At the end of February, 5 temples held Winter Kessei Ango ceremonies as shown below;
Zen River Netherland on the 21st and 22nd
Kokaiji France on 22nd and 23rd
La Gendronniere France on the 24th and 25th
Kanshoji France on the 24th and 25th
Fudenji Italy on the 27th and 28th
Two Jokeshi masters were invited (these are the official senior priest necessary to accompany the abbot at Kessei ceremonies). Rev. Seido Suzuki, the abbot of Toshoji in Okayama attended the ceremonies at Kokaiji, La Gendronniere and Fudenji. Rev. Hoitsu Suzuki, the abbot of Rinsoin in Shizuoka attended those of Zen River and Kanshoji.
Rev. Hoitsu Suzuki
Rev. Seido Suzuki
International Liaison Conference 2015 in Japan
The International Liaison Conference was held at the Sotoshu Shumucho (Soto Zen Buddhism Administrative Headquarters) in Tokyo Japan on Thursday 15th January. This is the annual conference for the staff involved with international affairs to discuss and report on their international missionary activities. In the presence of the representative of the board president and the board directors we reported on our activities of the past year and discussed the future of Sotoshu international missionary work. As a fruit of this discussion, we agreed to promote the Tempyozan Zendo project in the USA which is billed to be the first official monastery outside of Japan.
International Liaison Conference 2015
Office Closing 22th December - 12th January
Our office will close from 22th December to 12th January.
During the closure, please contact with our staff's Email for urgent matter.
Sokanbu annual seminar 2014
The Sokanbu annual seminar was held at La Gendronnière in France from Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th October.
Prof. Steven Heine was the guest lecturer. He is both the Professor of religious studies and history and director of Asian studies at Florida International University. He specialises in the history of Zen Buddhism and its translation from China to Japan, particularly focusing on the life and works of Dogen Zenji.
The lecture was entitled“Sōtō zen and Dōgen: new perspectives of study”, Prof. Steven Heine illustrated how the influences of Chinese perception, culture and Buddhist development were paramount in the evolution of Dogen’s understanding and practice.
Thirty seven association members attended and the total participation numbered almost a hundred.
As from 2014 seminars held by the Sokanbu outside of Japan are to be equated with the Japanese Genshoku Kenshūkai; the annual seminars or work shops for kyōshi priests, which are organised by regional Sōtō shū offices and held throughout Japan. It is a way of ensuring a certain continuous education.
Despite these new rules, not only kyoshi priests but, as always, anyone else interested in our seminars is welcome to participate.
Prof. Steven Heine
Lecture in progress
The statute changes have been completed
Statute changes were approved at an Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting held at la Gendronnière on the 17th and 18th of Oct 2014. These changes were effectuated in order to simplify the legal structure and management of our activities. At the same time new bylaws, which specify the function of the office in particular, were added.
According to the modified statutes, the Association is now composed of five members, all of whom must at the same time be members of the Board of Directors. The former members of the Association have now become members of the “Conference of Sōtō Zen European priests”, which is prescribed by the bylaw. The members of the conference have the same rights as before the statute change. Additionally, the annual membership fee was abolished.
Anyone who is a priest registered with the Dharma rank of Osho or above, can present a written application for membership of the conference in the same manner as applications for the previous association were administered.
“Sokanbu Seminar 2014” will be held Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th October 2014 at La Gendronniere, France. We will invite Professor Steven Heine, Professor of Religious Studies and History, Director of Asian Studies, at Florida International University. He is a specialist in the history of thought of Zen Buddhism and its translation from China to Japan, especially focused on the life and works of Dōgen Zenji. The title of the seminar is: “Sōtō zen and Dōgen: new perspectives of study”.
Professor Heine will give his talks in English, with a simultaneous translation being given in French. Seminar is open to everyone who is interested in the topic. These people should contact: Rev. Laure Hosetsu Scemama – email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for further information concerning seminar attendance and about the accommodation fee (provisionally 80 euro overall). Reservations will close on 12st October.
Our office will close from 13th to 20th in August. During the closure, please contact with our staff's Email for urgent matter.
Gasan Zenji 650th Preliminary memorial ceremonies
The preliminary memorial ceremony for Gasan Jōseki Zenji the second abbot of Daihonzan Sōjiji was held on the evening of 17th May and the morning of the 18th May 2014 at La Gendronnière France.
An official delegation from the head temple Sōjiji was welcomed for the event. In the evening a Special Decoction-offering service (Doku I ken Tō) was officiated by Rev. Jiso Forzani director of Sōtō Zen Buddhism Europe Office. This was followed by a lecture about Gasan Zenji presented by Rev.Maeda Dōkō the assistant director of the donation division, Daionki office at Daihonzan Sōjiji.
On the following morning the main ceremony, termed Making offerings, leaving ranks and burning incense (Kengu Shutsuban) was officiated by the Rev. Sunakoshi Ryūkan the director of Sōtō Zen Buddhism Administrative Headquarter publishing division.
The ceremonies concluded the preliminary memorial service which precedes the planned 650th anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji’s second abbot Gasan Jōseki Zenji, which will be held at Sōjiji during the 7th and 20th October 2015.
This was a complex ceremony requiring considerable preparation and sincere thanks are offered to all those involved.
The Officiant, Rev. Sunakoshi
Gasan Ceremony participants
Sokanbu General Assembly 2014
The General Assembly and Annual Conference of the Association “Centre Europeen du Boudhisme Soto Zen” for this year was held at La Gendronniere France on Fri 16th May 2014.
32 members were present. The meeting was held only in the morning of the 16th May. The Gasan Zenji preliminary memorial ceremonies were scheduled over the rest of the week-end.
Apart from the regular announcements necessary to maintain the formalities required of the assembly (fiscal report, activities recorded and so forth) the future structure and function of the association itself was discussed. Various proposals were presented.
A summary report of this meeting is prepared for the association members.
General assembly meeting
The server has been recovered
The transfer of our server on 3th(Sat) and 4th(Sun) May has been finished successfully. Now we can receive e-mails addressed to “sotozen.eu” and this website is available.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Disruption of the server during weekend 3-4th May
Due to a transfer of our server, on 3th(Sat) and 4th(Sun) May ,we will be unable to recieve e-mails addressed to “@sotozen.eu” and our website will also not be available. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Change in VAT rate in Japan
The VAT rate in Japan has been re-valued. The old rate of 5% has increased to 8%. This will effect the charge asked by Shumucho for a number of services. Presently there is only one commonly used service fee that will impact Europeans , which is that demanded for the materials required for transmission (Den Pō Yō Hin). Which increases from 16,000 yen to 17,280 yen. Thus 160 euros to 170 euros.
Sokanbu General Assembly 2014 and Gasan Joseki Zenji’s preliminary memorial service
The General Assembly and Annual Conference of the Association “Centre Europeen du Bouddhisme Soto Zen” for 2014 will be held at La Gendronniere in France Saturday 17th to Sunday 18 May. There will also be, on the same week-end and at La Gendronniere , memorial services to mark the 650th year since the passing of Gasan Zenji the second abbot of Daihonzan Sojiji. The rituals will be performed jointly with guests from Japan and European priests and nuns.