The Zen Boat is an outreach activity of the International Buddhist Monastery Zen River Temple.

The teachers living and working on the Zen Boat, Simon Senko de Boer and Helma Jifu Vulink, received dharma transmission in 2014 from Tenkei Roshi, abbot of Zen River. In addition to their work on the Zen Boat, Senko gives meditation classes in Utrecht once a week, while Jifu has become the spiritual leader of Kanzeon Zen Centrum Rotterdam and is living and working there for two to four days a week.

The Zen Boat provides a year-round daily programme of meditation and study classes, combined with individual instruction (daisan) and Buddhist Services every morning, as well as during Summer. Introductory courses are also held several times a year. Once a month, during weekends, city sesshins and days of zazen (zazenkai) take place. There is ample opportunity to stay overnight for a maximum of 8 participants. Online contact is maintained with students who live further away.

The Zen Boat maintains an informal style of practice, inspired by the Three Treasures – the insight of Buddha – the wisdom of Dharma – and the harmony of Sangha. Those Three Treasures are maintained and practised using the Four Training Elements as developed at Zen River Temple.

1) Zazen, a form of sitting meditation that makes it possible to experience our deepest being and to gain clarity about our function in life.

2) Zen Ritual, active forms of group meditation that help us develop a mutual connection with one another.

3) Study, research of Buddhist scriptures and commentaries throughout the ages that support the practice of Zen in both meditation and daily life.

4) Bodhisattva Activity, practice in living a life of wisdom and compassion based on well-tested Buddhist guidelines.

For more detailed information on the Four Elements, please click here.

In Zen Boat activities, the aspect of the community (Sangha) is regularly emphasized both within the group of practitioners as well as towards other (local) Buddhist groups. The Zen Boat is open to anyone who wants to get acquainted with Zen practice. Full instruction is given to all newcomers. Questions related to practice can be asked both within the group as well as individually.


July 10

August 28
SummerZen – schedule, including:
* daily meditation program continued, no classes
* every Sunday morning outdoor zazen Stadspark, 8 – 9 am
* August 14 – 25, Sangha only
September 3Zazenkai on the beach, Schiermonnikoog 6 am – 9 pm, incl. boattrip
September 10Workshop ‘introductory zazen’, Saturday at 1 – 5 pm

October 1-2Sesshin weekend with Senko at the Zen Boat, Groningen
October 9Zazenkai with Senko at Kenkon, Wageningen at 10 am – 5 pm
October 16Workshop on ‘Climate Change‘, Sunday at 3 – 5 pm (in dutch)
November 3 – 6Sesshin with Senko on Holterberg (Ov.), Zentrum Utrecht (in dutch)

Study & Speech at Zen Boat on Vimalakirt Sutra
on 27 Aug, 24 Sept. 29 Oct. & 26 Nov. at 9.30
Study & Speech through zoom on Lotus Sutra
on 10 Sept. 15 Oct. 19 Nov. & 17 Dec. at 9.30

January 5 – 8 Sesshin with Senko on Holterberg (Ov.) Zentrum Utrecht (in dutch)
February 1 – 5Sesshin with Jifu in Havelte (Ov.), Kanzeon Rotterdam (in dutch)


Weekschedule, physical presence on the Zen Boat (see SummerZen-schedule)

9 – 10 am zazen (during SummerZen outdoors at 8 – 9 am)
6.30 – 8.20 zazen + morning service / 19.30 -21 zazen + daisan Senko
6.30 – 8.20 zazen + morning service / 19.30 – 21 zazen + dharmawords
6.30- 8.20 zazen + daisan Senko + morning service
6.30- 8.20 zazen + morning service / 19.30 -21 zazen + daisan Jifu

Weekschedule, zoom
7.30 – 8.20 zazen + morning service / 16 – 17.30 daisan Senko / 20 – 21 zazen + dh.words
7.30 – 8.20 zazen + morning service / 16 – 17.30 daisan Jifu
7.30 – 8.20 zazen + morning service

Introduction: Please call or email for a first appointment and possible participation in our
introductory workshop, on September 10 (see agenda).

Language: Classes and private interviews are held in English and, if needed, in Dutch.


Contributions can be paid by bank transfer preferably (see below) or in cash upon arrival.

Membership *€40 p.m. / €400 p.y.€15 p.m. / €150 p.y.
First meetingdonation appreciated
Sunday morning zazendonation appreciated
Study & Speech (10 session)€100 p.y.€100 p.y.
Introductory workshop€15
Zazenkai, one day at Zen Boat€30
Zazenkai, Schiermonnikoog€50 / incl. boat, lunch & bycicle rent
Weekend Sesshin€50/excl. stay overnight
Stay overnight€20/night
Sesshin on locationsee relevant website

Zen Boat Membership includes zazen, study classes, personal interview (daisan), both on the Zen Boat and through zoom. Contributions and donations are tax-deductible.

IBAN: NL72 TRIO 0212 4970 30
account name ‘Zen River’
reference: ‘Zen Boat’


Tel. +31-50-7503343, email:
Zen Boat, Winschoterdiep 1027, 9724 GT  Groningen