Introducing ZPI Affiliate: Zen Center of Denver

To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.

Join us here on the Hive to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI.

Introducing a new ZPI affiliate group:

What is your organization’s name?

Zen Center of Denver

What type of Affiliate would you like to be identified as in our ZPI HIVE?

Regional Affiliate

What is your mission?

As an affiliate made up of the Lotus In The Flame Sangha of the Zen Center of Denver, we are committed to manifesting the Three Tenets through acts of service. We meet regularly to support each other, share experiences, and consider new opportunities for action.

Where is your organization based?

Denver, Colorado.

How many regular members do you serve?


Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?

Founded in 1974 as the Denver Zen Center, our community first functioned as an affiliate of the Rochester Zen Center (of New York). The Denver Zen Center became the autonomous Zen Center of Denver in 1989, when Danan Henry received Dharma transmission from Philip Kapleau Roshi and was assigned as spiritual director. In September, 2010, Karin Ryuku Kempe and Peggy Metta Sheehan – Dharma heirs of Danan Roshi – received full transmission and jointly assumed spiritual directorship. Our sangha constructed a beautiful new temple near the University of Denver in the fall of 2019. To read more, click HERE.

Tell us about one exciting project, program, retreat, or other offerings you are currently working on?

While the pandemic has put a damper on some of our programs, four of us have conducted weekly services at the Federal Correctional Institute in Englewood, Colorado. We usually have around half a dozen institutionalized men who attend. As well, we are now again offering selected in-person events for vaccinated participants only. If you are interested in attending, please see our Getting Started page.

How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement? Best to include a specific story or anecdote to illustrate.

Three members of ZCD did a Street Retreat several years ago and found the practice of Way of Council and Three Tenets to be invaluable guidance in almost every encounter with the homeless people we met on the streets of downtown Denver. We hope to encourage others in our sangha to experience similar opportunities ZPI has to offer and to use these tools in all of our social engagement activities.

What is the most meaningful challenge your organization faces?

We are a growing sangha who opened a beautiful new temple near the University of Denver in 2019. Apart from the obvious continued difficulties surrounding the pandemic, promoting social engagement in a lay sangha whose members are dedicated yet often busy with their lives “in the marketplace” is perhaps the biggest challenge.

Your main website URL:

To visit Zen Center of Denver’s Facebook page, click HERE.

Main contact’s info:

Bill Kyoshin Hamaker,, 303-455-1500.

Bill Kyoshin Hamaker has practiced at the Zen Center of Denver studying with Danan Henry Roshi and Karin Ryuku Roshi for over thirty years. He has served as Head of Zendo and as a member of the Board of Directors and is currently the coordinator for the Mountain Staff training program. A retired public school music teacher, Bill is married with two grown children and a cat. He became an assistant teacher in 2020.

To learn more about ZCD teachers, click HERE.




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Introducing ZPI Affiliate: Zen Center of Denver

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