Karin Ryuku Kempe has been practicing Zen since 1971, beginning at the Rochester Zen Center with Philip Kapleau Roshi and then with Toni Packer. After moving back to Colorado, she practiced with Shishin Wick Roshi, dharma heir of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, at the Great Mountain Zen Center, receiving jukai from him in 1997. Karin completed her koan training in 2005 with Danan Henry Roshi at the Zen Center of Denver, and served as an assistant teacher until receiving dharma transmission in 2010. Karin also completed koan training with Shishin Roshi and received inka from him in January 2019. She currently serves as co-spiritual director of the Zen Center of Denver along with Peggy Metta Sheehan.
Karin practiced as a physician over thirty years in Family Medicine; during the last phase of her career she did a master’s degree in Public Health and focused on preventive services and quality improvement. She also trained to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in 2005 and led programs for patients, staff and professional groups. She has now been retired from clinical work for over ten years, and enjoys abstract painting, her son, daughter and two granddaughters.