Hollow Bones Zen owes a debt of gratitude to all of our teachers and leaders who dedicated their time to refining the teachings and programs that support our sangha today.

Here, we remember the friends and mentors who have passed away.

Do you know someone in the sangha who should be listed here? Contact us!


Junpo Denis Kelly Roshi

Junpo Denis Kelly, received his Zen Masters recognition in 1992. He was Vice Abbot and head monk as well as resident yoga teacher at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kong Ji in the Catskill Mountains in New York state from 1987 through 1993. His Inka Zen lineage was in the Rinzai tradition, through Eido Shimano Roshi of the The Zen Studies Society. His yoga lineage was that of BKS Iyengar and Patabi Jois. Junpo had been practicing, studying and teaching Zen and Yoga for over twenty-five years at the time of his passing in 2021.

Carry your inquiry ceaselessly, endlessly.
Your life is your practice.

Vimala Muni John Nemick Roshi

Vimala’s life was dedicated to supporting others through compassion, kindness and his commitment to Buddhist principles. He began his Zen practice in 1973, and studied at the Minnesota Zen Center in 1975. He then worked and studied for years with Abbot Junpo Denis Kelly Roshi, his good friend and teacher, and helped found the Green Bay Zen Center in 1995. John took his vows in 1998 and was ordained as a Priest in the Hollow Bones Rinzai Order in 2003. He received his Senior Teacher designation in 2012. Vimala led Zen meditation at the Green Bay center twice a week and assisted others in their practice. He regularly contributed to the Green Bay Press Gazette Religion page and taught courses in Buddhism throughout Green Bay. He passed away on July 3, 2021.


Daju Suzanne Friedman

Daju was our beloved priest and qigong shifu from 2010-14. After discovering Zen at the Nagaoka Zen Juku, a Rinzai Zen monastery in Japan, she went on to become a doctor and professor of Chinese medicine, a scholar of Daoism, and a qigong master.

She remarkably survived cancer twice and in 2010, stumbled into a Hollow Bones sesshin to celebrate. It was love at first sight for all. Daju attended numerous Hollow Bones sesshins where she led the sangha in the Eight Brocades. She created the Robe & Bowl sangha and taught Daoist qigong and spirituality at two Chinese medicine schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Daju was the editor of The Junpo Roku: The Dharma & Recorded Sayings of Junpo Denis Kelly. During the last months of her life, she wrote Zen Cancer Wisdom: Tips for Making Each Day Better, sharing inspiration, practice tips, and humor as she faced cancer for a third time.

Daju Suzanne Friedman passed away on March 3, 2014, at the age of 45.

Manju Usra Bill Frackelton

Manju began Rinzai Zen Buddhist practice in 1993. He took lay practitioner vows with Jun Po Kando Kelly in 1998 and was ordained as a lay priest in the Hollow Bones Order in 2003. He was a father, husband, military veteran, retired social worker, and retired prison chaplain. In addition to the Zen River Sangha, Hollow Bones, and Clear Heart Mindfulness practice communities, he was active with a local group supporting formerly incarcerated persons in their successful return to the community.

Hollow Bones Zen relies on volunteers and donations to sustain its programs and connections with sangha. You can continue the work of our past teachers by contributing your time, effort, or money.