitator in these areas: Right Use of Power, Appreciative Inquiry, and Spiral Dynamics, and she has completed the three-level Hakomi training with Ron Kurtz, Flint Sparks, and Donna Martin. She recently completed Level I of the training for Internal Family Systems with the Center for Self-Leadership.
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Peg's blog posts

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