Shohaku Okumura Roshi Dharma Talk

Zen Meditation & the Zazen of Everyday

Zen Meditation & the Zazen of Everyday


On March 5th 2020, at 7 pm, we will have the honor to host Shohaku Okumura Roshi for a unique Dharma talk and a three day sesshin under his guidance.

The Teacher’s invitation to the Zen Center Athens was made due to the occasion of the publication of his book Shikantaza, in Greek, by the publishing house Estia and Zen Center Athens.

The book, consisting of an essential handbook for zazen practice and an anthology of fundamental Soto Zen texts, is the first written and edited by Okumura Roshi. Shikantaza, first published in 1985 by the Kyoto Soto-Zen Center, has been translated into many languages.

Okumura Roshi, on his first visit to Greece, will talk about the practice of zazen, with reference to his book, Shikantaza, as well as, about the relationship between zazen and everyday life outside the zendo. For this subject he will use Dogen Zenji’s text , Tenzōkyōkun (Instructions for the Tenzō) .

The talk will start sharply at 19:00, so please be on time.


Sohaku Okumura was born in Osaka, Japan in 1948. He graduated from Komazawa University, where he studied Buddhist philosophy, and practiced at Antaiji and Zuioji Monastery in Japan. Ordained in 1970, Okumura practiced with the late Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, one of the foremost Zen masters of the twentieth-century. He received Dharma transmission from his teacher in 1975 in Antaiji monastery, when Uchiyama Roshi retired. Then Okumura Roshi practiced at Zuioji monastery for six months and traveled to Massachusetts, USA to work on establishing Valley Zendo until 1981. Then he returned to Japan for teaching at the Kyoto Soto-Zen Center, and began translating the works of Master Dogen Zenji, Uchiyama Roshi and other Zen masters from Japanese into English. In 1993 he returned to the US with his family and taught at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center until 1996, when he founded Sanshin Zen Community. He has also been the Director of the Soto Zen International Center in San Francisco for thirteen years.
Today, Okumura Roshi is recognized for his unique perspective on the life and teachings of Dogen Zenji derived from his experience as both practitioner and translator, and as a teacher in both Japanese and Western practice communities. He gives frequent lectures on the Shobogenzo and other foundational texts. His translations have been published in several books, including Dogen’s Extensive Record (Wisdom Publications, 2004) and The Wholehearted Way (Tuttle Publishing, 1997), and his lectures have appeared in Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, Dharma Eye, and Buddhism Now. He continues to lead sesshin (intensive meditation retreats) and genzo-e (Shobogenzo study) retreats at Sanshinji and at various other centers in the US and around the world.

The talk is open to all interested, participation is 10 euros and priority rule will be followed on the day.
Those interested in the book will be able to purchase it from the Center in the price of 15 euros.


19:00 − 21:00