Friday, November 17, 2017

Soto Zen in the USA Timeline (a work in progress)

Soto Zen in U.S. (left in those that mix soto with other sects as well).

Early history
  • 1913: Shoboji founded by Hosen Isobe. It started off as a temporary Betsuin in a building named Yakushi Hall built by the Reverend Ryogo Mitsunaga, who died before the completion of the building. The present temple on Nuuanu Avenue was completed and dedicated in 1921 under the efforts of the Reverend Zenkyo Komagata who was the resident minister of the time.
  • 1922: Zenshuji Soto Mission is established in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles, California. Zenshuji was founded by Reverend Hosen Isobe to serve the growing Japanese-American community of Los Angeles.
  • 1934: Sokoji, San Fransisco area, founded by Hosen Isobe.
  • 1938: Soyu Matsuoka comes to U.S. as the Assistant Abbot at Zenshuji.
  • 1949: Soyu Matsuoka establishes the Chicago Buddhist Temple (now the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago).


  • 1953: Philip Kapleau begins formal Zen training in Japan with Soen Nakagawa.
  • 1956: Taizan Maezumi arrives in Los Angeles to serve at Zenshuji Soto Mission.
  • 1959: Shunryu Suzuki arrives in San Francisco to lead Sokoji.
  • 1959: Robert Baker Aitken and Anne Hopkins Aitken found the Diamond Sangha in Honolulu, Hawaii.


  • 1961: Yamada Reirin Arrives at Zenshuji after Suzuki Daito passes away.
  • 1962: The San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) is incorporated, led by Shunryu Suzuki.
  • 1964: Sojun Mel Weitsman begins practice at the old Sokoji Temple in San Francisco with Suzuki-roshi.
  • 1965: Sumi Roshi arrives at Zenshuji.
  • 1965: Philip Kapleau finishes The Three Pillars of Zen and returns to United States with permission from Haku'un Yasutani to teach Zen to Westerners.
  • 1966: San Francisco Zen Center acquires Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.
  • 1966: Philip Kapleau establishes the Rochester Zen Center with the help of Chester Carlson (founder of Xerox), and Carlson's wife.
  • 1967: January 1; The Zen Center of Los Angeles is founded by Taizan Maezumi and his students.
  • 1967: Daikaku Kongo Richard Langlois (1935 – 1999) ordained by Soyu Matsuoka.
  • 1967: Kobun Chino Otogawa arrives in San Francisco to assist Shunryu Suzuki.
  • 1967: Sojun Mel Weitsman and Shunryu Suzuki co-found the Berkeley Zen Center.
  • 1969: Zenkei Blanche Hartman begins sitting in 1969 at the Berkeley Zen Center with Sojun Mel Weitsman and in San Francisco with Suzuki-Roshi.
  • 1969: Shunryu Suzuki gives Zentatsu Richard Baker Dharma transmission.
  • 1969: Sojun Mel Weitsman receives priest ordination from Suzuki-Roshi.


  • 1970: Edward Espe Brown publishes the Tassajara Bread Book
  • 1970: Shunryu Suzuki's book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is published by Weatherhill
  • 1970: Shunryu Suzuki ordains Tenshin Reb Anderson.
  • 1970: Shasta Abbey is established in Mount Shasta, California by Jiyu Kennett.
  • 1970: Santa Cruz Zen Center is founded by Kobun Chino Roshi.
  • 1971: Daikaku Kongo Richard Langlois received dharma transmission from Soyu Matsuoka. Served as abbot of the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago for 28 years from 1971 to 1999.
  • 1971: Edward Espe Brown ordained by Shunryu Suzuki as Jusan Kainei
  • 1971: May 2nd, James Ishmael Ford received Dharma transmission from Houn Jiyu Kennett.
  • 1971: Soyu Matsuoka estalishes Zen Center of Long Beach in Long Beach California.
  • 1971: Taihaku Priest is sent by Suzuki Roshi to Japan to study Buddhism.
    She practiced under Noiri Hakusan and Tanaka Shinkai.
  • 1971: Shunryu Suzuki dies.
  • 1971: Yamada Koun moves to Diamond Sangha in Hawaii to lead sesshin.
  • 1971: Kobun Chino Otogawa becomes abbot of Haiku Zen Center.
  • 1972: Green Gulch Farm opens in Muir Beach, CA as part of the San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1972: Dainin Katagiri founds the Minnesota Zen Center.
  • 1973: Jakusho Kwong founds the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.
  • 1974: Robert Baker Aitken receives teaching permission from Yamada Koun.
  • 1974: The Chicago Zen Center is founded by Philip Kapleau.
  • 1975: Taizan Maezumi founds the White Plum Asanga.
  • 1975: The Nebraska Zen Center is founded by Dainin Katagiri in Omaha, Nebraska, currently led by Rev. Nonin Chowaney.
  • 1976: Bodhin Kjolhede ordained...
  • 1976: Shohaku Okumura helps found Pioneer Valley Zendo in Charlemont, MA.
  • 1976: Tetsugen Bernard Glassman becomes Taizan Maezumi's first Dharma successor.
  • 1977: Kyogen Carlson receives Dharma transmission from Jiyu Kennett.
  • 1977?: The Atlanta Soto Zen Center is founded by Zenkai Michael Elliston.
  • 1977: Zenkei Blanche Hartman priest ordained by Zentatsu Baker-roshi.


  • 1980: Dennis Genpo Merzel receives shiho (permission to teach) from Taizan Maezumi.
  • 1980: Hartford Street Zen Center is established.
  • 1980: Zen Mountain Monastery in founded in Mount Tremper, New York by Taizan Maezumi and John Daido Loori.
  • 1982: Taizan Maezumi founds Yokoji Zen Mountain Center.
  • 1983: Jan Chozen Bays receives Dharma transmission from Taizan Maezumi.
  • 1983?: Charlotte Joko Beck receives Dharma transmission from Taizan Maezumi.
  • 1983: Zentatsu Richard Baker confers Dharma transmission to Tenshin Reb Anderson.
  • 1983: Taizan Maezumi is confronted about his sexual relationships with some students and enters alcoholism treatment.
  • 1983: Gengo Akiba dedicates Kojin-an in Oakland California.
  • 1984: Kanzeon-ji in Mount Washington California is Dedicated as a Zen Temple by Soyu Matsuoka and Zenko Ryugen Watanabe is installed as its Abbot.
  • 1984: Sojun Mel Weitsman receives dharma transmission from Suzuki-roshi's son, Hoitsu.
  • 1984: Zentatsu Richard Baker resigns as abbot of San Francisco Zen Center amidst controversy.
  • 1984: Katagiri Roshi, abbot of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, agrees to serve as interim abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1984: The Kanzeon Zen Center is founded by Dennis Genpo Merzel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • 1984: The New Orleans Zen Temple is founded by Robert Livingston in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1984: Sojun Mel Weitsman receives Dharma transmission from Hoitsu Suzuki, son of Shunryu Suzuki.
  • 1985: Hogaku Ken McGuire establishes a sitting group in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
  • 1985: Tenshin Reb Anderson succeeds Dainen Katagiri Roshi as abbot of San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1985: Robert Baker Aitken receives Dharma transmission from Yamada Koun.
  • 1985: Sojun Mel Weitsman is installed as abbot of Berkeley Zen Center.
  • 1986: Daido Loori received shiho (dharma transmission) from Taizan Maezumi.
  • 1986: Bodhin Kjolhede received dharma transmission.
  • 1986: Bodhin Kjolhede is installed as abbot of Rochester Zen Center as Philip Kapleau retires.
  • 1986: Sojun Mel Weitsman joins Tenshin Reb Anderson as co-abbot of San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1986: Toronto Zen Center is incorporated.
  • 1986: Village Zendo is established in New York in the apartment of Pat Enkyo O'Hara.
  • 1987: Maitri Hospice begins caring for AIDS patients at the Hartford Street Zen Center (the first Buddhist hospice of its kind in the United States)
  • 1987: Issho Fujita becomes abbot of Pioneer Valley Zendo in Charlemont, Massachusetts.
  • 1988: Taihaku Priest receives Jukai from Noiri Hakusan Roshi.
  • 1988: Blanche Hartman receives Dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
  • 1988: Daijaku Judith Kinst was ordained in 1988 from Sojun Weitsman.
  • 1988: Yamada Koun gives Dharma transmission to Ruben Habito.
  • 1988: Sojun Mel Weitsman is installed as co-abbot of San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1988: Zoketsu Norman Fischer receives Dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
  • 1989: Issan Dorsey becomes abbot of Hartford Street Zen Center.
  • 1989?: The American Zen Teachers Association is founded.
  • 1989: Nonin Chowaney receives Dharma transmission from Dainin Katagiri
  • 1989: Yamada Koun dies.
  • 1989: Shotai De La Rosa began her practice in Bogotá, Colombia


  • 1990: Issan Dorsey dies of AIDS.
  • 1990: Gerry Shishin Wick receives Dharma transmission from Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi.
  • 1990: Dainin Katagiri dies.
  • 1990: Trudi Jinpu Hirsch Abramson  received Jukai.
  • 1991: The Maria Kannon Zen Center is founded by Ruben Habito in Dallas, Texas.
  • 1991: Zenshin Philip Whalen becomes the new abbot of Hartford Street Zen Center.
  • 1991: The Mount Equity Zendo is founded by Dai-En Bennage in Pennsdale, Pennsylvania.
  • 1991: Trudi Jinpu Hirsch Abramson is ordained on Oct 20th.
  • 1994: John Daido Loori received a Dendo Kyoshi certificate formally from the Soto school of Japan.
  • 1994: Charles Tenshin Fletcher receives Dharma transmission from Taizan Maezumi.
  • 1994: Still Mind Zendo founded by Janet Jiryu Abels and Father Robert Kennedy in New York City
  • 1994: Enkyo Pat O'Hara receives shiho from Tetsugen Bernard Glassman.
  • 1994: Taigen Dan Leighton founds Mountain Source Sangha.
  • 1995: Taizan Maezumi dies May 15
  • 1995: Steve KoZen Hon and Nita JunShin Hon founded the Sangha of the Compassionate Heart in Long Beach, California.
  • 1995: Charles Tenshin Fletcher appointed abbot of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center.
  • 1995: The Ordinary Mind School is founded by Charlotte Joko Beck.
  • 1995: Taitaku Pat Phelan receives shiho from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
  • 1995: Zoketsu Norman Fischer becomes abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, and serves until 2000
  • 1995: Shodo Harada founds One Drop Zendo on Whidbey Island in Washington state.
  • 1996: February; Zenkei Hartman becomes Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1996: Daido Loori gave dharma transmission to his student Bonnie Myotai Treace.
  • 1996: Blanche Hartman becomes co-abbot of San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 1996: The Zen Peacemaker Order is founded by Bernard Glassman and his wife, Sandra Jishu Holmes.
  • 1996: The Sanshin Zen Community is founded by Shohaku Okumura in Bloomington, Indiana
  • 1996: Jiyu Kennett dies November 6
  • 1996: Jiko Linda Cutts receives Dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson.
  • 1996: The Hazy Moon Zen Center is founded by William Nyogen Yeo in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1996: Bonnie Myotai Treace receives Dharma transmission from John Daido Loori in The Mountains and Rivers Order.
  • 1996: Ejo McMullen ordained by Joshin Keira Roshi of Sendai, Japan.
  • 1996: Bernard Glassman confers Dharma Transmission to Dennis Genpo Merzel.
  • 1997: July, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold received Shiho from John Daido Loori.
  • 1997: Catholic priest Father Robert Kennedy receives inka from Bernard Glassman.
  • 1997: Soyu Matsuoka dies.
  • 1998: Maylie Scott receives Dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
  • 1998: Hozan Alan Senauke receives Dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
  • 1998: Trudi Jinpu Hirsch Abramson received Denkai from Enkyo O’Hara Roshi, on December 30th.
  • 1999: Taihaku Priest receives priest ordination from Tanaka Shinkai Roshi.
  • 1999: Genjo Marinello founds Chobo-ji.
  • 1999: Joan Halifax receives Dharma transmission from Bernard Glassman.
  • 1999: John Tarrant establishes the Pacific Zen Institute.
  • 1999: Zen Center of Pittsburgh - Deep Spring Temple is founded by Nonin Chowaney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 1999: Ejo McMullen succeeds into Keira Roshi’s dharma line.


  • 2000: Taigen Daniel Leighton receives Dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson.
  • 2000: Harvey Daiho Hilbert ordained by Rev. Hogaku Shozen McGuire.
  • 2000: Harvey Daiho Hilbert is installed as abbot of Daibutsuji Zen Temple and re-establishes the Zen Center of Las Cruces in New Mexico.
  • 2000: Sweetwater Zen Center established in National City, California.
  • 2000: Janet Jiryu Abels received dharma transmission from Robert Jinsen Kennedy.
  • 2000: Ryushin Creedon begins training with Chozen and Hogen Bays
  • 2001: Maylie Scott dies May 10, age 66
  • 2002: Peter Schneider receives Dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman.
  • 2002: Zenshin Philip Whalen, abbot of Hartford Street Zen Center, dies on June 26.
  • 2002: Great Vow Zen Monastery founded by Jan Chozen Bays and Hogen Bays in Clatskanie, Oregon.
  • 2002: Kobun Chino Otogawa drowns in Switzerland.
  • 2002: Seirin Barbara Kohn becomes head priest and guiding teacher of Austin Zen Center in Austin, Texas.
  • 2003: Paul Haller becomes abbot of San Francisco Zen Center.
  • 2003: Daniel Doen Silberberg receives Dharma transmission from Dennis Genpo Merzel.
  • 2003: Kosho McCall receives Dharma Transmission from Zenkei Hartman Roshi.
  • 2004: Philip Kapleau dies on May 6 from complications of Parkinson's disease.
  • 2004: Daijaku Judith Kinst receives dharma transmission from Sojun Weitsman.
  • 2004: Angie Boissevain receives Dharma transmission from Vanja Palmers, a Dharma heir of Kobun Chino Otogawa.
  • 2004: Ejo McMullen founds Buddha Eye Temple.
  • 2004: Enkyo Pat O'Hara receives Dharma transmission from Tetsugen Bernard Glassman.
  • 2005: Harvey Daiho Hilbert receives Dharma transmission from Hogaku Shozen McGuire and founds Order of Clear Mind Zen.
  • 2005: Taihaku Priest receives Dharma transmission from Tanaka Shinkai Roshi. She establishes Shao Shan Temple, a small country temple in Vermont.
  • 2005: Ryushin Creedon is ordained.
  • Shotai De La Rosa receives Dharma transmission from Shohaku Okumura Roshi.
  • 2006: Gerry Shishin Wick receives Dharma transmission from Bernard Glassman.
  • 2006: Merle Kodo Boyd becomes first African-American woman to receive Dharma transmission from Wendy Egyoku Nakao.
    2007, Gudo Wafu Nishijima names Brad Warner the leader of Dogen Sangha International which Nishijima had founded.
  • 2007: Rochester Zen Center completes country zendo in Batavia New York called Chapin Mill Zen Retreat Center.
  • 2007: Shotai De La Rosa receives the title of kyoshi of the Soto Zen Buddhist School.
  • 2008: Daishin McCabe receives Transmission by Abbess Dai-En.
  • 2008: Eric Travis Begins sitting at the Austin Zen Center.
  • 2009: Ancient Dragon Zen Gate is founded by Taigen Daniel Leighton in Chicago.
  • 2009: May; Kosho McCall becomes Teacher and Head Priest of Austin Zen Center
  • 2009: John Daido Loori dies in New York at age 78 in Mount Tremper.


  • 2010: Robert Aitken dies in Hawaii at age 93.
  • 2010: Daishin McCabe recognized as a teacher within the Soto Zen Buddhist Association in North America.
  • 2010: Eko Little resigns as abbot of Shasta Abbey due to misconduct and subsequently disrobes
  • 2010: The Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA) approves a document honoring the women ancestors in the Zen tradition at its biannual meeting on October 8th, 2010. Female ancestors, dating back 2,500 years from India, China, and Japan, may now be included in the curriculum, ritual, and training offered to Western Zen students.
  • 2011: February, Dennis Genpo Merzel steps down as abbot of the Kanzeon Zen Center and resigns as elder of the White Plum Asanga due to sexual misconduct.
  • 2011 Ryushin Creedon moves to Portland Oregon to support the founding of Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, and he currently serves as the Head of Zendo.
  • 2011: Joko Beck dies.
  • 2012: Jan 7th, Ryugen Watanbe of Kanzeon-ji dedicates Jizo-an in S. Pasadena California as a Zen Temple and installs his disciple Jyozen as its Anjyu.
  • 2012: Helen Cortes, Lee Ann Nail and Maria Reis-Habito received Dharma Transmission from Ruben Habito of Maria Kannon Zen Center.
  • 2012: Dana Kojun Hull receives Dharma Transmission from Jan Chozen Bays and Hogen Bays at Great Vow Zen Monastery.
  • 2012: December; Eric Travis receives the bodhisattva precepts at the Austin Zen Center.
  • 2012: April Brad Warner dissolves Dogen Sangha International.
  • 2017: January 6, Joshin and Genzan complete the transmission ceremony with Roshi Joan at Upaya Zen Center.

Sources: Wikipedia plus other online websites and pages from each individual their organizations or personal accounts.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rev. Kushita Visits Nov. 15 2017

Though Rev. Kushita and I performed our practice at Kanzeonji, we also had a moment to visit Zenshuji, during is brief visit.

Monday, January 9, 2017

How I becamce Abbot of Kanzeonji

All my martial arts instructors since I was a little kid, included meditation. But the Buddhist stuff didn't come in till in the early 80's with my teacher Hirotaka Okubo Sensei. We did Kendo, Kendo Kata, and Iaido; along with a warm up from Kyudo.

When I began Kyudo with Hirokazu Kosaka Sensei in 1983, we used a large staff like a bokken for our warm up to Kyudo. So it all flowed together for me. Kosaka Sensei is a Shingon Priest and I consider him my root teacher in Buddhism.

In 2000 I wanted to deepen my meditation and practice and asked Kosaka Sensei what to do. He told me to find a Zen temple near my home and go there everyday. So I started looking and visiting, but nothing 'clicked'.

One day at the local Japanese Bookstore, Kinokuniya, the had a list of Buddhist temples and I the book fell open to the page for Kanzeonji. I said, 'wow here's a great sounding Zen Temple, and it's right by my house'. I wrote down the number and called them. The fellow on the phone (who turned out to be the Abbot) said, 'Don't bother to come start, we're moving the temple to Ojai, too far away, so we're not taking any new students'.

I was a bit disappointed but, kept looking. A year or two later we were at jamba juice and saw a flyer for kids yoga. My daughter had been doing yoga poses as a baby and forever after just for fun on her own, knowing nothing of yoga. So we called, the number sounded familiar. When we arrived at Kanzeonji for the kids yoga class, the Abbot came to welcome us. I heard his voice and asked, "Hey, isn't this the same Kanzeoni that's 'moving to Ojai?'" "Oh," He said, "All the students begged me to stay, so we're keeping this space too." "Why don't you come sit with us."

So the next day I started sitting there every morning with the monks. I had no plans other than that, just a group to sit with every day.

3 years later he said, "one of our Kohai is taking nyumon tokudo (initiate vows); why don't you take it too. "ok" I said, I was just doing what he asked, since he asked.

They started me helping around the place etc and teaching me stuff.

3 years later he said, "You're kohai is taking zaike tokudo (lay discipleship), you should take it too." "ok" I said.

About 3 years later he thanked me for taking care of so much at the temple and kept having the monks teach me stuff. I would run the temple when they went to Japan on pilgrimage and such.

On one return trip he said, "I'm sorry, you're just like a monk (training there everyday and helping etc)" But I have nothing else to give you. (All of our tokudo ceremonies above zaike tokudo were for people who had actually lived in the temple).

Didn't really matter to me. Than one day he said, I could still give you dendoshi (a kind of transmission). I didn't know what it was, but that he wanted to give me something 'special was appealing'. So then we started teasing eachother about it; till he backed off and said, "Well, on my deathbed, I'm going to open one eye and see who is standing there, if it's you, I'll might give it to you."

Since it was just appealing and not that important to me I stopped asking about, realizing I had gone too far, and not really caring that much about it, just a kind of joke really.

But a few years later some of my kyudo students were asking to sit with me in the little zendo I made in the backyard. I wasn't really comfortable with having 'Zen' students though. I told this to Ryugen Osho (the Abbot of Kanzeonji). He said that with zaike tokudo I could teach meditation in my Zendo no problem, and answer any questions I knew the answers too, no problem. But he could see I still hesitated. I said that if he would come do a blessing ceremony for the zendo, that I would consider this his permission. He agreed and we arranged it.

He came and did a beautiful blessing ceremony. It was much longer and more in depth than any blessing ceremony we had done before; I'd been helping him with house blessing ceremonies etc. So when I took him home, I thanked him for the indepth blessing ceremony and for naming the zendo Jizo-an.

He responded, "Oh, that wasn't a blessing ceremony. That was a temple dedication ceremony. You're Zendo is now a Temple, Jizo-an, and you are it's Anjyu, please take good care of it.

When I asked what an Anjyu is, he just told me stories about different Anjyu in history. From then on he called me Anjyu-san.

Then, year before last he started talking about Dendoshi again. I realized that as the Anjyu of of Jizo-an, that in a way, I had been 'living' at the temple, and thus 'sort of' fulfilled that requirement of his.

But by this point I didn't really care if he gave me dendoshi or not, and told him so. This seemed to convince him even more. But we didn't do it right away. After one morning service that only he and I attended. He gave me the dendoshi certificate. I have his old robe, begging bowls, etc... that he just kind of casually gave me.

Shortly after that, he started talking about semi-retirement and me taking over, at least while he was traveling etc. When we would do a ceremony, he would say, if I'm not around you should do these ceremonies. Things like that.

At this time when we discussed his semi-retirement, he talked like this would be the end of 2017. But early 2016 he suddenly announced that he was closing Kanzeonji, and what did I want to do? Would I keep it running. I said of course. He said what do you want. We discussed it. He gave me all the main altars and temple items and asked me to keep the spirit alive. Gave me a few more pieces of paper. Said I was now the Abbot of Kanzeonji...

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 Sept. 16th. University of Hawaii

This is the Peace Memorial at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

The Peace Memorial was actually an accidental discovery. Though there to meet up with a friend, I was wandering the campus to head for the Japanese Garden and Teahouse (Jaku-an).

Jaku-an is the cottage of tranquility; the grounds and garden adjacent to the teahouse certainly brought a sense of peace and harmony as I walked down the path following the flow of the stream.

2016 Sept. 16th. University of Hawaii

This is the Peace Memorial at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

The Peace Memorial was actually an accidental discovery. Though there to meet up with a friend, I was wandering the campus to head for the Japanese Garden and Teahouse (Jaku-an).

Jaku-an is the cottage of tranquility; the grounds and garden adjacent to the teahouse certainly brought a sense of peace and harmony as I walked down the path following the flow of the stream.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jyozen and Kanzeonji L.A.

I've had several teacher's over the years. But there are two main ones. One is my 'root' teacher Hirokazu Kosaka Sensei; He calls me his legacy holder. He's a Shingon Priest, but I am not; the legacy I 'hold' is his teachings on traditional Japanese Culture; for me this is primarily the practice of kyudo or Japanese Archery that he taught me.
My other teacher is Rev. Ryugen Watanabe Osho. A Disciple of Soyu Matsuoka Roshi. Matsuoka Roshi was among the first Soto Zen Priests to come to America and specifically want teach those of non-Japanese ancestry. With some disagreements with Soto-shu Japan on how to do that, he recommended to several of his disciples to not worry about maintaining that relationship with Soto-shu Japan. So at that time we became non-sectarian. My teacher has openly embraced this as a way to reconcile the many sects and not be Zen per se, but simply Buddhist. But our practice, inherited from Matsuoka Roshi is primarily based on the same Soto-Zen Model. But we also have a variety of 'moving meditations' as promoted by other streams that Watanabe Osho studied.
With both of us having multiple influences from a variety of Buddhist Sects and Shinto too, we really like the non-sectarian model.
Also we have not traditionally used a temple setting; but simply use one of the members homes, or convert a home into a meditation space. So we simply practiced in one of homes Watanabe-Osho owned on Terrace 49 in Mount Washington CA. Recently he sold the last home, and is now a wandering homeless monk, which he seems to be enjoying quite immensely.
He, and everyone else, has assumed that I will take up the mantle. To some degree I will, though I have a zendo and some surrounding grounds here at home, that a few years back he dedicated as Jizo-an, a small Zen temple, and appointed me as it's anjyu. In this way I could 'live' at a temple and fulfill his requirement as eligible to take over in due time. It also gave me some experience in running a small temple with a few Sangha members. So, actually I like this small arrangement. But now, he says, I am the Abbot of Kanzeonji, we have moved most of the Temple Altars and other items to my place, and I've set up a temporary space. But it's much too small for more than the private or semi-private practices, I've already been holding. So I will continue that way, at least until the sangha can help decide how to expand; and even then, I would prefer not to expand too much. Best to be small, humble, invisible to some degree.