Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Dominik Hōzan Kulakowski receives Denkai transmission
On the night of 20 October, 2017, I gave the first step of Dharma transmission, denkai, to Dominik Hōzan Kulakowski, my beloved student of many years. He is my fourth Dharma heir, and the first to choose to be an independent teacher, unaligned with Boundless Way Zen. His title is Dharma Holder.
Dominik began practicing Zen in 1992 with several teachers including Patricia Dai-En Bennage, Roshi and John Daido Loori, Roshi. He then went on to study with Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi for over a decade at the Great Mountain Zen Center in Colorado. In 2007, Dominik moved to Massachusetts and began studying with me and other Boundless Way Zen teachers, devoting himself to the Way, and assisting in many projects at Boundless Way Temple and at Boundless Way Zen retreats. The other guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen and I eventually gave him the title "senior dharma teacher" which confers the permission to give talks and Zen interviews. As a senior dharma teacher, he regularly demonstrated his kindness and wisdom and his great love of the Way. As a Dharma Holder, he can now take on private students in the rite of shoken, and give the precepts ("jukai.") In the future, when he receives the second step of transmission, called denbo, he will be able to transmit the Dharma to his own students.
Dominik works as a professor of geography and environmental science at Clark University. He has authored numerous articles on ecology, especially the ecology of mountain forests. He researches, teaches, leads workshops, and works with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the United States and in Europe to promote ecological understanding, conservation, and resilience. He has led wilderness meditation retreats and has testified about environmental policy before the United States Congress. He lives in Worcester with his wife, Anne McCauley Kulakowski, their daughter, Zosia, and a bunch of bicycles.