The office will be closed from December 23rd until the 11th January but we will check and answer e-mails where necessary.
Replacement of Sokan
Rev.Sekiguchi Dojun returned to Japan at the end of September 2015 having resigned from his post as Sokan due to health concerns.
He will be replaced by Rev. Sasaki Yushō who comes to Europe in mid January of 2016.
The annual Sokanbu seminar was held at La Gendronnière between the 13th and 15th November 2015.
The theme for this year was “Dogen and the Lotus Sutra” and it was presented by Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton.
Participants numbered around 150 and Rev Taigen Dan Leighton’s seminar was clearly much appreciated. His own long experience and engagement with Buddhism gave depth and vitality to the lectures.
(The night of the 13th will also be remembered for the tragic events in Paris).
July-September 2015 Kessei ceremonies in Europe
In July, August and September 4 temples held Kessei-ango ceremonies as shown below;
Ryumonji France on the 18th and 19th July.
Kosetsuji Switzerland on the 25th and 26th July.
La Gendronnière France on the 8th Aug.
Seikyuji Spain held a Shinsanshiki and Kessei on the 6th Sept.
These were all overseen by Rev. Sekiguchi Dojun in his capacities as Jokeshi and Sokan.
This year’s seminar will be held at La Gendronniere between the 13th and 15th of November.
The theme will be “The Lotus Sutra and Dogen”. It will be presented by the author, scholar and translator Taigen Dan Leighton who is a Soto Zen priest in Rev. Shunryu Suzuki's lineage. He teaches online at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, part of the Berkeley Graduate Theological Union and is the teacher at the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate centre in Chicago.
Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Gasan Joseki Zenji
Memorial ceremonies to commemorate the 650th anniversary of Gassan Joseki Zenji will be held at Sojiji in Japan from the 7th until 20th Oct 2015. On the 21st there will be an international gathering at Sojiji and the 22nd a ceremony officiated by priests associated with foreign missions. Rev. Pierre Crepon Dokan will be representing the European foreign mission.
There is also a Sotoshu Pilgrimage organised from the 21st through 25th Oct where visits are planned to Sojiji, Sojiji Soin, Daijoji and Eiheiji.
Conference in North America and Tenpyozan Zendo
Sekiguchi Sokan and Rev. Terumoto visited the States from 11th to 15th June to attend the Conference of Soto Zen priests in North America and the inauguration of the initial construction (Jōtō-shiki) of the Sodo for the Tenpyozan project in California. It is billed to be the first “Senmon-sodo” (Officially registered Soto monastery) outside of Japan.
The Conference of Soto Zen priests in North America was held at Sokoji temple in San Fransisco on the 12th June. The main point of discussion was the Tenpyozan project and there was a united will to see the project through.
The construction ceremony of Tepyozan Zendo was held on the 13th June. The site is located in Lower Lake, 3 and half hours by car from San Francisco. The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Donin Minamizawa from Eiheiji and attended by many monks, nuns, and lay people. The ritual was performed under the imposing frame of the building which has yet to be graced with a roof or walls.
Construction is to start with the Sodo and will be completed with that of the temple. In respect of materials and lay out. It will follow a thoroughly "orthodox" Japanese style of Soto Zen monastery.
Rev. Donin Minamizawa
2015 Annual Conference
The Annual conference was held between the May 15th and 17th at La Gendronniere.
It was overseen by Rev. Kenji Nakamura who is the present Director of education and dissemination of Shumucho and by Rev. Risai Furutani who is the present head of the international section of Shumucho, who both came from Japan for the conference. Rev. Dojun Sekiguchi, who is the new European Sokan, was also present.
In total 31 European conference members attended.
The theme of the conference was: "A study system for European Soto Zen priests".
Before the conference members had been divided into 8 sub-groups and asked to reflect on possible methods of study that could be used to form a standard of education of Soto Zen priests.
The results of these reflections were then presented in the form of synopses. Rev. Nakamura responded to these presentations and a lively exchange developed. However no decisive initiative was agreed upon and the discussion largely evolved into a larger consideration about the possibilities of a European Sodo and the presence and formation of Shike teachers. A detailed text of the narrative will be made available on this site including both Rev. Nakamura greetings and a presentation by Rev. Sekiguchi.
A number of other points were raised. You will be able to read more detailed postings about these under their respective headings:
* A Jukai ceremony will be held At La Gendronniere between the 8th and 12th June 2016.
* Events to mark the 50th anniversary of Soto Zen in Europe will be held in 2017.
* The price of Denpo materials has increased. It is now: 200 euros.
(With the handling fee of 20 euros. The total will be: 220 euros).
Exhibition Zen Painting by Japanese Zen monk, Daiun Dojin (Awaya Masamitsu)
"Zenga" is a expression of the Zen spirit. You can enjoy receiving his messages from the paintings of Bodhi Dharma. The viewers will embrace the Zen spirit through the paintings.
Deep Zen spirit in Chinese ink.
At la galerie Hors-champs From 2 to 9 June 2015
Vernissage Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 18h to 21h
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11h to 19h and Sunday from 14h to 19h (closed on Monday)
13, rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris
Tel. 09 53 48 14 04 - Saint-Sébastien Froissart metro
Replacement of Sokan
From 1st April 2015 the newly appointed director or Sokan of the European Office, Rev Sekiguchi Dojun assumed his responsibilities. He replaces Rev. Forzani Jiso who has been the director since Nov. 2009. Rev Sekiguchi will thus be the fifth European Sokan. Thanks are offered to Rev Forzani for his leadership and a welcome to Rev Sekiguchi as he adapts to the vagaries of European climate and culture.
Born 1945 in Tokyo, Japan. He practiced in Japan as resident monk at Antaiji (Kyoto pref.) and Daihonzan Eiheiji. He has been engaged in monastic education for a long time, and has been involved in several monasteries in Japan as a teacher and lecturer. Namely at Daihonzan Sojiji Soin, Daijoji, Kasuisai and Myokoji. He was appointed as director on the 1st April 2015.