Rev. Seido Suzuki, the Abbot of Toshoji monastery in Oda-gun, Okayama, Japan visited Europe from 22nd Feb for 10 days. He was invited as Jokeshi, an advisor for the Abbot at the Kessei ceremonies at Zen River, Netherlands on Feb 23rd, Gyobutsuji, France on 26th, and Fudenji, Italy on March 2nd. This times his disciple, Rev. Shugetsu came together and performed Baika-ryu Eisanka Song for each ceremony.
First Kessei in Gyobutsuji
Honsoku Gyocha in Fudenji
Baika song by Rev. Shugetsu
International Liaison Conference 2013 in Japan
International Liaison Conference was held at Sotoshu Shumucho (Soto Zen Administrative Head Quarters) in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday 10th January. This is an annual conference to discuss about international missionary between practical staffs from 4 Soukanbu offices (Hawaii, North America, South America and Europe) and Soto Zen Buddhism International Center with International department of Shumucho. We reported our activities last year and discussed about the future of Sotoshu international missionary.
Staffs of Shumucho
Speach by Rev. Jiso
Sokanbu annual seminar 2012
Sokanbu annual seminar was held at La Gendronniere in France from Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st October. We invited as lecturer Professor Griffith Foulk from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, co-editor of Soto Zen Text Project. Following the theme “Sutras and Koan in the teaching of Dogen”, he introduced the concept of emptiness from “Heart Sutra”, Upaya (skilful means) from “Lotus Sutra” and Koan from “Shobogenzo Kankin (Sutra reading)” written by Dogen. Even if it was raining almost all the time during the two days seminar, nevertheless around 100 people participated attentively.
During a special conference time, Rev. Ikki Nambara, assistant director of Sotozen International Center, presented to Sokanbu association members Tenpyozan Project. This project, thought and drawn up by Rev Gengo Akiba, former director of North America Office, is planning to build in California a Soto Zen Temple following completely the Japanese traditional way.
Prof. Griffith Foulk
Rev. Ikki Nambara
Change of the lecturer of Sokanbu annual seminar 19-21 October
An important communication about Annual Seminar 2012 – La Gendronnière 19-21 October
Due to a sudden health problem professor Ishii Seijun, the expected lecturer to our seminar, is unable to travel and to participate at the event.
We urgently contacted professor Griffith Foulk, well known Buddhist academic, translator of Shobogenzo and Gyojikihan as co-editor of Soto Zen Text Project, who very kindly took into account our request and accepted our proposal to be the lecturer during our seminar.
The schedule remain the same, and the argument too: in accordance with his own specialization the main theme of the professor Foulk lessons will be: “Sutras and koan in the teaching of Dogen”.
Training Monastery Period (Shūritsu Senmon Sōdō) 2012
The Sōtōshū Training Monastery Period (Shūritsu Senmon Sōdō) for 2012 year has been established in Shōgoji (Kumamoto-ken, Japan) starting on 28th August. This training period reserved only to practitioners priest coming from outside Japan will last three months until 28th November. Fourteen trainee priests are taking part in the training period, eleven of them coming from European countries.
Shūritsu Senmon Sōdō 2012
Summer Kessei Ceremonies 2012 in Europe
Rev. Shohaku Okumura, founder and guiding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community in Bloomington City, USA visited Europe from 9th August for two weeks. He was invited as Jokeshi, an advisor for the Hodoshi at the Kessei ceremonies at La Gendronniere, Fance, Zen River, Netherlands and Fudenji, Italy. He is famous for his translation works of “Shobogenzo.” He held Teisho (Dharma talk) in this opportunity.
Sokanbu Seminar 2012
“Sokanbu Seminar 2012” will be held Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st October 2012 at La Gendronniere. We will invite Professor Seijun Ishii, President of Komazawa University who will lecture on studying Dogen Zenji’ texts such as “Shobogenzo” and “Eihei Koroku.” Seminar is open to everyone who is interested in the topic.
The General Assembly and Annual Conference of the Association “Centre Europeen du Bouddhisme Soto Zen” for this year was held at La Gendronniere in France Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th May. The guests were from Shotoshu Shumucho (Administrative Headquarters) in Japan: Rev. Ryubun Kamada, Director of Dissemination Division and Rev. Kenshu Matsuo, Chief of International Department.
Twenty-eight members of the association gathered from around Europe to discuss the future roadmap of European Soto Zen.