The Tenpyozan project is a unique laboratory for the continous Zen experiment.


Many of the defining moments in our Soto Zen tradition have been questions; Shakyamuni Buddha's original quest to end suffering, Bodhidharma's interview with the Emperor Wu, Dogen Zenji's journey to China, and every senior practitioner's Hosen "dharma combat" ceremony are examples of this.

Over a century ago the first Soto Zen Buddhist teachers visited North America. In the early twentieth century Zen Temples were established by Japanese immigrants in Hawai'i, Peru, and California. Despite political conflict and cultural misunderstanding Zen thought has permeated and inspired western culture. There are now more than 300 Soto Zen priests outside Japan, and numerous temples and centers throughout the world. 

Tenpyozan will be an internationally recognized practice center, Purpose built for all Zen lineages to practice and train together.

Akiba roshi with Katagiri roshi and practitioners at a practice period in the early days of  Hokyoji Zen Practice Community  in Minnesota 

Akiba roshi with Katagiri roshi and practitioners at a practice period in the early days of Hokyoji Zen Practice Community in Minnesota 

Tenpyozan is uniquely situated at the confluence of tradition and innovation, East and West, ancient and contemporary. It is a place to carry forward the thread of practice and weave it into new and meaningful networks of interdependence.


Ceaseless Practice is what we do...

When the building is complete, the core of our endeavor will be a year-round monastic schedule maintained by a cohort of 10 to 30 practitioners in residence. Most of these residents will be people working along the path to becoming recognized Soto Zen teachers. 

The monastic schedule includes periods of intensive practice, annual ceremonies, special events, and various public programs. At the core of the annual calendar is the ninety day Ango, a period of intensive practice for Zen priests and priests in training that has roots in the monsoon retreat in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha.  

The Tenpyozan schedule of public programs, community events, and Zen priests' training will fulfill three broad goals:


  • Preservation: maintain and transmit the traditions of Soto Zen practice for future generations
  • Translation: interpret and adapt Zen teaching and practice to allow access for a global community
  • Cross-pollination: experiments at the intersection of ancient wisdom and contemporary concerns in culture, art, science, nature, and technology. Collaborating with thinkers and makers, and other wisdom traditions, to build a green and peaceful world for all beings


Some of our programs are set according to long-established tradition, while others will be constantly evolving experiments. If you have a specific endeavor or partnership you would like to see here please contact us to discuss it. We'd love to here from you!


"We, the Zen communities in this country, are many branches from the tree and streams from the river. Tenpyozan has the potential to be the earth itself in which the tree of Soto Zen becomes firmly rooted in its source..."

- Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Still Breathing Meditation Center Oakland California