Biographical Information

Lawson Sachter 

Roshi Lawson Sachter is a Zen teacher who was sanctioned and ordained by Roshi Philip Kapleau. He is he is also a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Asheville, NC. Along with his wife, Roshi Sunya Kjolhede, Lawson is abbot and co-founder of Windhorse Zen Community, a residential training center located just outside of Asheville. He also serves as the spiritual director of the Clear Water Zen Center in Clearwater, Florida.


Lawson’s psychotherapeutic training has been largely focused on Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), a highly experiential form of psychotherapy developed by Habib Davanloo, M.D.. Since the early 1990’s Lawson has attended numerous metapsychology workshops lead by Dr. Habib Davanloo in Montreal and elsewhere.


ISTDP is an evidence-based psychotherapy with a central focus on working through the defenses and gaining access to the dynamic unconscious. In spirit and in practice, ISTDP’s experiential approach to the unconscious can be utilized in ways that fit seamlessly with non-dual, inquiry-based dharma practices.


Lawson’s own Zen practice began in 1969. Since completing his koan and Precept training under Roshi Kapleau, he has been exploring the complex changes Buddhism has been undergoing as it has been shaped—and in ways misshaped—by the complexities and contradictions found in much of western thought, culture, and spirituality. His understanding of this process has been deeply influenced by 25 years of working with the unconscious as it has unfolded in both intensive Zen retreats and psychotherapeutic settings.