Rev. Kalen McAllister was ordained by Rev. Shoken Winecoff in 2007 at Ryumonji Monastery near Decorah, Iowa. She is a long-time practitioner of Zen, and was active in the operation of the Missouri Zen Center for many years. In March, 2009 she received an award from the Women's Buddhist Council in Chicago for her work with prisoners in several eastern Missouri prisons. In 2004 she co-founded Inside Dharma, an organization dedicated to assisting prisoners in practical matters, as well as supporting their practice of meditation and Buddhism. Kalen received dharma transmission in March 2012 from her teacher, Shoken Winecoff, at Ryumonji Zen Monastery. In April 2012 she traveled to Japan to be formally recognized (Zuise) at the two major temples, Eiheiji and Sojiji, in ceremonies where her robe was officially exchanged to brown and she was recognized as a dharma teacher.
Will Holcomb (Genro) began his study of Zen Buddhism in 1995, and received lay ordination, also known as taking the precepts, in 2001. On March 29, 2015, Will received Lay Entrustment from Rev. Shoken Winecoff in a ceremony held at Shinzo Zen Meditation Center. Will actively supports the outreach efforts of Inside Dharma, and in 2010 introduced Saturday services at Shinzo, which always include 30 minutes of meditation, open discussions, and a vegetarian lunch. The Saturday sessions start at 11:00 am.
Tom Shindo Bradshaw was ordained as a Soto Zen priest by Inside Dharma founder and spiritual advisor, Rev. Kalen McAllister in 2016. Shindo received lay ordination from Rev. Kalen McAllister in 2012. He is on the Board of Inside Dharma, where he tends to the ever-changing newsletter list and is responsible for the distribution of backpacks for the homeless.
Rev. Shoken Winecoff is founding teacher and abbot of Ryumonji Zen Monastery. He is a Dharma Heir of the late Dainin Katagiri Roshi, founder of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. Shoken also received formal training at Zuioji Zen Monastery and Shogoji Zen Monastery in Japan for three years from 1989 to 1992. Since that time he has worked to establish a Soto Zen monastery in the Midwest. He is a frequent visitor to Shinzo Zen Meditation Center, and sangha members from St. Louis attend retreats and teachings at his monastery in Iowa.