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.