Sôtô ZEN Teaching

Master Deshimaru Roshi

On the advice of his teacher, Taisen Deshimaru came to Europe in the beginning of 1967, where he remained until his death in 1982. France became the European landing place for Zen Buddhism, and it offered an ideal terrain in which to sow a Zen both anchored in daily life and present in the social world. During the 15 years he spent in Europe, Master Taisen Deshimaru created more than 100 dojos in cities across Europe, and he founded the first major Zen Temple in Europe, La Gendronnière, located in the Loire Valley.

Deshimaru was a missionary; he brought one of the two major Japanese Zen schools to Europe. Sôtô Zen is based on the practice of being present, here and now, in all actions of daily life. With the help of his many disciples, Master Deshimaru undertook the work of publishing books and newsletters. He also accurately translated the principle writings from the Zen Buddhist cannon.

He established close relationships with philosophers, scholars, artists, spiritual leaders, and therapists from many countries in order to harmonize the modes of thought of the occident and the orient. His main goal was to use Zen Buddhism to help civilization overcome the crisis it was facing. At the time of his death, his closest disciples succeeded him and today they continue to transmit Zen from one person to another, to create a living Buddhism which is accountable to and present in society today.


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