Valley Zendo is a rural temple in the lineage of Dogen Zenji, Kodo Sawaki Roshi, and Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. The focus is on shikantaza as practiced by Uchiyama Roshi at Antaiji. The zendo offers monthly five-day sesshins and morning zazen on Sundays. Dharma study and memorial services also take place periodically.
The Zendo began in 1970 when Rev. Shojo Karako came from Antaiji to Northampton, Massachusetts at the request of Uchiyama Roshi and Ms. Dorothy Schalk. Soon a zen sitting group was formed in Northampton.
In 1974 Rev. Koshi Ichida arrived with Stephen Yenik after Rev. Karako returned to Antaiji. The next year the current zendo site was purchased with donated funds in the forest hills near the Vermont border. Rev. Ichida was a person of many talents. He built the original living quarters and zendo with the help of community members.
In 1987 Rev. Issho Fujita became the resident teacher at Valley Zendo; he also became the Buddhist chaplain at area colleges and contributed to the awareness of Soto zen in the Pioneer Valley. After Rev. Fujita returned to Japan, Rev. Eishin Ikeda came to the zendo and now lives and practices there.
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