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Reishin Dai Nei Denise Leong


Reishin Dai Nei Denise Leong has been in the Hollow Bones Zen sangha since 2005, taking jukai vows in 2007, and ordaining as a priest 2010. She currently serves as one of four teachers at the Zen River Sangha in Appleton, Wisconsin. Since 2015, she has also served as Inji to Jun Po Roshi.

Reishin spent forty-two years in education as a teacher in middle school, high school, college, and finally as the IT director for a public school system. In her retirement, Reishin has been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a chaplain for a local hospital since 2018.

After twenty years of doing volunteer work in hospice, Reishin recognized the importance and value of death awareness. She has embarked on a new journey of sharing death awareness through the HBZ course “Zen and Facing Sickness, Old Age, and Death,” as well as hosting Death Cafes online. She has a certificate as an End-of-Life Doula through the University of Vermont School of Medicine and as a Grief Support Specialist through the University of Wisconsin.

She lives a quiet life in rural Wisconsin with her husband where each day she remembers the koan her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother repeatedly gave to her:  “What time is it?”