I began formal Zen Training in the Rinzai Zen tradition in the early 1980s. I have always been curious about what it means to be a human being, about this world and the many existential questions that arise from such curiosity. Having grown up in a family with no particular religious orientation, as a young adult I recognized Zen as the path that felt most appropriate to me. After seven years of intensive lay practice I was ordained a Zen monk by one of the foremost Japanese Zen masters in the United States, Jōshū Sasaki, Rōshi, and received the Buddhist name Dokurō (doku = single, rō = tower). Building a Zen-practice-based community has always been part of my path and I established the first Zen meditation group in my hometown in 1984.
Since then many years have passed. In 2004 I was made an Oshō (Zen teacher) by Sasaki Rōshi and received the name Kyō-on (kyō = apricot, on = garden). From 2004 on I served as the Abbot of the Cambridge Buddhist Association until it discontinued to offer a place for Buddhist practice in 2011. After Sasaki Rōshi’s passing at the age of 107 I became a disciple of Shinge-shitsu Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi, the first Western woman to receive Dharma Transmission in the Japanese Rinzai Zen tradition. In November 2017 Shinge Roshi bestowed inka shōmei (seal of approval) onto me and I became her first dharma heir.
Dharma Cloud Hermitage, our local temple, continues the tradition of the CBA Zazen-kai, which traces back to the first meetings with Shinichi Hisamatsu and D.T. Suzuki in 1957. Under the name Charles River Zen we follow the tradition of Japanese Rinzai Zen (Myōshin-ji branch) as it was brought to the United States by Sasaki Rōshi and Soen Nakagawa Roshi. Sittings are in a rented space since CRZ does not have access to a dedicated space. Practicing in an urban meditation setting brings the opportunity to integrate Zen training fully into everyday life: facing what is here and now, right in front of us. The temple's motto is: No Doubt. No Fear. No Hesitation.
As a Buddhist Chaplain at Harvard University it is my responsibility to be available to the University community, regardless of religious background, training, and beliefs. I look forward to meeting you face to face, two human beings engaging in open and honest relationship and interaction. Please feel free to join us at Charles River Zen, leave me a phone message, or contact me per e-mail.