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Honoring Our Past, Building Our Future Capital Campaign

Capital Campaign Update September 2017

The Capital Campaign launch event was a great success! Click to see Hokyoji’s short campaign video or click to view the architect’s video of the new buildings plans. Thanks to everyone who attended this event and all the volunteers who made it such a lovely evening! Special thanks to our in-kind donors, French Meadow for their wonderful food, South Lyndale Liquors for the wine, Designing Visions for the beautiful decorations, and to Dean Magraw, Brian Roessler, and Marc Anderson for the excellent music.

We have raised over $425,000 in pledges and contributions of the campaign’s goal of $550,000!!   

Click to make a contribution to the capital campaign.

Full Campaign Description

Who We Are

Nearly forty years ago, Dainin Katagiri Roshi (a Buddhist priest from Japan and founder of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis) came to southeastern Minnesota to “build a place and an environment to promote the quiet [community] life in unity… to practice the Way revering the Old Ways.”  With simple beginnings, in 1978 he established Hokyoji Zen Practice Community as a place for meditation and reflection, where groups and individuals could renew themselves through simple meditation practices.

Located on 105 wooded acres in the bluff country of southeastern Minnesota near the Mississippi River, Hokyoji offers practice opportunities in a wondrous rural setting. This setting provides the backdrop for programs and practices that support, nourish, and enrich the lives of all people who wholeheartedly seek peace and refuge, whatever their life circumstances may be. 

Practice at Hokyoji in the midst of nature brings first-hand the experience of transience and interconnectedness, two of the central teachings of Buddhism.  The many years of practice at Hokyoji have cultivated an atmosphere that has an almost tangible sense of care and reverence for all that is.

Hokyoji’s Vision is a world where suffering is transformed, and joy and equanimity arise.

Hokyoji is a sanctuary of creativity and joy, and is a treasure that must be ushered to the care of future generations.

Where We Are Going

In order to preserve Hokyoji’s legacy for the future, the pressing problem of inadequate facilities must be addressed.  Inadequate facilities threaten the sanctuary of creativity and joy that has been handed down during the past forty years. 

Hokyoji’s meditation hall (zendo) and the kitchen/bath house originally were built as temporary structures with minimal budgets and volunteer labor.  These temporary structures are now over thirty years old.  While the meditation hall has been upgraded over time, the kitchen/bath house has deteriorated to a point that it is beyond any lasting remedy.  The kitchen is no longer functional, and the end of the bathhouse is in sight. Without adequate kitchen and bathing facilities, Hokyoji is limited in the number of people it can serve and the kind of programming it can offer. 

Hokyoji’s very future is being constrained by the physical facilities of a prior era.

Hokyoji itself is an offering to the wider world. With the future seemingly becoming increasingly hectic, its value to future generations will also increase. 

Hokyoji is a center of creativity and joyful calm, with practice opportunities that stimulate personal exploration and growth. What value can be put on such a place of renewal like Hokyoji?  How important is it for all people, and not just Buddhists, to have the opportunity to put their busy lives on hold and to come to a place of peace and quiet, and to practice another way of being in the world?

Adequate facilities are crucial to Hokyoji’s 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.

Hokyoji’s Practice Vision

Hokyoji’s core practice of studying and practicing Zen Buddhism continues in the footsteps of its founder, Dainin Katigiri Roshi.  This practice includes study, meditation, mindfulness walks, and outdoor work.   There are also opportunities to reside at Hokyoji for those who would like to deepen their practice.

Today Hokyoji continues in Katagiri’s footsteps, led by Guiding Teacher Dokai Georgesen.  The core practice of sitting still, walking, chanting, and studying remains unchanged.  

Adding to this core practice, Dokai Georgesen has developed an expanded Practice Vision for the future.  This Practice Vision extends outward from the core practice into ever-widening spheres: 

*Partnerships and Shared Use with other Zen Centers

*Caring for the Body (yoga retreats, martial arts)

*Cultivating Artistic Expression

*Engagement with the Environment


*Rental Activities


Securing the future for the generations to come requires carrying out the mission and realizing the practice vision.  And to do this, an absolute necessity is a new facility.

Practitioner’s Hall & Dormitory

Hokyoji’s Guiding Teacher and its Board of Directors, have decided that the time for new facilities is now.  To that end, a capital campaign has been established to raise the necessary funds for a new Practitioners’ Hall and dormitory.

These new facilities will enable Hokyoji to share its treasure with a widening circle of people, giving Hokyoji the ability to host groups of around thirty persons.

Plans being developed for the new Practitioner’s Hall and dormitory include the following:

  • Kitchen
  • Dining Hall
  • Bathrooms & Showers
  • Dormitory Space
  • Office Space
  • Meeting Areas
  • Landscaping

These considerations determine the size, makeup, and cost of the building. In addition to the building itself, there are architectural fees, consultant fees, and contingency fees.  In reviewing the expense involved in the building of the new Practitioners Hall, the capital campaign has set a goal of $450,000-$550.000. 

However, the capital campaign is not merely about raising money.  The capital campaign is not even about building a Practitioners Hall.  Instead, the capital campaign is about preserving the future of Hokyoji–an oasis of joyful quiet and calm, where one can become refreshed.  Each individual who finds renewal at Hokyoji returns to their lives with a strengthened ability to cultivate more peaceful engagement with their own life and the lives others.

When the Practitioner’s Hall becomes a reality, it will preserve the values of both Hokyoji’s past and Hokyoji’s future.

How you can help

The need for your support is now. Your gifts and pledges are crucial as we move into this expanded vision by “Honoring Our Past and Building Our Future”.

We ask you to consider special pledges toward the capital campaign, over and above what you already donate to Hokyoji’s operations.   There are several ways to make your gift:

  • Long Term Pledges: Pledges payable over a period of three years are imperative to reaching our goal.  An initial investment of 10% is encouraged, with the balance to be paid in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments at the donor’s discretion.
  • Non-cash Gifts: You may want to consider gifts non-cash gifts, such as securities (stocks, bonds), real estate (homes, buildings, land) and personal property (autos, artwork, antiques, etc.).  A gift of stock, for example, allows you to avoid capital gains taxes and gives you a tax deduction for the value of your stock.  Please consult your accountant or personal financial advisor for the tax advantages of non-cash gifts.
  • Planned Giving: Gifts that can be arranged now but may be received by Hokyoji later, such as gifts through a person’s will, life insurance policies, and gifts in trust.  Please consult your accountant or financial advisor for tax advantages of deferred gifts.

Please consider offering your gift of generosity in support of this vital undertaking to preserve Hokyoji’s future. Donations can be set up at our secure online payment page.