Retreat Teachers


Shohaku Okumura, Roshi

Okumura Roshi represents one of a few Japanese Zen masters who traveled overseas to teach Western audiences about Buddhism. He brings with him the truly unique perspective of the practitioner-scholar. Okumura is one of those few people alive today able to convey the essentials of the vast, mostly untranslated (and therefore inaccessible) Japanese Zen canon to Western audiences. Uniquely, he combines this knowledge with the experience of a lifetime practicing zazen. In his writings and lectures, he illuminates Dōgen’s texts from both perspectives.

Born in Osaka, Japan in 1948, he studied Zen Buddhism and was ordained by Kosho Uchiyama-roshi in 1970. In Japan Okumura Roshi was a teacher at the Kyoto Soto Zen Center, and later at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more than 30 years, he has led sesshins and Dharma study groups in the United States, Japan, Europe and Latin America.

Shohaku Okumura is currently the Abbot of Sanshinji (“Three Minds Temple”) located in Bloomington, Indiana. He is the founder and guiding teacher of Sanshin Zen Community, an international Buddhist sangha founded in 1996.