|Born in 1938, Sandy Gentei Stewart became interested in Zen when he was 16 and heard Alan Watts speak on the radio. At age 29 he heard a radio interview with Joshu Sasaki Roshi and immediately knew he had found his teacher. In 1971 he was ordained as a Zen teacher (Osho) and became Vice-Abbot of the Cimarron Zen Center (now Rinzai-ji in Los Angeles.
In 1975 he was appointed abbot of the Jemez Bodhi Mandala (now Bodhi Manda) in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. Three years later he moved to North Carolina with his wife Susanna and step-daughter Lara. Sandy has been the guiding force behind the North Carolina Zen Center.