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.
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.
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 Iowa, coming to Hokyoji regularly to help tend the garden, lend a hand with whatever needs doing and to participate in formal practice.
Ekyo Susan Nelson lives in Minneapolis and is a senior teacher at the Minnesota Zen Meditation 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 (Vice Chair) 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 the proud parents of their new daughter Argenta.
Mackenzie L. Moen now lives in La Crosse, WI, but grew up only 5 miles away from Hokyoji in the same Mississippi River Valley as the Hokyoji land. She has a deep appreciation and great sentimental value for caring for the land. She first started visiting Hokyoji in 2012. She was initially introduced to meditation through her study with traditional Hatha yoga in Sedona, AZ at Seven Centers Yoga Arts School where she got her 200 hour yoga instructor license in 2013. Later that year she traveled to the Amazon rain forest to immerse herself in ancient Incan and Shamanic healing practices and holistic medicine. During that time she was part of a sangha and sat along side a practitioner who had taken the vow of the Bodhisattva. She is currently studying Chinese Philosophy, Chinese Language, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Now, her focus is on developing the land management and environmental initiatives at Hokyoji along side Duane Peterson, the land management coordinator. She is helping build a volunteer and internship program to grow the environmental focus with Hokyoji and engage the surrounding areas and their respective colleges and universities.”
Mary Windberg has been visiting Hokyoji for the past 25 years with husband Paul. In more recent years has participated in the Women’s Retreat at Hokyoji. Graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Practiced as a Registered Nurse for 35 years in adult patient hospital settings, including intensive care, floor nursing, hospice, and case management. Born in Minneapolis. Lives in Duluth with husband Paul. Two adult daughters live in Minneapolis.
Kara Lovemelt (Secretary) graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a BFA in Dance performance and choreography. She has spent the last 17 years of her professional life as a project manager in technology and has been practicing yoga for 16 years and teaching for 8 years. She and her husband started an interactive video and photography business in 2010 and are launching a second interactive business venture in the fall of 2017. Kara has roots in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming and lives in Minneapolis where she considers Theodore Wirth Park her backyard and school. She sought out formal wellness teachings and a zen practice community for her family when her son was born in 2013. In 2015, she was introduced to Hokyoji, where she is now committed to bringing her entire family; son Phoenix, daughter Kaiya, and husband Hal for a new family practice and tradition.
Duane Peterson is an IT Professional currently employed at US Bank in Minneapolis. He has a BA & MBA from the University of Minnesota, and is both a longstanding friend of Hokyoji and land management volunteer. He is also a part-time resident in the community of New Albin Iowa, the nearest municipality to the Hokyoji property
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.