Dear Sangha,

The Board of Directors wishes to keep you apprised of changes happening in the leadership of Hollow Bones Zen.

Effective August 31, Ekai Joel Kreisberg is stepping down as Executive Director. Umi Dan Rotnem will begin a transition to the role of Executive Director on August 8, and will assume the role fully on September 1. Ekai will continue to be available to support Umi in his new role through the month of September, and informally thereafter.

We wish to thank Ekai for his valuable contributions as our Executive Director, and are pleased that he will continue to be involved in our community as a priest in the Hollow Bones Order. Among his accomplishments in the leadership of Hollow Bones Zen are:

  • Supporting our Founding Abbot, Jun Po Roshi, in the leadership of Hollow Bones Zen and carrying forward the vision for Hollow Bones and Mondo Zen through Jun Po’s last years.

  • Leading the development and creation of a viable, robust online presence for Hollow Bones, able to serve our international sangha and allow us to successfully respond to Covid and other logistical challenges.

  • Focusing light on the importance of diversity and facilitating our official diversity statement as a principle upon which to base further attention and action.

  • Developing and organizing programs and creating a structured, consistent, and evaluated approach to these programs.

  • Working toward a more open and transparent approach for the Order and its administrative and financial functioning.

  • Reaching out to the historical and new Hollow Bones communities to support involvement and participation.

  • Stewarding Hollow Bones Zen through the succession of our Founding Abbot.

Please join us in gratitude for this service and in congratulating Ekai for these and many other accomplishments made with and for us as a Sangha and Zen Order.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated and able successor in Umi Dan Rotnem, whom most of you know through his service in our programs. Umi’s extensive involvement in our training and programs will facilitate the transition, and allow us to continue the contemporary approach to Zen that Jun Po envisioned, as we improve and grow as a Zen Order. We hope you will join us in welcoming and supporting Umi in his new role!

You are welcome to contact us with any concerns or questions.


taiso Byran Bartow Roshi •
Abbot, Hollow Bones Zen, Friends of Zen

Lloyd Fickett Roshi •
President Friends of Zen Board of Directors

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