Dharma Council

Dharma Council Vision Statement

The Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple is an American, Mahayana Buddhist Temple and spiritual community (Sangha). The Dharma Council, the body of four ordained clergy who support the Sangha by offering the teachings of the Buddha, come from a variety of Buddhist backgrounds including Korean Zen, Soto Zen, and Tibetan lineages. We teach what we know—and all of our teachings originate from the Mahayana vehicle of Buddhism, meaning we share the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings) for the benefit of all living beings.

As a Dharma Council, our collective goal is to not only share Buddhist teachings with the Sangha in a variety of forms and expressions, but also to serve the spiritual health and well-being of the Sangha. Because our Sangha consists primarily of working individuals and families, we work to offer practical approaches to the Buddha’s teachings in the form of Sunday Dharma Talks, Sangha School for children from September to May, basic and advanced Buddhism classes, retreats, and meditation offerings. Social gatherings are held after each Dharma Talk, as well as potluck and Sangha discussions throughout the year.

The Dharma Council operates as a shared leadership team, meaning our structure is horizontal in nature. In decision-making, we vote by consensus and we only move forward with the unanimous consent of all Dharma Council members. This assures that we are of one mind as we make decisions for the benefit of the Sangha.

The Dharma Council’s vision is to be of diligent service to our Sangha and the greater West Michigan community by offering Buddhist teachings that are relevant to today’s social challenges. We carry out our vision through an inclusive, welcoming approach to Buddhism that allows the Sangha to best integrate the Buddha’s teachings into their own lives through their own experience and practice.

The Dharma Council welcomes everyone to the Buddhist path.

Ven. Hung Su Stephen Sampson
Abbot Emeritus

Hung Su trained at the Van Hanh Temple in Lansing, MI in 2007 and Muddy Water Zen Center in Royal Oak, MI. 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
Nikki Blake, Treasurer
Kent Robbins, Director
Gail Heathcote, Director

View our temple Bylaws.

View our temple Ethical Guidelines.