Soto Zen

Name of the School (Shumei)Sotoshu – The Soto Zen School

Tradition (Dento) – The Soto Zen School transmits the true (Buddhist) Dharma from Shakyamuni Buddha through the Ancestors.
The Soto Zen School endeavors to transmit the true Buddha Dharma that has been handed down generation after generation through our line of Ancestors from the founder of the doctrine, Shakyamuni Buddha, to the present day.

The Establishment of the School in Japan (Nihon Kaishu) – The Soto Zen School recognizes two eminent Ancestors as our founders, Dogen and Keizan Zenji. The essence of the Soto Zen School was transmitted from China, eight hundred years ago, during the Kamakura period by Koso Dogen Zenji. The fourth Japanese ancestor of the school was Taiso Keizan Zenji who was instrumental in enhancing the teachings and expanding the school.” – Transcript from



Zazen – Zen-style meditation, sitting posture – on a cushion, stool or chair.

Kinhin – Zen-style meditation, walking slowly in synchrony with the breath.

Oryoki – Formal style of serving and eating meals practiced in Zen temples.

Samu – The practice of Zen in actions, the service as expression of compassion.

Zazenkai – A traditional Zen Retreat is a practice of introspection and deep observation of oneself. In a Zazenkai (One Day Retreat), we practice the Noble Silence – speaking only the minimum indispensable during the activities together. Throughout the day, we do various periods of sitting meditation (Zazen) and walking (Kinhin), services in full attention (Samu), formal meal (Oryoki) and religious services of reading Sutras. We also share Buddhist teachings for daily life (Dharma). A Zazenkai is an excellent opportunity to deepen our Practice as we engage in silence and concentration. For more fruitful participation, some previous experience in meditation (not necessarily Zen style) is advisable.

Fusatsu Ceremony (Atonement) – Fusatsu is the ceremony of regret in the Zen tradition. Regret brings us to great purity. This is the strength of repentance. It is also the commitment to transform, harmful karma into beneficial karma, to recognize fault, to correct one’s own mistakes, to use the antidotes of giving, compassion and wisdom against the poisons of greed, anger and ignorance.

Kuyô Ceremony – Ceremony of dedication of the merits of our practices and prayers for the benefit of people, animals, or other sentient beings, living or deceased, healthy, sick, or suffering. If you would like to dedicate the Ceremony to someone, just send their names to, informing if they are alive or deceased.