Year-Round Buddhist Training on the North Coast of The Netherlands

Zen River Temple is an international Buddhist training centre, established in 2002, and located on the outskirts of Uithuizen, a small village in the north of The Netherlands close to the Wadden Sea. It enjoys the spaciousness and tranquillity of the countryside, yet is easily accessible by public transport.

Founders and head teachers are abbot Tenkei Coppens Roshi and Myoho Gabrysch Roshi. They both lived and trained for many years in the US and Japan and are qualified representatives of the White Plum Lineage and the Japanese Soto School. They are assisted by several of Tenkei Roshi’s Dharma successors. Moreover, teachers of other Buddhist organizations are often invited to give lectures.

Zen River Temple aspires to keep the Zen tradition alive for future generations and is set up as a place where men and women, monastics and laypeople can practise together—following a schedule that includes meditation, ritual, scriptural study, training in social skills, and work. Physical exercise, music, painting, and other art forms are also part of the programme.

The temple is a spiritual home for a worldwide community of practitioners and has a non-profit church status. Upon arrival, old-timers as well as newcomers are seen as members of one extended Zen family. All are invited to feel at home and also to be responsible for each other, for the temple buildings and grounds, and to help in any way possible. 

In general, around ten to fifteen people live and practise full-time in the temple. Others join for short periods of time, particularly to attend retreats and special events—often on a regular basis. In total, Zen River can accommodate up to forty participants. Please consult the calendar for more information.

Zen River is officially registered in Japan as a Tokubetsu Jiin (international missionary temple) and plays an active role in the development of the European department of the Soto School. That means that there is a lively exchange between Zen River and other temples abroad. Because of its international orientation, classes are usually held in English. Meals are vegetarian.

Over the years, Zen River has branched out to Keiryuji (a mountain hermitage in the Catalan Pyrenees), the Zen Boat in Groningen, and meditation groups in Madrid and  Lima, all under the guidance of certified Dharma teachers. Some of those teachers also lead meditation classes at other Zen centres, for example in Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Haarlem.

Timeless Calling, Timely Response


In this book, Tenkei Roshi provides guidelines for Zen Buddhist practice based on the “Four Modes of Meditation” that he developed over recent years at Zen River Temple. He also addresses how these modes can be extended to koan training, ritual, study, work, and social interaction. Timeless Calling, Timely Response aims to inspire anyone interested in hearing their life’s calling and finding their own way to respond to it.

The book is for sale in the webshop. If you are outside Europe it may be more economical to buy the paperback edition or the digital edition from the Amazon store in your region, e.g. at amazon.com.

Zen River Cookbook Vol. 1 & 2


Zen River Cookbook Volume 1 (2015) and Volume 2 (2022): Two compilations of illustrated recipes cooked in the Zen River kitchen. They were written by the head tenzo at Zen River Temple, Tamara Myoho Gabrysch. Both books are for sale through all Amazon storefronts.

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