Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Zen Retreat with Shinzan Roshi

I've just received this email from Daizan about a retreat being run by Shinzan Roshi.

"We’re excited to let you know that our teacher Shinzan Roshi is visiting from Japan in May. He will be leading a sesshin 17th-22nd May 2011 at the beautiful Gaunts House (pictured) in Dorset. Places are limited and in demand, as you can imagine. The retreat will be suitable for beginners as well as experienced Zen practitioners. Shinzan Roshi will be teaching and sanzen (private interviews) will be available. The venue is top quality and the cost of the week is £395, concessions £345. Email zenways@london.com to book places.

Zen practice is designed to enable you to realise your true nature, who you really are. This realization gives you freedom in life and death, happiness and fearlessness. This retreat, is a rare opportunity to study with an authentic Japanese Zen Master from the rigorous Rinzai lineage. Shinzan Roshi has many years of experience of teaching westerners. Expect a powerful and transformative experience.

About Shinzan Roshi
Meeting Shinzan Miyamae Roshi is like meeting a Zen master from the golden age. Openly critical of the institutionalisation and routinisation of much of modern Zen and emphatic on the importance of genuine insight, he has charted an unorthodox course. Born in 1935 in Niigata, Japan, he graduated from Doshisha University with a degree in Economics. In his twenties he failed in three business ventures, experiencing great hardships. Contemplating suicide, he was by chance transformed upon reading a book on Zen. He was 31. He was ordained a Zen monk by Mitsui Daishin Roshi who sent him to train at Shogenji monastery with his own master, the formidable Kajiura Itsugai Roshi. Shogenji, known as the devil’s dojo, had the reputation of being the strictest training monastery in Japan. It was founded in the mountains of Gifu-ken on the spot where Zen ancestor Kanzan Egan (1277-1360) in his post-monastery training worked as a cow herder by day and sat zazen on a precipice by night. After completing his koan study, Shinzan Roshi took the unusual step of visiting every Zen Master in Japan seeking to test and deepen his insight. Later he restored Gyokuryuji, the mountain hermitage of the great Zen master Bankei. He has become known for teaching outcasts and foreigners and protesting against institutional abuses. He withdrew from the Myoshinji branch of the Rinzai Zen school over the system of excessive charges for funerals. He has taught in the US, Canada and Europe and has written two books in Japanese, one about true Buddhism and one about finding happiness."

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