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About Hokyoji Zen Practice Community

“My dream [of a Zen practice place in the country] is beautiful, a huge job in my life, but even if my dream doesn‘t come true in my lifetime, it is going on life after life.”
— Dainin Katagiri

Hokyoji Zen Practice Community cultivates community through mindfulness practices and teachings in a​ ​cherished natural setting ​with those who yearn for deeper awakening to this very life.  ​Residents and non-residents are invited to participate in our events, which include practice periods and retreats, or to inquire about doing individual practice.  Click here for a schedule of our offerings.

Vision: a world where suffering is transformed and joy and equanimity arise.

Mission: Hokyoji’s mission is to cultivate community, through mindfulness practices and teachings in ​a ​cherished natural setting with those who yearn for deeper awakening to this very life.


Our purpose

Hokyoji is a place to cultivate mindfulness and awakening.  We offer meditation and other practices in a remote natural setting that quiets the mind and allows for reflection and reconnecting with one’ true heart.  Awakening to our lives brings freedom from suffering and the arising of joy and equanimity.

Under the direction of guiding teacher Dokai Georgesen, Hokyoji works to make mindfulness practice available to long-term and visiting practitioners. The southern Minnesota facility’s connection to nature and its history as a sacred place of inspiration and renewal make it a unique and powerful location for communal and individual practice. In addition, it is the only place in the Midwest where dharma teachers can bring their own sanghas and lead their own practice and retreats in their own styles and traditions.

What we offer

Hokyoji offers a variety of opportunities for meditation, study and mindful activity in a natural setting.  One-day events are good introductions to practice or ways to experience Hokyoji for just a short time.  Retreats, practice periods, and residential practice provide extended opportunities for mindful living.  We also welcome participants interested in working to care for and preserve the land and our natural environment.

The Hokyoji community

All who are sincerely interested in contemplative practice are welcome, and our extended community includes people of all ages, levels of experience and walks of life.  Since only a desire for awakening is necessary to study and practice at Hokyoji, practitioners may be engaged in everything from secular mindfulness to traditional Soto Zen.  Hokyoji’s program calendar offers opportunities for all to directly experience silence and awakening for themselves.


Who’s here

Dokai Georgesen
Dokai Georgesen

Guiding Teacher Rev. Dokai Georgesen is generally on site four days a week, and Executive Director Carl Hultman lives on the grounds in his own yurt.  Ekyo Susan Nelson (Membership Specialist) and Myo-On Susan Hagler (Outreach Specialist) are part time residents.  Hokyoji also plays host to dharma teachers from around the Midwest and beyond, who bring their own sanghas here for sesshins and retreats or serve as guest teachers for practice events.


The setting

Set among forested hills in rural Minnesota on land selected by Katagiri Roshi and originally developed by the sangha of Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, Hokyoji connects Zen practice with the experience of nature close at hand. The hills and the rustic buildings provide a sense of peace and a deep quiet that washes the spirit and strengthens mindfulness.  Hokyoji’s 105 acres include woods, meadows, a wetland, an oak savannah, a walnut grove and more.  Please come enjoy the land and settle into the Buddha’s practice with us.