Elda Perez began Zen practice in 1976. In 1978 her kensho (‘awakening’) was confirmed by her teacher the late Zen Master Ko’un Yamada, of the San’un Zendo in Kamakura, Japan. In 2003 Yamada Masamichi Roshi, the current abbot of Sanbo Zen, formally granted her authorization as a teacher in the Sanbo Zen Lineage. Jiko An (“Compassionate Light”), The teaching name of Elda, was conferred upon her at that time.
In 1992 the Baguio Zen Center Mountain Sangha was established under her guidance in Baguio City, Philippines. In 2005 she was designated as President and Head teacher for the Zen Center for Oriental Spirituality in the Philippines by Maria Teresa Pineda Roshi.
Elda Perez is an authorized independent teacher of the Sanbo Zen Lineage. Elda began her training with Zen teachers Yamada Koun Roshi, Sr. Elaine MacInness, Nenates Pineda, Dr. Antonio Perlas in the 1970s. She regularly attends the annual Sanbo-Zen International Teachers’ Conference and is continuing her training with Sanbo Zen Abbot Yamada Ryoun Roshi. Currently Elda Perez travels leading retreats and guiding her students in other Zen Centers in the Philippines. Teachers in Sanbo Zen are taught very carefully to recognize this direct experience of opening.
A former professional nurse, Elda is married to Joe Perez; she and her family reside in Baguio City.