On Sunday, August 2nd, at the conclusion of our Interdependence Sesshin, Bear Gokan Bonebakker received shukke tokudo, or full monastic ordination, from Shugen Sensei in a moving ceremony attended by a zendo full of family and sangha. During the ceremony, Gokan received the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts and the five monastic life vows of simplicity, service, stability, selflessness and to accomplish the Buddha’s Way. Shugen Sensei also gave Gokan a monk’s bowl and kesa, and the ordination name Jisan, or “Loving the Mountain.”
Gokan first came to the Monastery in 1994 and completed several periods of residency over the last 17 years. He became a formal student of the Order in 1995, and in 2000 he received the Bodhisattva Precepts from Daido Roshi. In 2008, Gokan served as the chief disciple, thus becoming a senior student within the MRO. In December of 2011, Gokan became a postulant, and in September of 2013, he took novice vows with Shugen Sensei. Gokan currently works as the ZMM Office Manager and helps to oversee the National Buddhist Prison Sangha. He lives at the Monastery with his wife, Shoan, who is a novice monastic.