About Treeleaf, teachers Jundo & Taigu and our Lineage

What is Treeleaf?

Treeleaf Zendo was designed specifically as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide netcast Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Soto Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. Treeleaf opened its doors in 2006. The focus is Shikantaza “Just Sitting” Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen.

Article about Treeleaf:

THE WORLD IS VIRTUAL, THIS SANGHA IS REAL

Podcast Interviews with Jundo about Treeleaf:

Jundo Cohen

Founder of Treeleaf Zendo, was born in New York in 1960, ordained and received Dharma Transmission from Gudo Wafu Nishijima, and is a member of the American Zen Teachers Association and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.  Jundo began Zen practice in 1980, has lived in Japan for most years since that time, and was for many years a lay student of Azuma Ikuo Roshi at Soji-ji Dai-Honzan. He lives in Tsukuba, Japan with his wife and two small children, working as a translator of Japanese, and thus believes that the hard border between ordained priest and householder have long been vanishing in Soto Zen. Our practice, after all, is for living in the world.

Taigu Turlur

He was born in France in 1964. A student of French language and literature, he formally made his profession in academia. Taigu started Zazen at the age of 13! He received Shukke Tokudo in 1983, at the age of 18, from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage (AZI). After Rev. Zeisler’s death, and disagreeing with some rigidity and dogmatism in the AZI, he became a Sangha-less priest until eventually meeting Michael Chodo Cross in the Nishijima Lineage through reading the Nishijima-Cross translation of Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo. Rev. Taigu received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2003. After many twists and turns including long residence in England, he made it to Japan, where he now lives in Nishinomiya near Osaka. He lives teaching French, although he is known as a regular sight in front of local train stations engaging in Takuhatsu with his begging bowl. He also enjoys sewing and mending Buddhist robes, Kesa in the Nyohoe style, and writing cheap poetry among ten thousand other things. He is devoted to Kannon, Jizo  and everything ordinary.

His poetry blog: http://pierretesuten.blogspot.com

His blog on the sewing and history of Nyoho-e Kesa: http://nyohoekesa.blogspot.com

Eihei Dogen Kigen Zenji

Eihei Dogen Kigen Zenji, the founder of Eihei-ji and patriarch of Soto Zen Buddhism in Japan, was born in 1200 C.E. Traveling to China as a young man, he devoted himself to Zen practice under the strict guidance of Nyojo Zenji (ch. Ju-Ching) at Mt. Tendo. Returning home in 1228, he dedicated his years to training followers in Zen practice as found within every action of daily life. He died in 1253, leaving a number of noted books including the Shobogenzo, Gakudo Yojinshu  and Shinji Shobogenzo. The members of Treeleaf Zendo devote themselves to his teachings of Shikantaza (“Just Sitting”).

Zuigaku Rempo Niwa Zenjii

Zuigaku Rempo Niwa Zenji, once abbot of the Tokei-in, the root temple of our lineage located in the hills near Shizuoka, Japan, he later assumed the station of vice-abbot, then in 1985, that of the 77th abbot of Eihei-ji monastery, one of the two principal temples of the Soto school. Master Niwa received the imperial title of Jiko Enkai Zenji ( “Great Zen Master of Compassion, Ocean of Plentitude”).

He died in 1993. Noted for his brush calligraphy, works by Master Niwa can be found under various pen names including Robai (“the old plum tree”) and Baian (“the plum tree hermitage”).

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

Gudo Wafu Nishijima has been practicing Zen Buddhism for over sixty years, is a teacher to Zen students from around the world, and a translator of Buddhist texts from Japanese and Sanskrit. A student of “Homeless” Kodo Sawaki, the itinerant master famous for his efforts to restore Zazen to its place as the center of Buddhist practice, Master Nishijima shares in that philosophy.  Master Nishijima was ordained and received Dharma Transmission from the late Master Rempo Niwa, abbot of  Eihei-ji temple and head of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism. Gudo Nishijima has written many books on Buddhism in both Japanese and English, including full translations of Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo and Shinji Shobogenzo.

Our Lineage has been closely associated since the middle of the 15th century with the Tôkei’in temple, located in Shizuoka, Japan on Mt. Kuzumi.

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