Welcome to Sanshin Zen Community

Sanshin Zen Community is an international Buddhist sangha founded in 1996 by Shohaku Okumura, a Soto Zen priest and respected translator of the thirteenth-century Japanese Zen master, Eihei Dogen Zenji. Based at Sanshin-ji, in Bloomington, Indiana, Sanshin exists to provide intensive practice of zazen in the style of Kosho Uchiyama-roshi, informed by thorough study of Dogen's teachings and communal work. Sanshin offers opportunities for daily practice, weekly Dharma talks, monthly retreats, and a three-month ango (intensive practice period). Activities are open to all Buddhist practitioners, as well as anyone with a sincere interest in the practice of Zen.

News & Announcements

Next Dharma Study Group is March 11, 2015

Zen of Four Seasons: Dogen Zenji's Waka

Newly completed, self-produced collection of 14 of Dogen Zenji's waka based on the seasons,with translation and commentary by Shohaku Okumura Roshi, calligraphy by Kaz Tanahashi, photographs by Ai Takahashi. This beautiful book is printed on hand-made Nepalese Daphne paper; binding stitched around split bamboo splints; cover handmade dyed Daphne paper. $55.00 in USA; $70.00 most countries out of USA.

February 2015 Practice Events

No Dharma Study Group meetings in February.
Nirvana Day Sesshin - Friday Feb. 13 and Saturday Feb. 14
No registration required, no fees, no meals, come to as many or few zazen periods as you wish.
Schedule for Friday and Saturday:
4:10am zazen
5:00am Kinhin
5:10am zazen
6:00am break for breakfast
7:10am zazen
8:00am kinhin
8:10am zazen
9:00am kinhin
9:10am zazen
10:00am kinhin
10:10am zazen
11:00am kinhin
11:10am zazen
12:00pm break for lunch
1:10pm zazen
2:00pm kinhin
2:10pm zazen
3:00pm kinhin
3:10pm zazen
4:00pm kinhin
4:10pm zazen
5:00pm kinhin
5:10pm zazen
6:00pm break for supper
7:10pm zazen
8:00pm kinhin
8:10pm zazen
9:00pm End of Day

Nirvana Day Ceremony and Potluck Lunch - Sunday Feb. 15
Zazen 9:10am
Dharma Talk by Shohaku Okumura, Roshi, 10am
Potluck lunch follows talk, please RSVP with your food offering.

March 2015 Practice Events

March Sesshin Thursday 5 through Sunday 8.

For more information about any of our events or activities, please contact us at admin@sanshinji.org or call 812-339-2635.

2015 Practice Events Schedule:

January : Sesshin-- Thursday 8 - Sunday 11
February: Nirvana Day Sesshin--Friday and Saturday, 13th and 14th
15th Sunday--Ceremony and Potluck luncheon
March: Sesshin--Thursday 5th - Sunday 8th
April: One Day Beginner's Retreat--Saturday 4th
Sangha Work Day--Sunday 12th
May: Genzo-e Retreat--Wednesday 6th - Monday 11th
June: Sesshin--Wednesday 3rd - Monday 8th
July: Precepts Retreat--Wednesday 1st - Monday 6th
August: Genzo-e Retreat at GGF--16th - 23rd
September: Sesshin--Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th
Okumura Roshi to France and Italy--10th - 28th
October: One Day Retreat--Saturday 3rd
Sangha Work Day--Sunday 4th
Okumura Roshi to Stillpoint, PA: retreat--8th - 11th
November: Genzo-e Retreat--Wednesday 4th - Monday 9th
December: Rohatsu Sesshin--November 30th - December 8th

Practice Events in Minnesota:

Sesshin practice at Vairochana Farm, Faribault, MN
2014 schedule:

  • Sunday, August 17
  • Saturday, September 20
  • Saturday, October 18
  • (one day in November)
  • December 1-8, Rohatsu sesshin commemorating Buddha's enlightenment.

The one-day sits include the option of arriving the night before, or partial participation, but advance notice is absolutely required. Rohatsu begins the evening before.

Schedule will be Antaiji style - but probably 5 am - 9 pm. Depending on group size there may be modifications for practical matters such as cooking, goat care, and essential farm needs. Instruction for beginners can be scheduled on request.

Everything is by dana.

To learn about Vairochana Farm, look here: http://vairochanafarm.wordpress.com/

LEAF OF GRASS--monthly One Day Sittings in St. Paul, MN

Please contact Rev. Doan Brian Roessler for information; rsvp encouraged and appreciated.
651-785-4282 - roesslerbass@gmail.com

Antaiji-style sesshin February 6 - 8, 2015. The sesshin will begin with dinner and orientation at 6:00 on Friday the 6th and end with lunch at noon on February 8th.

It will be held at Clare's Well near St. Cloud, MN - http://www.fslf.org/clareswell We held a sesshin there this year in January and it was really nice. The place is beautiful and the Franciscan nuns who run it are wonderful. Cost is $120/person. Lodging, meals, bedding, towels are provided. Meals will be vegetarian - if you have other dietary restrictions let me know. The nuns also offer massage there. If anyone wants a massage before or after sesshin we can request that (not sure what the cost is).

Clare's Well is quite small - we have room for 7 people total to participate. If you're interested let me know ASAP so I can hold your place.

A little info for those unfamiliar with this style of sesshin: we sit forteen 50 minute periods of zazen each day, beginning at 4:10 am and ending at 9:00 pm. The sesshin is held in complete silence. There is no lecture, service, work period or any other kind of activity. If you have any questions about the details of the schedule or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.

About our Founder & Teacher

Shohaku Okumura, founder and guiding teacher of the Sanshin Zen Community, was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1948. In 1970, he was ordained by the late Kosho Uchiyama-roshi, one of the foremost Zen masters of the twentieth-century. Okumura-roshi received Dharma transmission from his teacher in 1975 and, shortly after, became one of the founding members of Pioneer Valley Zendo in Massachusetts. He returned to Japan in 1981 and began translating the works of Dogen, Uchiyama and other Soto masters from Japanese into English. In 1993, he moved back to the United States with his wife, Yuko, and their two children. He has previously served as teacher at the Kyoto Zen Center in Japan and at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, and was Director of the Soto Zen International Center in San Francisco for thirteen years. Today, he is recognized for his unique perspective on the life and teachings of Dogen Zenji derived from his experience as both practitioner and translator, and as a teacher in both Japanese and Western practice communities. He gives frequent lectures on the Shobogenzo and other foundational texts. His translations have been published in several books, including Dogen's Extensive Record (Wisdom Publications, 2004) and The Wholehearted Way (Tuttle Publishing, 1997), and his lectures have appeared in Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly, Dharma Eye, and Buddhism Now. He continues to lead sesshins (intensive meditation retreats) and genzo-e (Shobogenzo study) retreats at Sanshin-ji and at various other centers in the US and around the world.

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New to Sanshin?

Welcome, you are
invited to zazen
instruction on Sunday
at 9:00 am.
Next zazen instruction
is February 15, 2015
Please communicate with us
before Friday noon,
to register, and for information.

Watch Streaming Dharma Talks!

Dharma Study Group:
March 11, 2015
(No meetings in Feb.)
7:00 - 8:30 pm.
Everyone is welcome!

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