Genzo-e Sesshin with Shohaku Okumura Roshi

Mako Voelkel

February 21, 2018 – February 25, 2018 all-day

Genzo-e Sesshin with Shohaku Okumura Roshi,
On Shobogenzo: Ikka No Myoju (One Bright Pearl)

Please note that this retreat is currently full, and you may be placed on a wait-list. 


Program Fees:

  • Full Sesshin: $300/members; $420 non-members
  • Class-only option: $180/members; $220 non-members  [Classes are twice daily, from 10-12 and 3-5]

About Genzo-e: Genzo-e is a meditation and study retreat designed to allow for a deep investigation of the teachings of Dogen Zenji, the 13th-century founder of Soto Zen. This 5-day retreat will be led by Rev. Shohaku Okumura, one of the world’s foremost teachers on Dogen’s practice and philosophy.

The text will be Shobogenzo: Ikka-no-Myoju (“One Bright Pearl”), and will be distributed to participants at the beginning of the retreat. Although the Shobogenzo is considered to be one of the most important Buddhist texts in Japan and has been translated into English several times, it is very difficult to understand without studying the text in its original language. The Genzo-e retreat is therefore a rare opportunity for in-depth study of Dogen with a teacher who has studied the Shobogenzo extensively and practiced with its insights for many years. Two 90-minute lectures are offered each day with some discussion. Breaks are offered to allow study and discussion of the teachings.

Rev. 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 20th 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.

Okumura Roshi 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 13 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.