Abbot & Guiding Teacher: Venerable Hoden
Venerable Hoden was ordained as a Samanera (monk) at Seonamsa Monastery in 2010 and as a Bhikkhu in 2016 in Seoul, Korea.
He currently acts as the Abbot for Dharma Gate Zen, teaching Western Zen (from Japanese and Korean Zen influences) along with Japanese sword arts (Homonji Iaido). He holds a fifth degree in Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu was previously a licensed instructor in Japan (Shihandai) and a former branch manager (Birmingham and Clarkston branches of USTRI). He received a pseudonym in the Tamiya Ryu Iaijustu Lineage from the head of the Genwakai organization who presented him with the name “Gento”.
Hoden graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Marygrove College in Detroit, and an Associates Degree in Buddhist Studies from Dong-Bang Seminary, South Korea. He is the author of “Walk: A contemporary guide to the eightfold path” and “Awake: A contemporary guide to you”
Dharma Teacher: Reverend KoSho
Reverend Kosho was ordained in the Korean Taego order and was reaffirmed as a dharma teacher under Hoden Sunim as a part of Dharma Gate Zen.
Kosho is a practicing Artist as well as a Secondary Public School Teacher. He received his BFA from College for Creative Studies in Painting and a Masters Degree in Education form Marygrove College. He is an exhibiting artist showing in the Metro Detroit Area, Ann Arbor, and Traverse City.
He leads Dharma Gate Zen North and resides in Saginaw with his wife Kelly, his two children, and their three dogs.
Instructor Homonji Iaido: Cindy Sifonis Sensei
Sifonis Sensei works as an instructor in our Homonji Iaido classes where she is currently ranked as Shodan (1st degree). She has practiced various “soft” and “hard” style martial arts over the last 20 years. In 2006, she began studying Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu, where she holds the rank of Yondan (4rd degree). She is currently an associate professor of cognitive psychology as well as the director of the new Bachelor of Liberal Studies program at Oakland University.
She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from Texas A&M University received further training in Cognitive Science at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dharma Teacher: Reverend Koji
Rev. Koji has been a massage therapist for the past 10 years. He was born and raised in Southwest Detroit and currently lives in Royal Oak with his wife, four girls and one son. He studied fine art at Wayne State, and studied various forms of martial arts for 15 years, including Filipino Martial Arts and Jeet Kune Do. As an avid animal lover, he has rescued everything from wild animals, newborn kittens, dogs to large reptiles.
Dharma Student: BoHeng (Aaron Cozadd)
BoHeng is an Executive Chef. He was born in Garden City, Michigan but grew up in Clarkston. He attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY. Graduated with a Bachelors in Culinary Arts and restaurant management. His path includes overcoming addiction through the implementation of Buddhist path as the core of a program to lead a fulfilling and sober life. He also is involved and is one of our leaders for the Refuge Recovery program at DGZ, Cross Fit and martial arts, including Aikido, Ryukyu Kempo and Homonji Iaido.
Dharma Student: GoKen (Dave Kuehnemund)
GoKen was born in Saginaw, Michigan where he currently lives and works. He began practicing zen in 2016 and took precepts the following year. In 2017 he started in the Dharma Worker program through DGZ and was formally accepted as a Dharma Student under Hoden Sunim as well as guidance with Reverend KoSho. He is currently splitting his time between Dharma Gate Zen’s Troy and Saginaw locations.