The Temple "La Gendronnière" - France
A meeting place for all zen practitioners
At the end of the 70s the AZI purchased the zen temple "La Gendronnière" near Blois. It is the meeting place for all the Sanghas. Each year a two month summer camp is organised. Conferences, organised every two or three years, also draw several hundred people from all horizons.
The summer camp continues the tradition of the ango (a summer retreat period which already existed in Buddha's day) was brought up to date and adapted by Master Deshimaru. Practitioners from all over the world attend. It's also an opportunity once a year for the new Sanghas to harmonise : learning new functions in the dojos, adapting to changes in the rituals, deepening their practice through contact with others.
The « Rencontres de la Gendronnière » are organised around different themes,
- themes connected to the Dharma and the modern world (Zen practice and individualisme in 2009)
- themes centered on developing the practice in the dojos. This second aspect aims to evaluate the situation of the Sangha and suggest directions for developement.
During the year the zen temple La Gendronnière also organises long and short sesshins (retreats), kesa sewing retreats, samou weeks and explorations of the links between zen and different arts ("Doigts d'or") The temple is thus a living expression of the Dharma.
A place unique in Europe
More than all that, La Gendronnière is unique in Europe. Historicaly it was the first europeen zen temple and one of the biggest both in terms of it's size and in terms of the number of practitioners it can accomodate. Thanks to the efforts of the Association Zen Internationale little by little Master Deshimaru's wish before he died is coming true : to create a temple which would be both a buddhist university, in it's promotion of the innumerable aspects of the Dharma, and also a bridge between the civilisations of East and West.
Visit the website www.zen-azi.org to discover the activities organised at la Gendronnière.