Venerable master of Zen. A roshi can be a man or a woman, a monk or a layperson. Although the approach has varied through the centuries, many years of training and some degree of “enlightenment” are certainly required before becoming a roshi. Some of this preparation is often spent teaching the dharma as a sensei. In most Zen traditions, an established master will elevate a teacher to the level of roshi through a process known as “dharma transmission.” This also establishes an important link: the new roshi is considered a dharma heir or dharma successor of the established roshi.