Dharma Council

Ven. Ai Su Kimberly Hillebrand
Sangha Life Abbot

Ai Su (she/her/hers) received the gifts of the Five Moral Precepts at the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple in 2016, followed by ordination as a Dharma Teacher and Teaching Monk. With training in both Zen and Dzogchen, Ai Su has experience teaching specifically within a Buddhist context, as well as working to build common spiritual ground within a diverse workplace. Ai Su’s foundational practice is metta, or loving-kindness, a practice that she has undertaken almost daily for the last twenty years.

As Sangha Life Abbot, Ai Su’s focus is on the culture and spiritual well-being of the Sangha. She facilitates the Sangha Care Circle, creating a weekly space comprised of part conversation and part meditation that is open to all to talk about topics relating to the times we're living in and is an opportunity to connect through our shared experiences.

Ai Su is a program manager with the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at GVSU and has earned degrees in biological sciences and cultural anthropology, with more than twenty years’ experience in community building, environmental justice work, refugee resettlement, and other types of non-profit service, including interfaith work.

Ven. Dr. Am Koe Beighley Su
Administrative Abbot

Am Koe first received Jukai in 2009 from the Myoshinji Temple in Monroe, WI in the Soto Zen tradition under Teacher Myoru Roshi. Then in 2012, Am Koe joined the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple, receiving precepts in 2012 and then ordaining as a Teaching Monk in 2017.

Am Koe receives requests from outside individuals and groups for visits, and is the point of contact for potential students desiring instruction and advancement. He also assists in overseeing the Buddhist-Based Recovery meetings

Additional Experience: BA: English/Psychology; MA: Human Relations & Organizational Development; PhD: Family Psychology; PhD: Business Management; U.S. Army Veteran; and a published author of a book on family systems and family-owned business endeavors.

Rev. Shuji Valdene Mintzmyer
Dharma Teacher and Class Administrator

Shuji Valdene Mintzmyer is an ordained Dharma Transmitted Soto Zen Buddhist Priest in the Katagiri Linage. She first began her Buddhist practice over 35 years ago and was ordained in 2011. She has trained at Shasta Abbey, Mt. Shasta, CA; Great Vow Zen Monastery, Clatskanie, OR; Ryumonji Monastery, Dorchester, Iowa; and at the Shogaku Priest Ongoing Training program, Fresno, CA. Especially meaningful is her part in interfaith and community outreach programs, including those in Omaha, NE; Des Moines, Iowa; and in Grand Rapids, MI.

Shuji will provide ongoing Dharma Talks and lead clssses at the Temple.

Additional Experience: Shuji holds a Bachelors in Fine Art and Economics, with a minor in Asian Studies; and a Masters in Business, with focus on Organizational Behavior and Statistical methods, both from University of Nebraska. A Master Tailor, Shuji is one of only a few Buddhist Priests to create traditional Soto Zen Buddhist Priest garments. Shuji has been an Entrepreneur most of her professional career. Presently, she is the sole proprietor of Zen Monk Wear, a business providing monastic priest garments to international clergy and lay practitioners. Shuji is the head teacher in the Soto Zen Buddhist group “Just Sit” in Grand Rapids, MI.

Rev. Yong Su Mark Hepper
Assistant Administrative Abbot

Yong Su joined the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple in 2012. He received the gift of the precepts in 2013. He also received the gift of the Bodhisattva Commitments in 2016. He was ordained as a Dharma Teacher in 2019.

As a Dharma Teacher he coordinates the schedules for open meditation, Dharma talks, and classes. He also assists in overseeing the Buddhist-Based Recovery meetings.

Additional experience: Completed a five-year course in Teacher Training in the Unity School of Christianity. He facilitated a weekly interfaith service for eight years. He also coordinated chaplaincy activities in The Friends Meeting in Grand Rapids. Prior to moving to Grand Rapids he was employed in several companies in Silicon Valley in various management positions. He is a Navy veteran.

Ven. Hung Su Stephen Sampson
Abbot Emeritus

Hung Su trained at the Van Hanh Temple in Lansing (2007) and Muddy Water Zen Center in Royal Oak. He was ordained as a Dharma Teacher and Teaching Monk at the Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple in 2015.

Hung Su retired from active clergy duties in the summer of 2019. He continues to facilitate the weekly Dharma and Sutra Discussion groups on Thursday mornings and also serves as the “temple gardener,” taking care of the bodhi tree and plants during the week.

Additional Experience: Trained with GVSU Physics professor and veteran meditation practitioner, Dr. Karen Gipson for 17 years. Former Brother Superior of the Los Angeles and Houston Texas Houses of the Catholic Missionary Brother of Charity.

Board of Directors

Jan Ensing, President/Secretary
Jacob Luker, Treasurer
Kent Robbins, Director