On April 14, 1942, Denis Kelly began an extraordinary life, full of numerous chapters that many people would consider a complete and full life on their own. Jun Po began his Buddhist practice at the San Francisco Zen Center in the early 1970’s, influenced by Shunryu Suzuki and Chogyam Trungpa Pinpoche. His Buddhist practice was accelerated by a powerful yogic practice and lineage developed with BKS Iyengar and Patabi Jois. He traveled extensively and became a student of Eido Shimano. He received transmission as a Zen Master from Shimano in 1992 and served as both Vice Abbot and head monk at Dai Bosatsu from 1987 through 1993.
Continuing the legacy that each of our lineage forefathers held, Jun Po sought to move beyond the monastic practice of Zen in order to truly reach those who suffered out in the world, as a true bodhisattva. He established the Hollow Bones Order and created the Mondo Zen ego transformation practice in order to awaken followers to their true nature, and equip them with the tools necessary to transform reactive emotions with wisdom and compassion. A modern approach to living Buddhism every day and echoing the sentiments held by his teacher’s teacher, Soen Nakagawa: “If you practice Zazen, it must be true practice.” For Jun Po, and for each of us within the Hollow Bones Order today, our practice is a living practice. We do not look away.
The roots of this practice continue to bear fruit, as we grow an ever-evolving sangha under the leadership of our Abbot, Taiso Hannya Byran Bartow, Roshi, Umi No Nami Dan Rotnem, Hollow Bones Executive Director, and each of our roshis and priests. Each of us plays a crucial part in the story of Buddhism in America that continues to unfold, through each of our bodhisattva hearts.
“In any event, in any moment, and in any place,
none can be other than the marvelous revelation of
the interplay of this glorious light.”
–Awakened One’s Vow
We host a free silent retreat every April in memory of Jun Po Roshi.