GRADUATE FACULTY

Ven. Jeonchan Prajna – Chancellor

Rev. Dr. Cheryl Barnes-Neff, PhD, MDiv, MA, RN

Professor Barnes-Neff holds a PhD in Biblical Studies with a distinction in Religious Studies from Northwestern Theological Seminary, a MA in Buddhist Doctrine from the Prajna Institute, a MDiv from Buddha Dharma University, and certificates in Religious Studies and Education, and World Religions from the Harvard Divinity School. She has been a Registered Nurse for over forty years, working in a variety of settings. She found her calling in the hospice field where she’s worked for over twenty years as a nurse, quality manager, and chaplain. She teaches classes for Clinical Pastoral Education programs on Buddhism, and the “Nones” – those with beliefs outside of mainstream religion.

A student of Thích Nhất Hạnh since the early 80’s, she was ordained as a lay minister by him in 2005 as part of the Order of Interbeing. She continues to practice at Chùa Báo n Buddhist Temple and Cultural Center in Orlando, FL, under the temple’s Abbess Thích Nữ Liễu Hà. She is the author of “Open Hearted: Essays on Buddhist Study and Practice,” “The Fundamentals of Compassion Centered C.A.R.E.,” and a number of articles in professional journals.

Cornelius Boots is an Award-winning composer and is in full-blooded collaboration with the deceptively simple, yet devilishly difficult shakuhachi flute of Zen Buddhism. He is also a specialist in Taimu, its baritone brother. The result is a rich and inspired collision of classic rock, blues, heavy metal, and Zen Buddhist nature hymns from monasteries. After a 30-year career of high-caliber jazz, classical, rock and experimental music activities, Boots has positioned himself at the crossroads of personal expression and divine revelation. “He’s not just an amazing musician, he’s like a mystic with a tube in his face.” –Maurizio Benazzo, co-founder, Science and Nonduality.

Ven. Dr. Geungsan Dharma, PsyD ordained in 1991 as a priest in Japanese Tendai Buddhism where he received extensive teachings on sutra and tantra and has been fortunate enough to be able to practice these teachings in everyday life. Geungsan Dharma began practicing with Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma in 2008. He runs a private psychology and consultation practice in Cincinnati, Ohio (www.psych-insights.com), and is core faculty in the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Union Institute & University. He is also Clinical/Research faculty at the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, and Volunteer Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences at the UC College of Medicine.

Ven. Taesan Dharma, MDiv, is a Zen Master and is the Founder, Abbot, and guiding teacher of the Original Mind Zen Sangha. Ven. Taesan is a Bodhisattva Monk and also teaches high school English. He practiced for several years in the Japanese Harada-Yasutani and Soto lineages before finding his home in the Five Mountain Zen Order. Taesan writes a Zen blog, Original Mind, and offers a free weekly Buddhist podcast. He has authored four books about Zen and meditation.

Ven. Dr. Cheongryang Dharma, PsyD, DMin, is a licensed psychologist in the state of Ohio. He attended Case Western Reserve University, receiving his Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Psychology. He received a master’s degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (M.A.) from Cleveland State University, and his doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

Ven. Myohye Do’an, MDiv, is the Abbot of Lotus Heart Zen in Oneida, NY. In 2002 he took five precepts at the Providence Zen Center, part of the Kwan Um School of Zen in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn. He practiced under the instruction of the late Myoji Seunim, JDPS, Abbot of the Jogyesa Zen Temple of New York in New York City. He assisted her with various temple related activities, such as teaching “Sunday” school to the temple youth, participating in Buddhist ceremonies, performing as Moktak leader and acting as temple office assistant. In 2003 he traveled to South Korea with Myoji Sunim visiting temples throughout Korea and attending the World is a Single Flower conference. One of the highlights of his trip was having the opportunity to sit with Zen Master Seung Sahn.

Ven. Dr. Douglas Cheolsoeng Gentile, MDiv, PhD, is an authorized Zen teacher, and is also a Distinguished Professor of psychology at Iowa State University. His primary scholarly work as a developmental psychologist has examined the positive and negative effects of media on children and adolescents. Some of his more recent research focuses on contemplative science, such as the effects of mindfulness and compassion training on happiness.

​He is a Fellow of both the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association, and was named one of the top 300 professors in the United States by the Princeton Review. His particular interest is in the intersection of Buddhist philosophy and Western psychological science.  He is the author of several books and audio books, including Finding the Freedom to Get Unstuck and be Happier (Penguin) and the bestselling audiobook Buddhism 101: How to Walk Easily over Rough Ground (Learn25).

Ven. Cheolsoeng is the guiding teacher of the Ames Mahasangha, in Ames, Iowa.

John Giduck, MDiv, MSS, JD, PhD

After a decades-long personal study of Buddhism, Taoism and other aspects of Eastern thought, John enrolled in BDU in late 2013. In January 2017, he earned the Certificate in Buddhist Studies and was given the name Wonmin Devadipa. Upon taking the Eight Precepts in May 2020 he was raised to Anagarika Oblate. Then in December 2021, he completed the Master of Divinity in Buddhist Ministry Degree and was given the name Wonmin Prajna. Since 2017, he has continued to study under Venerable Myohye Do’an. He has taught several courses for BDU.

In addition, he has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State and a law degree from the University of Denver. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Russian Studies from the University of Colorado, which included completion of the Russian Culture and Language Program at St. Petersburg State University in Russia. As well, John holds a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies from King’s College in London. He is the author of several books and numerous articles, and has been a professor of bachelor, master and doctoral programs for other universities for three decades.

John has traveled to more than 50 countries, which included Buddhist studies in India and Thailand, but
also visiting the remnants of the 6 th century holy cliffside statutes of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in
Afghanistan in 2006.

Ven. Dr. Jinsim Hyoenjin, MDiv, PhD,  is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and has lived in Guadalajara, Mexico since 2000. He is the Regional Abbot (Mexico) for Five Mountain Zen and the Abbot of Meditación Budista Zen in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was a student at the Prajna Institute for Buddhist Studies and initially trained with Myogak, Sabunim. Additionally, he received ordination of Rev. Master Meiten McGuire, M.O.B.C. in 2007 in the tradition of Soto Zen.

He holds a doctorate in East-West Psychology (comparative religions and transpersonal psychology) from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a focus on Eastern spirituality and meditation techniques involving over 40 years of ongoing investigative research. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Ven. Ryongwan Karuna, LCSW was initially ordained as a Sramanera at Kwan Um Sa in Danville, Illinois. He lives in Evansville, IN and is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville. He is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a licensed clinical addiction counselor (LCAC), a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and is recognized as a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) by NASW. His work is primarily with adults addressing mental health and addiction issues. Additionally, he works part-time at an outpatient therapy practice in Evansville called Within Sight.

Ven. Domun Prajna, MDiv began training with Ven. Wonji Dharma in early 2004 at the Ocean Eyes Zen Center in Long Beach. Ven. Domun writes the Zen Blog – Mind Makes Everything and has written one book:
Mind Makes Everything

Rev. Wonmin Prajñā, MA, moved between Taiwan and China as a teacher for 7 years. He was able to witness many types of Buddhism in action: from grandiose architectural wonders teaming with monks and tourists; to isolated hill-top temples with a single care-taker monk in old peasant clothing–indistinguishable from anyone else in the mountain top community. It was during this time that he began practicing at the Lotus Temple in Mianyang, Sichuan. He earned an MA in Religious Studies from Stanford University, focusing on Eastern religions, and later joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. He began further study at Buddha Dharma University and began serving as his ship’s Buddhist Lay leader over their first deployment. In 2014 he received vows as a Śrāmaṇera within FMZO and is working on formally becoming a Buddhist Navy Chaplain.

Rev. Jiguang Sattva (智光性) started his Buddhist journey as a teenager and remained a solitary practitioner for many years.

In 1995, he gratefully accepted the opportunity to take Five Layman Vows with Ven. Hung I at the Jade Buddha Temple in Houston, TX. In 2019, Andrew joined FMZO (the Five Mountains Zen Order), lead at the time by Most Ven. Wonji Dharma, enrolled in BDU (Buddha Dharma University), and started a personal practice under the guidance of Ven. Cheolsoeng. In 2022, he was ordained as a priest (Pujari) with the Ames Mahasangha, and took full monastic bhikṣu vows in 2023.  He was also granted Dharma Holder status by Ven. Cheolsoeng in 2023.

In silence of a hermitage
And the din of marketplace,
the no-sound of the bell with no form
calls all to liberation.

Rev. Scott See (Minh Tự) first became curious about Buddhism in 1983 in Ladakh, India where he met people living in primitive and challenging conditions. These Lakakhi’s smiles shone so bright that Scott wanted to learn more about this Buddhist culture.  Fast forward to 2015 when Scott approached Thay Kozen with an offer to barter website services for Buddhist teachings.  Scott was ordained as a Lay Minister in October, 2022.

His blog, https://nothingtoattain.com/   does not claim to offer any Dharma teachings.  It’s just a personal blog reflecting Scott’s journey on the Path.)

Rev. Shim’min began practicing with the Ames Mahasangha around 2006.  Taking the first Five Precepts was a big step for me in affirming the importance of this path in my life and my commitment to deepen my studies and practice in order to serve others. I became a Dharma Holder within the Ames Mahasangha and took full monastic bhikṣuṇī vows in 2023.