Daido Roshi was the founder of Zen Mountain Monastery and the Mountains and Rivers Order, and served as the guiding teacher for almost 30 years. A holder of the Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages, Daido Roshi drew on his background as a scientist, artist, naturalist, parent and Zen priest to establish a uniquely American Zen Buddhist training center. He was deeply inspired by by the photographer Minor White, with whom he studied for a time, as well as Soen Nakagawa Roshi, his first Zen teacher. But it was Taizan Maezumi Roshi, founder of the Zen Center of Los Angeles, who became Daido’s principal teacher and who had the greatest impact on his training and development as a teacher.
Daido Roshi authored numerous books, including The Eight Gates of Zen and The Zen of Creativity. (A full list of titles is available here.) He gave dharma transmission to Bonnie Myotai Treace, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, and Konrad Ryushin Marchaj.
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi is the Head of the Mountains and Rivers Order, abbot and resident teacher of Zen Mountain Monastery. Shugen entered full-time residential training in 1986 after studying mathematics and receiving a degree in classical music. He received dharma transmission from John Daido Loori, Roshi in 1997. His teachings on Zen, social justice and environmental stewardship have appeared in various Buddhist journals. His book of poetry, O, Beautiful End, a collection of Zen memorial poems, was published in 2012.
Shugen has given dharma transmission to Jody Hojin Kimmel, Ron Hogen Green, and Vanessa Zuisei Goddard.
Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei received the priestly transmission (the transmission of the Precepts) from Daido Roshi, who began the process in 2009, and from Shugen Roshi, who completed the transmission in 2012. In 2017, she received full dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi. She serves as the Training Director for the Mountains and Rivers Order and Abbot of the Zen Center of NYC-Fire Lotus Temple . Hojin Sensei began her artistic career early and has taught drawing, ceramics, and painting, opening people up to the wonders and mysteries of the creative process and continues to offer Art Practices as part of her teaching. She has been in full-time residential training at the Monastery since 1990 and now shares her time at the Brooklyn temple.
Ron Hogen Green is a husband, father, grandfather, sports-enthusiast, retired podiatrist, and a lay teacher in the Mountains and Rivers Order. Hogen Sensei formally began practicing Zen in 1978 with Philip Kapleau Roshi, shortly after graduating medical school and entering private practice. In time, Hogen and his wife, Cindy Eiho Green, helped run the Denver Zen Center, an affiliate of Kapleau Roshi’s Rochester Zen Center. He attended his first retreat at Zen Mountain Monastery in 1988, and not long after began studying with Daido Roshi. In 1993, Hogen completed his training in the Kapleau Lineage and was designated a senior student in the Mountains and Rivers Order. He and Eiho left Denver in 1995 and entered full time residency at ZMM. At the Monastery, Hogen served as Director of Operations for Dharma Communications for 10 years and, in 2000, ordained as a monastic.
In 2007, Hogen Sensei returned to lay life, spending time with family while continuing to play an active role in the MRO, its practice centers and affiliates. In 2016, he received dharma transmission from Shugen Roshi, becoming the first lay teacher in the Order. He served as co-director of the Zen Center of NYC for a number of years and currently divides his time between rural Pennsylvania and South Florida.
Danica Shoan Ankele is a Dharma Holder and Senior Monastic in the Mountains and Rivers Order. A native of New York City, she first came to the Monastery as a sophomore in college and has been in full time residential training since 2007. She became a senior student in 2009 and took full monastic ordination with Shugen Roshi in 2015. Shoan is the Monastery’s Creative Director and Training Coordinator. She also oversees our Tenkozan line of statues and naturally dyed fabrics, designed and produced on the Monastery grounds.
Bear Gokan Bonebakker first came to the Monastery in 1994, and has been in residence since 2007. He was ordained in 2014. Gokan is the Operations Director, helps coordinate the National Buddhist Prison Sangha, and works in the orchard.
Frank Kyosho Fallon, Senior Lay Student
Yukon Grody, Senior Monastic
Robert Rakusan Ricci, Senior Monastic
Suzanne Yusen Gilman, Monastic
Programs and Publications
Hokyu JL Aronson, Monastic
Currently on leave-of-absence
Jeffrey Kien Martin, Novice Monastic
Tenzo and technologist
Julia Jiryu Krupa, Postulant Monastic
Simon Sekku Harrison, Postulant Monastic
Monastery Store manager, Zen Kids coordinator