About Hokai

Hokai Diego Sobol started practice and study of Buddhism in 1985. After 10 years of exploring Buddhist thought and practicing martial arts, while broadly learning from sources Eastern and Western, mainstream and fringe, Hokai became a practitioner and eventually instructor in the Shingon esoteric tradition of Japanese Vajrayana, under private tutelage of Ajari Jomyo Tanaka, while founding the Mandala Society of Croatia in 1999. Continuing to explore and cultivate his own Buddhist practice, Hokai maintains an ongoing conversation with a number of teachers and senior practitioners. Starting from 2012, focused on mentoring individuals who wish to deepen their practice in the context of actual lives – those who pray learn to meditate, and those who meditate learn to pray. Areas of special interest: mystical principles and esoteric practices in daily life, sacred apprenticeship, and deep semiotics. Based in Rijeka, Croatia.

Here’s what others have kindly offered —

“For many years, Hokai has been the senior European student and a very active instructor for our teacher, the Acharya Jomyo Tanaka. Hokai radiates a magnetic personal energy, contagious good humor as well as possessing a well honed intellect. His understanding of the Shingon tradition, Buddhism in general and his explorations of contemporary thought gives him a unique perspective on current trends and challenges. Additionally, Hokai’s solid grounding in Shingon’s fundamental meditative disciplines makes him an invaluable resource for any student looking to explore this rare and complex esoteric tradition. Hokai is a real gem – not many spiritual friends possess the strength, knowledge and qualities he has in ample quantity. Check him out if you get the chance.”

— J. F. Kane, senior North American student and principal instructor for the Acharya, Jomyo Tanaka, mandalavermont.org

“Hokai Diego Sobol is an authentic scholar/practitioner – one who not only understands radical ancient Dharma, but who has practiced the way (for decades) and experienced illumination thereby. He’s also a well-read and insightful contributor to contemporary spiritual culture, where he brings a unique sensibility – at once radical, sardonic, penetrating, and passionately committed to the cultural influence of the radiant consciousness that transcends the fascinations of the mind.”

— Terry Patten, Integral teacher, thinker, leadership coach, and writer, co-author with philosopher Ken Wilber of “Integral Life Practice – A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening”

“Hokai combines exceptional breadth and depth; experience, understanding, and skill. Decades of practice are obvious in his teaching. His instructions are clear and profound. His extensive knowledge of multiple Buddhist traditions provides a wealth of explanations to draw on. He’s unusually able to compare Buddhist systems with each other, and also with modern Western approaches. He’s warm and funny, yet can be skeptical and challenging when appropriate. I like him a lot, and I think his unique approach has a great deal to offer students—and the future of Buddhism.”

— David Chapman, author of “Meaningness”

“Hokai possesses an extremely rare mix of talents and abilities, being a very broadly read scholar, brilliant intellectual, linguist and theoretician as well as an unusually talented and accomplished Vajrayana practitioner in the Shingon tradition. He is at once an established traditionalist and also a strong voice for modernization and reform, and, given his extraordinary skills and perspectives, is in the very small group of people in the world who are in a position to really bridge the gap between authentic ancient teachings and the paradigms and needs of people living today.”

— Daniel M. Ingram, author of “Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha”