The Soto Zen Buddhism North America Office was established in 1937 when Zenshuji Soto Mission in Los Angeles was approved as a branch of both head temples, Eiheiji and Sojiji. Following its establishment, the North America Office has performed a variety of activities including registration of temples and priests in North America, training sessions and workshops on rituals and ceremonies, sesshin’e (intensive day-and-night Zen meditation sessions), support and guidance for memorial events and special memorial services. It has also played a role in spreading Soto Zen Buddhism around the globe.
The North America Office receives the support of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center to hold conferences every year. Priests from temples located all over North America come together in one place to talk with each other face to face and discuss their individual circumstances and the problems they come up against. The conferences provide them with the opportunity to sit down together and study rituals and ceremonies, thereby deepening their own understanding. This allows them to take the teachings that have been adapted to local areas and ensure that they are developed according to the same standards and will bear fruit in the future.
It is our hope that this website will serve as a resource for many people, including current practitioners and workers, to help increase interest in and deepen understanding of Sotoshu teachings. We also pray that more and more priests will become interested in global propagation of the Buddhist teaching, establishing a far-reaching vision and engaging in dissemination activities together with lay people in order to cultivate the teachings of the One Buddha and Our Two Founders around the world and deepen mutual understanding. In order to make that lofty goal a reality, the Soto Zen Buddhism North America Office will continue to take steady steps toward the expansion of our activities.
Click on the national flags on the map, or on those at the left, to zoom to each country and see a list of its temples.