Rinzai-ji Inc.

Of the many sects of Buddhism existing in the world today, Rinzai Zen has its own unique lineage that leads back to the Buddha himself. From the Buddha to the Sixth Patriarch, to Rinzai to Hakuin, it persevered throughout history as a rigorous and often perplexing system of Buddhist study. Rinzai Zen teachers typically eschewed fame and fortune to concentrate solely on teaching a few earnest disciples the way of Rinzai Zen practice, through the techniques of Sanzen (private interviews), Teisho (lectures about Zen), and Dai-sesshin (intensive week-long retreats). Because of the rigours of this type of discipline, today there are just a handful of teachers alive who can claim ancestry to this lineage.

Among the oldest living of these teachers is Joshu Sasaki Roshi, who at 103 years old continues to teach full-time. Through Sanzen, Teisho and week-long Dai-sesshins, Joshu Roshi teaches his own particular style of Rinzai Zen, and established Rinzai-ji, Inc. to serve as a system of Zen centers, offering more for the world of interested practitioners than a single monastery ever could. Guiding these various centers around the world are the disciples of Joshu Roshi who, like Kigen Osho, have trained extensively and been given permission to teach.

Hollywood Zen Center humbly serves as another of these centers. Under the guidance of Kigen Osho, the hope is that people in West Hollywood and the surrounding areas will utilize the Hollywood Zen Center as a small haven to study Rinzai-ji Zen in a peaceful and sincere environment.

Kigen Osho

Kigen Ekeson began his study of Zen in 1987 at the Cambridge Buddhist association under Myosin Maurine Stuart Roshi. A few years later, after moving to Los Angeles and establishing himelf as a landscape architect, Kigen arranged to study full time with Joshu Roshi at Mount Baldy Zen Center, high in the San Gabriel mountains. Kigen stayed at Mt. Baldy longer than originally planned and was ordained by Joshu Roshi on July 13, 1991 and lived there for nearly a decade.

In the spring of 1999, Kigen was reassigned to serve as vice-abbot of Rinzai-ji Zen Center in Los Angeles. He remained at Rinzai-ji until 2004. He left at that point to dedicate himself to the development of a new Zen center in Hollywood. He currently sits with a small number of practitioners at the Hollywood Zen Center and spends much of his time working to support the center in its early years.