Lineage

We trace our particular lineage back to the great troublemaker and Rinzai Zen master Hakuin (1686-1768), a peasant monk who single-handedly revitalized Zen and brought it alive with his insight, humor, and penetrating wisdom. He placed special emphasis on the practice of koans, seemingly paradoxical or impossible questions that could only be answered by deepening spiritual insight.

Soen Nakagawa Roshi (1907-1984) was the controversial and eccentric head abbot of the head Rinzai Temple in Japan, Ryūtaku-ji, whose student Eido Shimano Roshi founded Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji monastery in New York State.

Jun Po Kando Denis Kelly Roshi met Soen Roshi many times, both in Japan and in the United States. Kelly trained at Dai Bosatsu from 1985-1991, first becoming an ordained priest and then, in 1992, receiving inka and dharma transmission in the Rinzai lineage. In 1993 Jun Po resigned as vice-abbot [the full story as to why can be found in The Heart of Zen], and then spent a decade exploring psychology and shadow work. In the mid-2000’s, Jun Po created Mondo Zen, designed to bring emotional maturity and awareness into the mindfulness practices of classical Zen.

In 2011, Doshin M.J. Nelson was given inka and dharma transmission by Jun Po Roshi, becoming the 84th Patriarch in an uninterrupted line all the way to the Buddha himself. His love of Integral Theory and his passion for psychological shadow work led him to found Integral Zen.

Jun Po Kando Denis Kelly Roshi
Doshin Michael Nelson

Mission

The Mission of Integral Zen is to offer an evolutionary path to awakening and full human fulfillment, based on the teachings and practices of Rinzai Zen, and our root teachers Soen Roshi, Eido Roshi, Jun Po Roshi, and the collected works and wisdom of the integral philosopher Ken Wilber. This living community is non-dogmatic in its philosophy, and open to the evolution of its own processes and instructions.

It holds as true:

  • That we have in this moment all we need to attain full and complete awakening.
  • The understanding that most of us are inhibited in our realization by an incorrect view, created by false beliefs and assumptions and strengthened by psychological trauma and shadow.
  • The wisdom of facing all that life offers us, without exception, from a place of radical acceptance, humility, and compassion.
  • The wisdom held in the body and its necessity on the path.
  • The necessity of facing our False Selves on the path to seeing our Own True Face.
  • The fundamental goodness of every sentient being, without exception.
  • The power of ignorance to obscure our clear deep hearts and minds.
  • The partial nature of any view, belief, or position — especially our own.
  • The evolutionary forces that drive human understanding into an ever increasingly sophisticated understanding of ourselves and our universe.