Dr. Peg Syverson

RUPI Core Faculty

Based in: Austin, Texas

Email: [email protected]



Peg Syverson is Senior Teacher for Appamada, a contemporary Zen Center in Austin.  Peg has been studying and practicing Zen since 1966. From 1990 until 2011, she was a student of Joko Beck, who originally authorized her to teach. From 2001 to 2006, she also trained with Flint Sparks at Austin Zen Center in the formal Japanese tradition of Suzuki Roshi, and was ordained as a Soto Zen priest there in 2004. She had formal priest training in residence at Austin Zen Center and at Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clatskanie, Oregon, under the guidance of the Abbots, Jan Chozen Bays and Hogen Bays.

In 2006, with Joko’s authorization, Peg began formally teaching Zen and offering individual practice discussion. Flint Sparks joined her as a senior teacher and coleader at Appamada a year later. In 2014, Peg received dharma transmission in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. She currently lives in Wilmette, IL and during the pandemic has been teaching via Zoom.

She has trained and been certified as a teacher-trainer in Right Use of Power, and has also trained in Appreciative Inquiry, Spiral Dynamics, Internal Family Systems, and Hakomi, a psychotherapeutic model described as assisted selfstudy in mindfulness. She specializes in Right Use of Power for spiritual communities.

Peg is also an Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. She taught courses such as Zen Rhetoric, Non-violent Rhetoric, Information Architecture, and Knowledge Ecologies, for undergraduates and graduate students. She was also the UT Director of the Computer Writing and Research Lab and the Undergraduate
Writing Center, which provides one-on-one consultations for 11,000 student writers each year.