Yakusan began practicing at the NYZC in 2016 shortly after her father died, also a time when she was struggling deeply with her identity as a contemporary artist. Zen provided a path through that suffering. In 2018 she became a formal student of Koshin Sensei and received jukai that same year. She is devoted to the sangha and currently serves as co-steward of the NYZC’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) group. As a chaplain intern, Yakusan works with people impacted by incarceration. In 2020, she co-founded the Inside-Outside Study Group, which facilitates spiritual and emotional connection through prison walls via study, contemplation and communication. She also has worked with elders offering both one-on-one and group care around loss, meaning and resiliency. Yakusan is of Jewish heritage and was born in New York City in 1972. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA from NYU. She currently lives in the Catskills with her husband Marc and their cats, Ronnie (aka: cooquette) and Luc (aka: booboo). She earns her livelihood as a French translator of art writing and an interpreter for asylum seekers.