Missouri Zen Center grew out of a class taught by the present abbot, Rosan Yoshida, at nearby Washington University. By 1979, we had incorporated as a non-profit, borrowing the organizational structure of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, and enjoying the support of Katagiri Roshi. In 1991, we settled into the home once occupied by the present abbot, where we remain to this day.
Our residential setting provides a welcoming, family atmosphere with beautiful grounds, pond, and lush gardens that allow for the kind of intimacy with nature that has long been revered in Zen practice. In addition to regular daily zazen, our comprehensive schedule includes a beginners’ class, Dharma study group, family sitting, Sunday service, and monthly sesshins.
Missouri Zen Center is an integral part of the community at large. We welcome many students and visitors from other spiritual traditions. As a member of the Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis, we assist in organizing events such as Vesak Day, Mindfulness Day, Change Your Mind Day, lectures, etc. We also participate in interfaith gatherings and events such as the Japanese Festival – which provides a wonderful opportunity for cooperation and collaboration.
Our objective is the realization of unconditioned peace (nirvana) and unsurpassed awakening (anuttara sambodhi) with all, and for all. For this purpose, our center promotes three pillars of practice: The Awakened Way, Global Ethic, and Voluntary Simplicity. Zen-gen-ji is the Japanese name of our center. Zen stands for meditation (禅), but it also represents good (善) and all (全) Gen refers to source (源), but it can also stand for profound (玄) and original (元) Ji means temple. Thus, Missouri Zen Center is a temple dedicated to the profound original source through Zen, good for all.
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