Bukkai Haku Ted Hall


Who am I? The best poetic expression of the closest that can be described by words is the following excerpt from one of my favorite poems by the Sufi poet Master Rumi:

...I do not exist, am not an
entity in this world or the next…
My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
…only this breath breathing human being.

What I do for work is complicated and multifaceted, yet is extremely rewarding and in alignment with the Noble Eight Fold Path component of Samma-Ajiva or proper/right livelihood. I am a Commander (O-5) in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) assigned to the Indian Health Service serving a Native American Tribe in central Wisconsin. I am a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) and a board certified psychiatric pharmacist (BCPP) with diagnostic and prescriptive authority for mental health and substance use disorders. My main clinical practice is helping those suffering with addiction to find their path of health and happiness.

What I do outside of work is come home daily to my loving family, Erika and Lee. Devil’s Lake State Park is one of our favorite places on earth, where we spend a lot of time during most of the year kayaking, hiking, or simply sitting on the shoreline watching everything in this transcendent and wondrous place. Simply being present with family in any moment is all that there is…nothing more, nothing less…exquisitely perfect.

My journey to and into the Hollow Bones Rinzai tradition began in Madison, Wisconsin, when the Twining Vines Sangha manifested. After being a regular student for almost 2 years, I decided to take the deep dive and attend my first 8-day silent Sesshin at Dai Bosatsu Monastery in the Catskill Mountains of New York in June 2014. I was home…finally! Jun Po conferred the Dhyana names Buk Kai (Buddha Ocean) during Jukai ceremony in September 2014 and Haku (Empty) during priest ordination in December 2015. Jun Po explained to me that the healing waters of Buddha Ocean transcend beyond the medications dispensed… it is the transmission of Compassion, Wisdom, and Dharma Teachings.