April 16, 2014


Benevolent Street Zen

The Benevolent Street Sangha (BEN) is a Zen Buddhist practice group within the Boundless Way Zen community. We hold regular zazen (meditation) sessions on Monday nights at 7:00 pm at the First Unitarian Church, at the corner of Benevolent and Benefit Streets in Providence, Rhode Island. Newcomers or those new to zazen should arrive early at 6:45 for orientation.

Boundless Way Zen

Boundless Way Zen is a nationwide Zen community with roots in Japanese Soto and Korean Linji. There are Boundless Way temples in Worcester and Boston, Massachusetts.


Our Guiding Teacher

James Cordova

James Myosan Cordova, Sensei is a Dharma heir to Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi. James serves as the resident teacher for the Benevolent Street Sangha in Providence, Rhode Island, and is one of the resident teachers at Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, MA. James is a husband and father of two children, Chair of the Psychology Department at Clark University, and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. He is the author of The Marriage Checkup, The Marriage Checkup Practitioner’s Guide, and The Story of Mu


Our Practice Leaders

Cindy Bapties has had a meditation practice since 1976. She has been sitting with various Buddhist groups at First UU Church and elsewhere over the past 30 years.  She has been sitting with Benevolent Street Zen since 2008.  Cindy took Jukai on July 25, 2009, and began working with koans several years ago. She has served in several leadership roles in the Boundless Way community and is currently a Practice Leader for the Benevolent Street Zen Sangha.


George Beshers was born in Urbana, IL, and raised in and around NYC. George is a multi-generational Unitarian Universalist.  The Rev. James Ford, Roshi, the first Guiding Teacher of the Benevolent Street Sangha and Pastor at the First UU Church (2008-2014), piqued George’s interest in Zen Buddhism. George took Jukai in July 2011. George is currently a Practice Leader for the Benevolent Street Zen Sangha.


Kate Kinyu Guthrie has been practicing since 2008 and has been a member of Benevolent Street Zen and the broader Boundless Way Zen Sangha since 2010. She received the Bodhisattva Precepts in a Jukai ceremony at Boundless Way Temple in 2015. She maintains a regular koan practice, and serves the Sangha in various practice roles. She helps to coordinate the Facebook page and email correspondence, as well as this webpage. She is a professor and scientist at Brown Medical School and The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI.


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