The abbot is the spiritual leader of Integral Zen.
Doshin Hannya Michael Nelson Roshi is the founder and abbot of Integral Zen. Doshin started studying Zen in the late 60’s, but without the guidance of a good teacher, he was confused and discouraged by the teachings. In earnest he began studying other meditative practices and martial arts which were difficult but less obscure. It wasn’t until he met JunPo Kando Denis Kelly, Roshi that the disciplined practice and eloquent simplicity of Zen suddenly took root and began to penetrate the dense clouds of his stubborn conditioned mind, revealing the ordinary, openness of vast empty sky. Doshin was recognized as a Zen Master and received Inka from JunPo, Roshi in 2011 in Loveland, CO.
Doshin is a poet, troublemaker, and teacher – a Zen Master of no rank. He is the founder of Integral Zen. the Colorado branch of the Hollow Bones Zen Order and co-founder of the Poetry of Dying Project, which uses the mirror of death to point to the essence of life. Doshin worked directly with JunPo as he first released and then developed the Process of Mondo Zen. He has been fully trained and is adequately skilled in this incredibly transformative practice.
Roshis are spiritual leaders of a group of Zen students.
Daicho Tuan-chi Roshi is trained in the Zen, Chan, Dzogchen and Mahamudra Buddha-fantasies. His primary interest is in the examination of how the various traditions of Buddhism that have been transplanted to the West simultaneously understand and undermine themselves as faithful continuations of an authentic perennial philosophy. He is fascinated by the paradoxical relationship that a practitioner must develop toward a soteriological system that entraps him even as it liberates him, and considers Zen to be the pinnacle of “There’s Something To This But I Don’t Think I Can Handle It.”
Daicho was recognized as an Integral Zen Lineage Holder and received Inka from DoShin Roshi in 2019 in Glastonbury, England.
Zenho Chad Bennett (schedule a meeting) Zenho is an Integral Zen Priest who has been practicing meditation since 2003, spending several years in Thailand and India doing extended periods of Therevadan retreat. He returned to the USA for a master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University and his teaching style is practical and experiential, stressing the importance of healthy holistic character development all the way up and down the evolutionary spiral. He is currently in private practice as a psychotherapist and spiritual counselor and leads the Integral Zen Denver/Boulder community as a senior student of Doshin Roshi.
Kodo Michael Elser (schedule a meeting) Kodo was ordained as a Hollow Bones priest by Jun Po Roshi Denis Kelly in 2015. Kodo is helping to build the Integral Zen organization, is co-leading 3-day Integral Mondo Zen Retreats, and is building an awakening community of practice in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Kodo has played many roles in life: musician, teacher, corporate executive, small business owner, leader in the Mankind Project husband, father, friend.