Kojin-an” means “good peoplegathering place.”We practice Shikantaza (just sitting.) Kojin-an is, therefore, a quiet place to sit and find yourself, in community with others.
Our practice is dedicated to supporting and encouraging lay people - friends and neighbors - to realize the true nature of human dignity, compassion and purpose. From this special place, we see the importance of cultivating love among ourselves, and among all human beings and we learn to apply this wisdom to improving our lives and our community.
Kojin-an does not advertise, nor promoteitself in any way. As such, our sangha has grown in interesting and wonderful ways.
In early 1982, the owners of Yoshi's Japanese Restaurant, Kazuo Kajimura, Hiroyuki Hori and Yoshi Akiba, created a Zendo and Japanese tea room in the attic of their private home in Oakland.
Kojin-an was formally dedicated in a ceremony conducted by Rev. Gengo Akiba, then a guest teacher at the San Francisco Zen Center, and by Rev. Ekai Korematsu of Berkeley. The small, four-mat Zendo held ten people and was gradually filled with family, friends and neighbors who joined the founders for meditation and tea ceremonies.
Upon Rev. Korematsu's return to Japan in 1986, Rev. Akiba, now a Soto Zen missionary to North America, became our resident priest. Daily meditation practice was soon established and Rev. Akiba began the process of building broad support for Kojin-an among Japanese/American zen practitioners and Japanese Soto Zen temples.
In 1990, Kojin-an moved to its present location in the Rockridge area of Oakland, California. The founders live in a beautiful Japanese style home, on a graceful half acre of Japanese landscaped gardens, with a Koi pond and waterfall, nestled under the boughs of a magnificent California Oak tree.
At first, meditation took place in the residence living room, but in 1994 construction was competed of a traditional 18 mat Japanese Zendo. Rev. Akiba was installed as the first abbot in a Shinsanshiki ceremony and Kojin-an became an official Soto Zen Temple in North America. Rev. Akiba's master, Chido Shoichi Daiosho and Eiheiji's abbot, Sengai Ekiho Daiosho and late abbot Zuigaku Rempo Daiosho, were asked to be the official founders of Kojin-an Zendo.
During the building of the Zendo and landscaping of the garden, curious neighbors began to peer over the temple gate. Many rang the bell, some asked questions and a few wondered if they could join us for meditation. All were welcomed. Our sangha has now grown to 50 people.
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