Empty Cloud Sangha

Sangha Founder


Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. Rōshi


Dr. Linehan has studied Spiritual Direction under the guidance of Rev. Tilden Edwards and Gerald May, M.D. and Christian Contemplation under the personal guidance of Fr. Willigis Jaeger, O.S.B., Koun Rōshi a Benedictine Monk and a Zen master. She formally began Zen practice in 1986 as a student of Fr. Willigis Jaeger Rōshi and in 2002 as a student of Fr. Pat Hawk Rōshi (1942-2012). She has translated aspects of both Zen and Contemplative practices into behaviorally specific instructions for mindfulness practice that can be taught to clients in psychotherapy. She received Dharma Transmission as a Zen Master in the Diamond Sangha (of the Harada-Yasutani tradition (Sanbo-Kyodan-School) from Pat Hawk in April, 2012.  She was confirmed as a Zen Master in the Empty Cloud (Leere Wolke) Sangha by Willigis Jaeger in June, 2012.

“There’s never a good time for Mindfulness, and there’s never a bad time. 


Mindfulness is one of those things you simply do, because if you practice being aware - completely open to the universe, just exactly as it is - you will transform your life in time.” 


-Marsha M. Linehan, Roshi

Empty Cloud Mission 

To foster the teachings of Zen, as adapted to Western cultural forms and traditions; provide training in the disciplines, practices and devotions of Zen; and provide suitable surroundings, instruction and support for the teaching and practice of Zen. The Empty Cloud Sangha is incorporated as a private not for profit organization we practice Zen in the tradition of  “Leere Wolke” -Empty Cloud – Formed by Willigis Jager

Zen Sesshins


The Zen Mindfulness Retreat offers the opportunity for an extended period of practice. At a retreat, we separate ourselves from our daily affairs in order to sink deeply into mindful practice, free to transcend the background chatter of our busy minds. These retreats follow the style and format initiated by Willigis Jaeger, O.S.B. (Ko-un Rōshi). Formal procedures are observed. We practice together but we do not interact. Silence is observed throughout the retreat with the exception of the opening and closing meals, private interviews with the teacher, and the question and answer periods. A brief mindfulness talk is given each morning by Randy Wolbert Sensei and a brief question/answer period is conducted each afternoon by Marsha’s senior Zen students.

Sangha Teacher


Randy Wolbert MSW, Sensei


Randy is a long time Zen Student of Marsha Linehan Ph.D. Rōshi and has been doing additional Koan Study with Fr. Greg Mayers Rōshi.  He was appointed a Zen teacher in the Empty Cloud Sangha by Willigis Jaeger Rōshi in 2016 and his appointment was confirmed by Marsha Linehan in April of 2018. He has been involved in attending, assisting with, and leading retreats in the US, Germany, Chile, and  Argentina.   



Mindfulness Retreats (Zen Sesshins) are run by the Empty Cloud Sangha and are open to Human Service Professionals and Students. Priority is given to returning retreat attendees. Interested persons can contact us at info@emptycloudsangha.org to be added to the waiting list.


Upcoming Retreats 

**Please e-mail info@emptycloudsangha.org

for more information about retreats**

**For information on retreats outside of North America please visit Empty Cloud Sangha LATAM**


San Francisco, California 

October 14-18th, 2020***

This retreat will now be online. 

Please contact info@emptycloudsangha.org for information

Tucson, Arizona 

February 10-14th, 2021 

San Francisco, California 

September 15th-19th, 2021


The Many Beings Are Numberless, I Vow to Save Them. 

Greed, Hatred, and Ignorance Rise Endlessly, I Vow to Abandon Them. 

Dharma Gates are Countless, I Vow to Wake to Them. 

The Pathless Path is unsurpassed, I Vow to Embody it Fully.