Fu Schroeder is a Buddhist priest, a teacher, an activist, an innovator, an organizer and a visionary. She is a mother, a mentor, a friend. Ordained in 1986, Fu has been part of the San Francisco Zen Center for thirty years. She serves as Director at Green Gulch Farm, and as president of the Marin Interfaith Council. But these words don’t reveal the person, or show why Fu has been nominated to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.
At Green Gulch, Fu has worked towards positive change, looking for ways to bring Buddhism to the greater community. She developed a Work Practice Apprenticeship program that enables people on limited income to participate in life at Green Gulch. She initiated a three week Intensive Medication Period that enables staff to use quieter times at the center to renew their personal spiritual practice. She established a Coming of Age program that offers teens a year in which they examine issues of maturity, responsibility and service while exploring meditation and self expression.
Fu has helped make Green Gulch a place that welcomes diversity. She has helped make the center more accessible to people with disabilities. She has led retreats designed to present Buddhist teachings in a safe environment for the LGTBQQ community. She has served on the Diversity and Multiculturalism committee at the center and Marin Horizon School, which her daughter attends.
Fu also initiated a unique cultural exchange program with members of the Little Singer Community School on Navajo land. One summer, several Navajos visited Green Gulch, and the next Fu led a group to the Navajo lands in the Four Corners. Among the contingent was Fu’s African American daughter, who has physical challenges. This trip gave Fu the chance to practice plenty of patience, compassion, leadership and love, day to day. The impact of this cultural exchange on all the participants cannot be measured.
As a Buddhist priest, Rev. Fu bears witness to the importance of women as leaders in religion. Through her work, she creates a peaceful space for people to come together in the spirit of harmony and understanding. When she was ordained, candidate Nancy Schroeder received a “dharma” name meant to express some of her unique qualities. The name she was given, “Furyu Doshin,” translates from the Japanese as “Wind and Stream, Way Seeking Heart.” This name clearly captures the qualities Fu manifests.