Josh Bartok (Keido Mu'nen) is the abbot (head teacher and spiritual director) at the Greater Boston Zen Center. He is a Dharma heir of James Ishmael Ford Roshi in both of the roshi's lineages: the ordained Soto Zen lineage of Jiyu Kennett, and the koan introspection lineage of John Tarrant.
Additionally, Josh's Dharma teaching is influenced by the Zen teaching of Ezra Bayda and Shin (Pure Land) Buddhism as taught by Shinran Shonin, and interpreted by Tai and Mark Unno.
In August of 2012, Josh was elected as one the Guiding Teachers of Boundless Way Zen. He is a full member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and the American Zen Teachers Association, and is a Friend (nonvoting member) of the Lay Zen Teachers Association. Josh has served on the Board of Directors for the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and on the planning committee of the first-ever Next-Generation Dharma Teachers event, part of the Mahasangha Gathering that took place at Garrison Institute in July of 2011. As senior editor at Wisdom Publications, Josh served as in-house staff editor for almost 200 books in all traditions of Buddhism.
In 2000, together with Rod Meade Sperry, he founded Spring Hill Zen in Somerville/Medford, and shortly after met James Ford, with whom he and several others help found the Zen Community of Boston, which later became Boundless Way Zen. Josh was the first president of the leadership council of ZCB/BoWZ.
He is the co-author, with Ezra Bayda, of Saying Yes To Life (Even the Hard Parts), and the authoring editor of Daily Wisdom, More Daily Wisdom, Lama Zopa Rinpoche's How to Be Happy, and Lama Yeshe's When the Chocolate Runs Out.
Josh graduated from Vassar College in 1993 with a degree in Cognitive Science. While at Vassar, Josh began his Zen practice with John Daido Loori, at Zen Mountain Monastery, and then lived there for 18 months upon graduating--formally leaving the Mountains and Rivers Order in 2000.
In 2014, Josh graduated with Master's of Science in Mental Health Counseling, from UMass Boston. Independent of Boundless Way Zen and the Greater Boston Zen Center, Josh now has a private practice of Buddhist Pastoral Counseling and Contemplative Therapy in Central Square, Cambridge.
Recreationally, Josh is an amateur photographer who shows locally and regionally. His work is influenced by John Daido Loori, Kaz Tanahashi, as well as sumi-e and abstract expressionist painters. His photos can be seen online at www.shobophoto.com.