Dainin Katagiri Roshi (1928-1990) was born in Osaka, Japan. He trained at Eiheiji, one of the two head temples of Sotoshu, for three years under the guidance of Eko Hashimoto Roshi and attended Komazawa University. In 1963 he came to the United States to the Zenshuji Soto Zen Mission in Los Angeles, later moving to Sokoji Zen Mission and San Francisco Zen Center, where he assisted the late Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. In 1972, he became the first abbot of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, where he oversaw the development of the center as well as Hokyoji.
Dokai Georgesen began his study of Zen Buddhism at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center under the direction of Dainin Katagiri Roshi in 1974. He spent two years on pilgrimage studying Buddhism in India and Japan, and upon his return in 1982 he lived at Hokyoji until his ordination in 1984. In 1989 he received Dharma Transmission from Katagiri Roshi, and since then he has made several trips to Japan for study under the late Ikko Narasaki Roshi, Tsugen Narasaki Roshi and the late Taizan Maezumi Roshi. He has also had the opportunity to study at Plum Village in France under the direction of Thich Nhat Hanh. He has been residing at Hokyoji since June, 2003.
Executive Director Carl Hultman has practiced with Dosho Port and Byakuren Judith Ragir at Clouds in Water Zen Center, serving on its board of directors for five years in the 1990s. He has practiced and participated in Prison Dharma with Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. A combat veteran of the Vietnam conflict, Carl retired in 2009 after twenty years with the U.S. Postal Service. During the summer of 2010, he and his wife, Ekyo Susan Nelson, put up a yurt on the Hokyoji property and became resident practitioners there together. He also serves as board secretary.
Communications Director Hoko Karnegis ran the Milwaukee Zen Center for two years before moving to Hokyoji in October 2013. She is a founding board member of Hokyoji as an independent corporation, serving as its first secretary and communications officer for several years before leaving for Japan to complete her clergy training requirements. She spent several decades working in communications in the public and non-profit sectors, and received transmission from Shohaku Okumura. Read more at her website, at Sweeping Zen, or on Facebook.
Board of Directors
John Kaman (Chair) started practicing Zen at Minnesota Zen Meditation Center with Katagiri Roshi in 1978. After Katagiri’s death in 1990 he practiced with Shohaku Okumura at MZMC. John served on the board of directors at MZMC from 2002 to 2006 and served as president of the board for 2 years. He and his wife Marilyn and have five children and live in Minneapolis. John spent 25 years at 3M Company as a manager in new product development. Since his retirement, he has been teaching project management, leadership development and negotiations at numerous companies across the country. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota and teaches in the College of Science and Engineering and College of Continuing Education.
Tim Macejak (Treasurer) has been involved in Zen practice for almost 30 years. During college he practiced at the Iowa City Zen Center, a teacher-less sangha led by a group of experienced practitioners. He then spent 14 years with an at-home practice. In 2001 he began practicing with Zuiko Redding of the Cedar Rapids Zen Center, where he also served as president for 8 years. He is the author of the book Zen Unleashed: Everyday Buddhist Wisdom from Man’s Best Friend, released in 2013.
Myo-On Susan Hagler began practicing at Minnesota Zen Center late in 1980. She was fortunate to be able to participate in two of the early practice periods at Hokyoji in 1983 and 1984 with Katagiri roshi and many dear Zen friends. She is the mother of three young adults who, along with her husband Duane, began coming to Hokyoji for annual community weekends in 1987. Myo On was ordained as a priest in 2003 and in 2010 she became Dokai’s student. Myo On commutes between her homes in Minneapolis and New Albin, coming to Hokyoji regularly to help tend the garden, lend a hand with whatever needs doing and to participate in formal practice.
Eko Jeff Kelley leads the Seattle Soto Zen sangha in Seattle, WA where he has lived since 2009. He was ordained asa priest by Byakuren Judith Ragir in 2008 and completed shuso training in 2011. Jeff began practice in 1994 at Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul, MN, with Dosho Mike Port and continued there with Byakuren Judith Ragir. He worked as an architect for 25 years and has two children in their twenties. Jeff began prison dharma work in Minnesota and now co-leads two prison groups in Washington State. His Zen practice is enriched by a life-long passion for literature, poetry and myth. Jeff continues his priest training with Byakuren Ragir and also works with Zoketsu Norman Fischer for additional guidance and training.
Ekyo Susan Nelson lives in Minneapolis and is a senior teacher at Minnesota Zen Center (MZMC). She is a part time resident and founding board member of Hokyoji Zen Practice Community. A lay student of Dainin Katagiri from the late 70’s to 1990, she was ordained by Zentetsu Tim Burkett in 2003 and has served MZMC and Hokyoji in a variety of roles for more than 25 years. She is part of MZMC’s leadership group of priests, manages the Dharma Family Sunday program there and is a chaplain in LaCrosse, WI. She is interested in creating opportunities for people at all ages and stages of the life-cycle to participate in the dharma.
Disa Moraine has been visiting Hokyoji since 1987, when she started attending the family weekends every summer at the age of 5. Now she and her husband Dan enjoy participating in the work weekends at Hokyoji, giving them the opportunity to get outside and work in nature. Disa graduated with a degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in 2005, and is now a Strategic Account Manager for a vegan nutrition company called Vega. Disa and Dan live in Minneapolis and are expecting their first baby in September.
Raisei Marc Anderson
Hokyoji Zen Practice Community is governed by its board of directors, as described in its articles of incorporation. Its bylaws further define the role and scope of the directors. In general, it is the responsibility of the board to define the organization’s mission and to provide overall leadership and strategic direction. It actively sets policy and ensures that adequate resources are available to carry out the mission; annually it evaluates its own effectiveness as a governing body and the effectiveness of the organization as a whole in meeting its goals
In addition, a series of committees aid and support the board and the guiding teacher in carrying out their mission and achieving their objectives; the Retired Leaders Fund and Facilities Development efforts have their own committees. These groups bring additional skills and expertise to the organization and allow for the participation of interested people from outside the board.
As guiding teacher, Dokai Georgesen oversees the general spiritual condition and direction of the Hokyoji community. As an ex officio member of the board, he works with the directors and committees, including the Retired Leaders Fund Committee, to make Hokyoji’s vision statements a reality and achieve its goals. He also aims to provide effective and vibrant teaching, in the form of dharma talks, retreats and sesshins and individual counsel, that inspires confidence and also challenges the community to deepening its spiritual growth.
Dokai oversees a variety of practice programs that meet the needs of those who come from diverse circumstances, and provides training to disciples, both lay and ordained, through personal modeling, mentoring and programming.
Resident lay or clerical practitioners provide support to the guiding teacher to maintain the buildings and grounds, complete domestic and administrative work, deepen the spirit of community practice, and provide for continuity of practice when the guiding teacher is away.