Shohaku Okumura is retiring!

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CedarTree
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:13 pm

Shohaku Okumura is retiring!

Post by CedarTree » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:06 pm

Many that follow Soto Zen or are involved in Soto Zen practice are aware of Shohaku Okumura the abbot of Sanshin Zen Community.

Shohaku Okumura is one of the most well known students of the famous zen master Kosho Uchiyama. When Kosho Uchiyama retired Shohaku Okumura left Antai-ji and was one of the first Zen masters in the west.

Shohaku Okumura is known as one of the primary Zazen and Dogen teachers in the West. His students have established many sitting groups, zen centers, and even a American version of the well known Antai-ji Buddhist Temple - Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery whos abbot Shoryu Bradley is one of Shohaku Okumura's main students, having received Dharma Transmission in 2010.

To be honest I am really saddened to hear about Shohaku Okumura retiring. This is a giant in Zen practice and a man widely respected in both Rinzai and Soto communities.

When I was a younger man in my early and mid 20's I desperately wanted to train at Sanshin Zen Community.

The new abbot is a woman named ​Hoko Karnegis. I was wondering if anyone knows of ​Hoko Karnegis or has run into her in the Soto Zen Community? I am sure if she has been chosen by Shohaku Okumura she will be a great successor.

Thankfully I have heard that Roshi will continue to publish and expand on Dogen. There has been in a sense a call for this.

All in all I guess we are turning a page but still kind of saddened to see it happen. Thankfully his students have done an excellent job in expanding authentic Zen practice in many spots and in a lineage dedicated to Zazen and truly knowing ones self.

crazy-man
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:22 pm

Re: Shohaku Okumura is retiring!

Post by crazy-man » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:26 pm

Hoko Karnegis has served as communications director at Hokyoji Zen Practice Community in southern Minnesota since October, 2013. Previously, she was the interim practice director at Milwaukee Zen Center, leading the center while it continued its work on clerical succession at the retirement of Tonen O’Connor.
Hoko took lay precepts in 1998 at Minnesota Zen Center, where she held a variety of practice and administrative roles. A few years later she became one of the organizers of an annual zazenkai at Kogetsu-an in Shiga-ken, Japan. In 2005 she was ordained as a novice by Shohaku Okumura, and she completed her shuso hossen that same year at Kogetsu-an. She received dharma transmission in September, 2012 and completed zuise at Eiheiji and Sojiji in November of that year.
She has spent time in several training temples in Japan, including Shogoji (Kumamoto) for the 2008 and 2011 Kokusai Angos and Toshoji Senmon Sodo (Okayama) for seven months of basic training. She is recognized by Sotoshu as nito kyoushi and as a shihanho-level teacher of baika, a type of Japanese Buddhist hymn created by Sotoshu in 1952.
Her secular career as a professional communicator was largely spent in the nonprofit and public sectors, where she did video production, multimedia, writing and editing, publication design, training and coaching for presenters, strategic planning, and many other types of communications projects. She has a B.A. in Speech Communication/Broadcast from the University of Minnesota, and in 2009 completed an interdisciplinary master’s degree there with a thesis on developing and leading the American sangha. Her practice includes serving as a resource to a variety of sanghas and practitioners for organization development, communications, and strategic planning. Until leaving the US for Toshoji, she served as one of Hokyoji Zen Practice Community’s original board members, drafting articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other organizing and governance documents and serving as its secretary. She has had several articles published in Tricycle and Buddhadharma magazines, and has contributed to a forthcoming book of teachings from Temple Ground Press.
http://sweepingzen.com/karnegis-hoko/
On behalf of the board, we are pleased to endorse both Okumura Roshi’s and the Abbot Succession Committee's selection of Hōkō Karnegis to assume the current position of vice abbot, and the future position of abbot of Sanshin Zen Community in June of 2023.

Projected Timeline
January 2016. The award announcement of the new vice abbot was made. Hōkō began making quarterly visits to Sanshin to become familiar with the sangha and its operations and gave a few dharma talks.
June 2016. Hōkō was installed as vice abbot.
August 2016 — June 20th, 2018. Hōkō moved to Bloomington to take up part time work at Sanshin and begin to facilitate a transition. She may be asked to lead sesshin once a year during this period and will participate in fundraising and sangha development.
June 20th, 2018 — June 20th, 2023. Hōkō takes on the position of vice abbot full time, acquires more responsibilities and leads all sesshin. Okumura Roshi will lead the genzo-e.
June 20th, 2023. Installation of new abbot, 20th anniversary of Sanshin Zen Community, and celebration of Okumura-roshi’s 75th birthday.
http://www.sanshinji.org/abbot-succession.html

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CedarTree
Posts: 489
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Re: Shohaku Okumura is retiring!

Post by CedarTree » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:39 am

crazy-man wrote:
Hoko Karnegis has served as communications director at Hokyoji Zen Practice Community in southern Minnesota since October, 2013. Previously, she was the interim practice director at Milwaukee Zen Center, leading the center while it continued its work on clerical succession at the retirement of Tonen O’Connor.
Hoko took lay precepts in 1998 at Minnesota Zen Center, where she held a variety of practice and administrative roles. A few years later she became one of the organizers of an annual zazenkai at Kogetsu-an in Shiga-ken, Japan. In 2005 she was ordained as a novice by Shohaku Okumura, and she completed her shuso hossen that same year at Kogetsu-an. She received dharma transmission in September, 2012 and completed zuise at Eiheiji and Sojiji in November of that year.
She has spent time in several training temples in Japan, including Shogoji (Kumamoto) for the 2008 and 2011 Kokusai Angos and Toshoji Senmon Sodo (Okayama) for seven months of basic training. She is recognized by Sotoshu as nito kyoushi and as a shihanho-level teacher of baika, a type of Japanese Buddhist hymn created by Sotoshu in 1952.
Her secular career as a professional communicator was largely spent in the nonprofit and public sectors, where she did video production, multimedia, writing and editing, publication design, training and coaching for presenters, strategic planning, and many other types of communications projects. She has a B.A. in Speech Communication/Broadcast from the University of Minnesota, and in 2009 completed an interdisciplinary master’s degree there with a thesis on developing and leading the American sangha. Her practice includes serving as a resource to a variety of sanghas and practitioners for organization development, communications, and strategic planning. Until leaving the US for Toshoji, she served as one of Hokyoji Zen Practice Community’s original board members, drafting articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other organizing and governance documents and serving as its secretary. She has had several articles published in Tricycle and Buddhadharma magazines, and has contributed to a forthcoming book of teachings from Temple Ground Press.
http://sweepingzen.com/karnegis-hoko/
On behalf of the board, we are pleased to endorse both Okumura Roshi’s and the Abbot Succession Committee's selection of Hōkō Karnegis to assume the current position of vice abbot, and the future position of abbot of Sanshin Zen Community in June of 2023.

Projected Timeline
January 2016. The award announcement of the new vice abbot was made. Hōkō began making quarterly visits to Sanshin to become familiar with the sangha and its operations and gave a few dharma talks.
June 2016. Hōkō was installed as vice abbot.
August 2016 — June 20th, 2018. Hōkō moved to Bloomington to take up part time work at Sanshin and begin to facilitate a transition. She may be asked to lead sesshin once a year during this period and will participate in fundraising and sangha development.
June 20th, 2018 — June 20th, 2023. Hōkō takes on the position of vice abbot full time, acquires more responsibilities and leads all sesshin. Okumura Roshi will lead the genzo-e.
June 20th, 2023. Installation of new abbot, 20th anniversary of Sanshin Zen Community, and celebration of Okumura-roshi’s 75th birthday.
http://www.sanshinji.org/abbot-succession.html
CM thanks for the info. Any chance you have also had any first hand experience and know a bit about this teacher?

markatex
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Shohaku Okumura is retiring!

Post by markatex » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:33 pm

Sorry to hear he's retiring. I don't know anything about his successor, but I'm sure she will do well. His student Shoryu Bradley was initially ordained by Barbara Kohn at Austin Zen Center; I met him there briefly when I was dabbling in Soto. I have a friend who moved to Arkansas a year or two ago to practice at Shoryu's monastery. It's a strong lineage, and I'm glad to see it doing well.

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