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Jimon Jizai Don Sorterup


For Jizai, the call to spiritual leadership has been in the making for many years. His beginnings as an acolyte in the Episcopal Church while still a teen revealed a deep reverence for the sacredness and intricacies of the liturgy. He found that the practice and teachings of his devout Christian upbringing did not support the inner peace he sought, and he left the church and seminary studies at the age of 30. He turned to the work of the Mankind Project, realizing the opportunity to mature on an emotional level within the mutually supportive container of the men’s circle.

Seeking a spiritual community with a shared philosophical view point and practice, Jizai met Kodo Mike Elser at an I-Group meeting, where Kodo shared a few of the Mondo koans. Later in the summer of 2016, Kodo facilitated the entire Mondo Zen process with Jizai, and he developed a regular mediation practice.

The first sesshin Jizai attended was the Mondo Zen Teacher Training Sesshin in October of 2016 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. With his heart fully open to the practice and teachings revealed there, he sat for Jukai the following year at DBZ, led by JunPo Roshi, receiving the dharma name ‘Jimon’, which means ‘compassionate listening.’ His deeper call to ministry reemerged as his practice continued to evolve.

An even deeper connection to HBZ was made during the pandemic, as Jizai utilized the newly created online offerings and chose to take his seat in the priest training program.

Now beginning his third year of priest training following ordination in June 2022, Jizai continues to focus on the historical and philosophical teachings of the dharma, facilitating Mondo Zen, mentoring Mondo Zen facilitators, and waking up and growing up through his zazen and emotional koan work. As a student with deep curiosity he finds the teachings to be a never ending challenge and enlightenment to this mind of his, the perfect balance of intellectual with an opening of the heart. As a teacher, he deeply appreciates the precious realization a participant experiences within their first moments of clear deep heart mind.

Founder of the ZendoME Sangha in Damariscotta, Maine, Jizai’s ministry continues to unfold within 3 interconnected components: A deepening personal practice, growing the ZendoME Sangha, and contributing to the Hollow Bones Sangha as one of its priests.

His passion for creating and holding sacred space is also offered to both community members and clients through weekly meditation class and professional coaching services. As the awakening of his Budd-consciousness evolves, the expansiveness of his transmission of the dharma defines the path forward.