During this period of “Intelligent Lockdown” in force in The Netherlands, please feel welcome to participate in our Daily Practice on YouTube. The May Sesshin will also be live-streamed over the internet, and everyone is welcome to register and join from their homes.
In the meantime, please take good care of yourself and your loved ones.

Wintry Night at Zen River


The most startling example of (something finding its true function) is the roundabout
in front of the main building. As soon as we began doing
daily services there – because of coronavirus regulations –
reciting sutras while standing in a circle around it, the atmosphere
of that whole area shifted and it became sacred
ground. One day, I even had a rather odd, yet inspiring,
fantasy come up when looking at the slight elevation in the
middle. This little hill with the rows of hedges suddenly
gave me the impression of the top of a curly Buddha head
pushing itself up through the surface of the earth. I could
barely resist going over and stroking it.
-Tenkei Coppens, November 2020

The Book has Arrived!


Timeless Calling, Timely Response

by Tenkei Roshi


We are happy to announce the release of Tenkei Roshi’s new book Timeless Calling, Timely Response. This limited hardcover edition is available via the Zen River shop for those living in The Netherlands. Please enquire with the office for delivery outside of The Netherlands.

Newsletter & Fundraiser 2020-21


The building that Zen River resides in goes back to 1936. Many of those windows are as old as the building itself and are in desperate need of repair. Over the years, Daishin has been diligently repairing those within reach with fibreglass and wood filler, but that can only last for so long. Some of the upstairs windows are too dangerous to open without fear of them falling off their hinges! Any help toward their repair is much appreciated.
The work will replace four or five of the windows and their frames, including replacing the wooden lintels with cement ones.
You can donate via Facebook or bank transfer

IBAN: NL33INGB0009233632;
Account name: ‘Zen River’
Thank you!

Rohatsu Sesshin Nov 21–28


Everyone is enjoying the falling leaves and falling light before winter sets in.
In a few weeks, Rohatsu Sesshin will begin. As usual, there are limited places due to COVID secure guidelines, so please register early, or consider attending one of the Gyōji Weeks that take place in-between sesshins. Welcome!

Gyōji Weeks


Starting this fall, Zen River will hold Gyōji Weeks in-between sesshins. Gyōji means continuous practice and allows participants to immerse themselves in daily-practice while following COVID secure guidelines. As the schedule is lighter but no less than sesshin, it also serves as a good introduction for newcomers to Zen River.



Apples Galore 


After strong pruning two years ago, thanks to Jitei, the apple and pear trees came in with an abundance of beautiful fruit this year.

September Weekend Sesshin  


The September weekend sesshin was well attended with our current max of twelve physically-distancing participants. The weather was lovely so services could be held outside and everyone could join the chanting.

Woody Woodpecker 


Some of you may have heard the woodpecker pecking around the zendo. This is what he got up to! Taikan is now busy repairing it. We hope Woody Woodpecker will stop soon, but he keeps at it.

A New Season of Practice at Zen River 


Read the latest email update from Zen River here

Daishin Sensei does an Electrical Clean-Up!


Daishin Sensei says farewell to all the electrical things that he was unable to repair.

Monthly O-Membership Community Program


The summer vacation has come to a close, and the O-membership community program is in full swing. Besides access to online zazen and services that are part of the daily schedule, members can join the study classes and talks via the Zen River Youtube channel, and Right Speech class via Zoom, as well as requesting dokusan on a weekly basis. Each membership supports the activities of Zen River Temple during these challenging times. We look forward to welcoming you!


Shusohossenshiki Ceremony


On Wednesday evening August 12, Shusohossenshiki ceremony was held for Peter Shoryu de Rooden in the outdoor hatto. Congratulations!


    Shoryu and Tenkei Roshi.

Sesshin oryoki during Covid19


Practising for the Shusohossenshiki Ceremony


Shoryu practises the Shusohossenshiki ceremony under the expert guidance of Shuho-san. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday evening, outdoors weather permitting, and will be live-streamed for those unable to join in person.

Stone Garden Rejuvenation


After the drain drama that happened last fall, the back of the stone garden is finally getting back into shape with new bamboo and stone siding.

Morning Service Outdoors


On the last day of the first sesshin the sun came out during morning service.

Summer Monthlong Week 1


Outdoor service so everyone can chant

Busy in the kitchen preparing breakfast

The masked vacuum-er


Summer Monthlong


Practising Oryoki with face masks

Face masks are worn during serving when the servers can’t maintain physical distance.

Shuso Entering Ceremony


Shuso Entering Ceremony for Shoryu-san started this year’s Summer Ango. Zen River is very happy he could join us. We are preparing for the summer monthlong with participants practising physical distancing. Plus, it will also be possible to practice oryoki meals with the use of face masks.

Summer Monthlong O-sesshin


The Summer Month-long O-sesshin is the annual silent retreat where members gather from the extended Zen River community. This year, due to current circumstances, we also welcome sesshin participants to join online with the Zen River virtual community.

We are also happy to announce that the Shuso (head monk) will be Peter Shoryu de Rooden during the Summer Ango. Shoryu and his wife Hogetsu were residents at Zen River for several years before moving to Eindhoven. The Shuso-hossen ceremony for Shoryu will be held on August 9th at 11:30 AM, where he will join dharma combat with all the dragons and elephants in the dharma O-hall. The ceremony will be livestreamed for online sesshin participants who can participate in the the Dharma Combat.

We always look forward to this month and look forward to seeing you! 

Young Minds Art Project


Young Minds Seminar


The annual Young Minds Summer Seminar is underway! Zen River could accept four young adults who joined the community following physical distancing guidelines. With those already practising at Zen River, the Y.M. are together nine participants! In the morning everyone practices samu in the garden, where it is easy to maintain distance, and then joins a study class  with Doin Sensei after the coffee break. We’re having a great time! However, we hope next year we can welcome a whole crew again.

In the afternoon, there are painting classes with Tenkei Roshi and zazen and talks in the evening.

The Voice of Raindrops


A fifteen minute meditation.
This was a beautiful evening as the rain moved in and gently departed.
Zen River online daily practice. 
Please feel free to subcribe to the Zen River channel to join us in daily zazen and services. 

July 4-9

Young Minds Summer O-Seminar


The Young Minds Summer O-seminar will be held both as an online event for as many young people who would like to join, and in-person for a limited number of five lucky participants! The seminar will take place at Zen River and on Zoom and a dedicated YouTube live stream. The program will be an interesting mix of zazen meditation and services, study classes with discussion, Dharma talks, and an art project with a Buddhist theme taught by Tenkei Roshi.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Robert at office@zenrivertemple.org


Outdoor Zazen on the Boterdiep




Newsletter 2020


Spring Summer 2020 Newsletter

The Heart Sutra 



Be Together Sutra Gathering – Heart Sutra.

A video project by The Soto School

“Hello, Dharma Friends Now a days, we are having difficult time due to COVID-19. A number of restrictions such as self-restraint and working from home continue. In such a struggle time, let’s chant a sutra with us at home. In this project, Soto Zen priests from all over the world pray for the well-being and health of all of you, and chant Hannyashingyo sutra remotely for you. In the future, we will add videos of the sutras received from all over the world and post it multiple times. The next post is scheduled for June 13th, Japan time. Anytime, Anyplace, We are Connected. Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra The “Heart of Great Perfect Wisdom Sutra,” it was said that a summary of the 600-volume “Prajna Paramita Sutra” (“The Sutra of Great Perfect Wisdom”), expounds the essence of the Mahayana Buddhist teaching. It expounds the idea of “emptiness.” This is the teaching that all phenomena do not have some permanent substance. It teaches that through deep wisdom we can be freed of all worries and suffering by giving up our attachments. It is a sutra that is chanted by various school of Buddhism. In Soto Zen, we chant this sutra every morning at temple and Zen center.

Special Thanks from, Rev. Gengo Akiba Director of Soto Zen Buddhism North America -Hawaii Rev. Shuji Komagata from Soto Mission of Aiea, Taiheiji, Aiea Rev. Shinsho Hata from Taishoji Soto Mission, Hilo -North America Rev. Ejo McMullen from Buddha Eye Temple, Oregon Rev. Koun Franz from Zen Nova Scosia from Nova Scotia Rev. Ryoko Miyazaki from Zenshuji Soto Mission, California Rev. Gyokei Yokoyama from Long Beach Buddhist Church, Long Beach, California -South America Rev. Ryoju Tahara from Comunidade Budista Soto Zenshu da América do Sul Templo Busshinji, Brazil Rev. Coen Souza from Comunidade Zen Budista Zendo, Brazil Rev. Mokugen Sobrinho from Templo Zen das Alterosas Kogakuzenji, Brazil Rev. Densho Quintero from Comunidad Soto Zen de Colombia Templo Daishinji,Colombia Rev. Joho Simazaki from Templo buddista Takuonji, Paraguay -Europe Rev. Myoho Gabrysch from Zen River, Zensenji, Netherlands Rev. Tenkei Coppens from Zen River, Zensenji, Netherlands Rev. Hojun Szpunar from Zengakuan, Poland”

Evening Falls during the Falling Flower Sessshin



New Monthy Membership


As you may have seen, we’re working hard to live-stream zazen and services via YouTube, and we are now exploring new ways to maintain a closer and more personal sangha connection with you all. Starting May 1st, we would like to offer a monthly subscription of € 45 for attending dharma talks online (the Sunday late morning study class by Tenkei, and the Monday evening class by Myoho and Doin) and a once a week opportunity for dokusan via Skype, Facebook Messenger or phone. The subject of the Wednesday night Right Speech Class will be announced on Monday, and could serve as the subject of your dokusan. Some of you already give monthly donations to support Zen River, which is highly appreciated. Our financial status primarily depends on welcoming you here, and not being able to do so is creating a serious gap in our balance. If enough people would subscribe to a monthly membership, it would, at least to some extent, alleviate the financial shortfall during this critical period.

Hojosan E-Teisho


During the Sakura Spring E-sesshin Hojosan gave his teisho from Kirigayaji in Tokyo via Zoom. Hojosan was supposed to have been here in person, but due to the coronavirus, had to stay in Japan.

Jukai Ceremony


Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai to Martijn Tozen 燈禅 de Jong (beacon of light) on the last morning of the Sakura Spring E-sesshin. Congratulations!

Apres-Zazen sunset



E-Sesshin April 25-30


We are happy to announce that the Sakura Spring E-sesshin will proceed almost as usual! We will begin with a Zoom conference on Saturday, April 25 at 3:30 pm, and will close on Wednesday, April 29, at 8:10 pm using the same format. Dharma talks, services, and zazen will all be live-streamed on a dedicated sesshin channel while dokusan will be on request. We are very happy to announce that Hojo-san will deliver a dharma talk via Zoom from his home-base in Tokyo on Tuesday, April 28th. For more information, contact the office. (Tip: for e-dokusan please place your camera on a steady surface, preferably at eye level.)

Apres-Zazen Sunset


Many of those who come to Zen River can often be found watching the sunset after zazen as the days get longer. Here is a photo just in case you miss it!

Spring begins at Zen River


The Zen River garden at sunset

The Buddha grove

Duck families enjoy eating under the bird feeders!

Buddhas Birthday Ceremony


April 8th is recognised as Buddhas birthday in Japan. A small baby Buddha statue stands in a bowl of sweet (herbal) tea and is bathed by everyone during a celebratory service.

To watch the service online, please visit the Zen River channel dedicated to daily practice on YouTube

Live-Stream Zazen and Services


After some technical wizardry, Zen River is now sharing daily zazen and services online. Already, quite a few people joined us from their homes and expressed how much they appreciated the opportunity to connect. Of course, we are still in the process of finding out how this works. To join in please visit the  playlist of past and upcoming events that are open to everyone

E-Sesshin March 28-30


During the first E-sesshin at Zen River many people joined the live-stream programme, and it really created a sense of togetherness. Everyone’s presence was felt in the Zendo during zazen and in the Hatto during services. Online participants were able to type in their lines of interest during dharma talks, which added to the atmosphere as well. Many people had their first e-dokusan w ith Tenkei Roshi. Minds connected with other minds, in fact, from all over the world.
We decided to follow the same format for the April 25-30 sesshin. If you would like to attend, just contact the office to register, and the link will be sent to you just before sesshin starts. Contribution is €108.

There are three cameras set up to record live zazen and services. All together we are over 40 participants for this E-sesshin!

Meanwhile, the tenzo will be busy in the kitchen

Live Stream Zazen and Services


After some technical wizardry, Zen River is now sharing daily zazen and services online. Already, quite a few people joined us from their homes and expressed how much they appreciated the opportunity to connect. Of course, we are still in the process of finding out how this works. If you like  to join please visit theplaylist of past and upcoming events that are open to everyone

Weekend Sesshin March 27-29

Live Stream


As of last Saturday, we had to decide to close our doors for non-resident members. (One reason for this is the Dutch government requires everyone to observe social distancing until at least April 6th.) Nevertheless, the steady crew of resident monastics & lay-people (presently twelve) will follow the usual sesshin schedule during that weekend, and we plan to live-stream zazen, services, and dharma talks to the best of our ability. This way we can practice together. If you like to participate, please contact the office to register, and after receiving your contribution (€30), the link will be sent to you on Friday night. Besides live zazen and services, there will be an opportunity to tune into the Dharma talks and a (group) dokusan period with participants using Zoom. We may even include a few shots of samu!

Corona Virus 


As the coronavirus is spreading rapidly and globally, we would like to express our deep empathy to all those who are affected by it one way or another. We are clearly all in this together. Besides anxiety and sadness, love and compassion seem to arise naturally and it is heartening to see how many people are willing to help out those in need. And although in many cases we are physically separated, our minds seem to be more connected than usual. After an intense and inspiring Ango, we entered our spring interim period. This means that the training programme is a little less intense and allows us to focus more on urgent maintenance jobs. Yet, while the daily practice continues with the steady crew of residents, upcoming events have become uncertain due to the pandemic. For this reason, we will start live-streaming services and zazen online so that you can participate in our practice while staying at home. Please contact the office if you would like to join.

Damp-proofing the New Wing 


De Boer construction company have begun damp-proofing the south wall in the new wing. The debris that had fallen between the inner and outer walls during original construction was difficult to remove, so coating the inside of the walls with special sealant was the simplest solution. Holes are first drilled into the wall, then the sealant is squirted in. Meanwhile, when Zen’etsu and Taikan lifted the carpet in the adjoining rooms, they discovered the floorboards were rotten. (The beams underneath were fine, thank goodness.) Still, quite some work to do!  This is a project also realized through last years fundraiser, so thank you to everyone who donated.

Shuso Hossenshiki Ceremony 


The Winter Ango concluded with the Hossenshiki ceremony for Shuso Wayne Taikan Gregoire. Congratulations!

Rev. Dosho Saikawa (third from left) came over to serve as Jokeshi (official witness of the Soto school) for the ceremony. He was accompanied by Rev. Keishu Kataoka from the European office in Paris. It turned out to be a happy meeting of minds. Rev. Saikawa and Tenkei Roshi know each other from some forty years ago when they both studied at ZCLA.

Zen River Cookbook on

Amazon Kindle


The Zen River Cookbook [Print Replica] is now available in digital format at Amazon storefronts for 25 US dollars or the equivalent. (No postage required!) The cover was enhanced for visibity but the content remains the same as the hardcover version.

Young Minds Weekend


The Young Minds Weekend at Zen River included zazen, services, ritual, study, cleaning, painting, and oryoki meals in the zendo.

The theme of the painting project was The Hands of Kanzeon

Zen River Madrid Visit


Myoho Roshi was invited by Emyo-san to give a talk at the Zen River Madrid Zendo.

New Pagoda


Shinyu-san and Tenkei Roshi preparing the ground for the new granite pagoda in the Buddha grove.

Visit Rev. Fujo Asai


Zen River was happy to welcome Rev. Fujo Asai from Sojiji. He spent one month in training at Zen River before travelling to Kanshoji in France.

New Years Sesshin & Jukai Ceremony


New Years Day Service

Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai for Christiane Shokei    (Auspicious Appearance)  Franz, from Germany,  and Karina Shigen  至 源 (Attending to the Source) Vanhoucke, from Belgium, on New Year’s Eve. Congratulations!

The Young Minds of Zen River got to together to sing a song at the New Year’s Eve party!

Tutti Cantano Sings at Zen River


One of our Zen River members, Pieter Fumon Bosma, is a professional music director. He conducts various ensembles, most notably top fanfare orchestra Oranje in Grootegast. In 2016 Pieter began working with chamber choir Tutti Cantano in Zuidwolde, and invited both Tammy (Myoho Roshi) and Robert (Doin Sensei) to join their ranks. So for the last three and a half years, they have been members of the choir. Last month the choir performed their 20-year anniversary concert, with Renaissance music and contemporary music, therefore titled “Klanken van Toen en Nu”. On December 18th the choir came to Zen River to perform the very same program with a small surprise at the end. The highlight of the concert consisted of two new pieces, written for Tutti Cantano by composer Chris Fictoor, who was joined the evening.

Rohatsu Sesshin 2019


Group photo at the end of Rohatsu sesshin with Taikan as Shuso for this Winter Ango Training period

During samu (work period) the damage done to the trim on the stone garden was repaired by Hakugyu

Shuso Taikan arranged all the cleaning jobs

Jitei pruning the juniper at the front

Kitchen prep with Myoho Roshi

Ranka Sensei in the sewing room


Visit to Zen River Lima Group

Roshis Tenkei and Myoho were invited by the Zen Rive Lima group, led by Ryusho Sensei, to share the Dharma.

Ryusho Sensei is involved with supporting a project, funded by the company he works for, to protect endangered turtles (taricaya) from extinction in the Amazon! The Festival de Tortugas de Agua Dulce  was covered widely in the press. Click on the photo to watch. 


Rakusu Sewing Sesshin

The first Rakusu Sewing sesshin led by Ranka Sensei (standing) was a happy event. Everyone went home both surprised and pleased in how far they got with sewing their rakusu!


Newsletter Winter 2019-20

The latest newsletter is out and ready onlineClick here to download


Jukai Ceremony for Koto Ishiwa

Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai to Koto Kinsen (琴 線 Harp String) Ishigawa on October 15 2019. Congratulations! Kinsen is practicing at Keiryuji with Gakudo Sensei in the Pyrenees

Drain Drama


The tree adjoining the building had grown into the septic tank and up the drains into the building. After taking down the tree, the cranes moved in to dig out the tree stump and break down the old septic tanks.

Tenkei Roshi surveying the damage

Drain & Tree Crew


Calligraphy Workshop with Kaz Tanahashi



Madrid Conference


Zazenkai at Fundacion PonsMadrid

Open talk in El Escorial at Hotel Sercotel Los Lanceros

Eva translating for Tenkei Roshi

At the location of the new zendo in El Escorial, Madrid. Marisa Emyo Gonzalez will begin giving classes there and at Zen River Madrid. Emyo received Hoshi from Tenkei Roshi during the Summer Ango. Paul Taian Davies and Eva Borreguero, who live in El Escorial, will organize activities.

Drain Drama


On the last day of the September weekend sesshin all the drains in the new wing toilets and showers were suddenly blocked. The local drain company quickly came in to help fix it. Unfortunately, when the high-pressure water hose was turned on, some water backed up an old drain hole concealed under the living room carpet, and up a few sinks. Other problems followed soon.


Vist of Inter-religious Christian Monastics


A group of inter-religious Christian monastics visited Zen River to experience how a Buddhist monastic community lives together. Our guests were an international group, with monks and nuns coming from Norway, Portugal, America, and South Korea to name but a few. Their first intention was to travel to Japan, then realised they could get a taste of Japanese Buddhism in The Netherlands. Welcome!

Gate Opening Ceremony and Purification


During Ryakufusatsu ceremony, Tenkei Roshi led a small ceremony to open and purify the new temple gate and driveway.
During Ryakufusatsu, Tenkei Roshi led a short ceremony to open and purify the new temple gate and driveway.

October 4-6

Zen Brush Workshop with Kaz Tanahashi


Zen River is happy to welcome Kaz Tanahashi once more. If you are interested in joining this weekend, please contact the office soon as space is limited.

The Summer Month Long 2019

Zazen and Samu work period



Shusohossenshiki Ceremony


Shusohossenshiki Ceremony for Soshin Wisniewski on August 4th, 2019. Congratulations!

Roshis Tenkei and Myoho with Shuso Soshin Wisniewski; Shoki, Taikan Gregoire ; Benji, Konin Arends; and two of Soshins sons Eden Shōgaku Lonsdale and Merryn Yu-shin Lonsdale

Summer Month Long 2019


The 2019 Summer Month Long is underway.

A Major Repair for the Summer Month Long!


The coffee machine broke down just as the month long started. After several unsuccessful attempts, Taikan was finally able to repair it with the garden hose and lots of vinegar. Thank goodness!

Young Minds Seminar


The 2019 Young Minds Seminar was a colorful event. The party tent was set up in the back garden and made for a perfect painting studio. Besides zazen, ritual, and various study classes, the youngsters engaged in creative forms of calligraphy; inspired by traditional masterpieces but also by modern graffiti artists. Young and old, we all enjoyed our time together.

Study Class with Tenkei Roshi
Samu Work Period
Work Period

Calligraphy and Graffiti painting

Morning Service

Sutra Reading Class with Doin Sensei

The Art Display

Summer Ango July 13 – August 24 

Month Long Sesshin July 27 – August 24


The upcoming Summer Ango training period will officially start on Saturday July 13, with the Shuso entering ceremony for head-monk Andreas Soshin Wisniewski at 4:30 pm. Soshin met Tenkei Roshi in England in
1996 during sesshin. Genpo Roshi became his main teacher and gave
him monastic ordination in 2005. However, he often attends sesshin at
Zen River, and has, together with his three sons participated in the annual Family Week since 2003. We wish Soshin all the best, and already look forward to his Hossenshiki on August 4th at 11: 00 AM. Everybody is welcome to attend, so feel free to invite family and friends!

Plus, everyone is looking forward to the Summer Month-Long sesshin that begins Saturday July 27 at noon. A great time for the whole sangha to come together to practice as an extended family. As always, the Month-Long includes three 5-day and one 7-day sesshins with some free time in between. Registration is open for the whole month, or for those wishing to join for one, two, or three weeks. Contact the office for more information and to register.

 Maitreya Institute, Loenen


Tenkei Roshi was invited by his dharma friend from the Tibetan tradition, Rev. Gendun Losang, to give a series of lectures during a Vipassana retreat at the Maitreya Institute in Loenen.

Spring/Summer Newsletter


Spring/Summer 2019 Newsletter

Garden & Maintenance


Weeding in Buddha Grove

The rotting workshop door and window frames undergo serious repair

Visit of Rev. Yuko Wakayama

&  Yamada Roshi


This week we were happy to welcome two special guests: Rev. Yuko Wakayama from Shogakuji in Tokyo, and her master Yamada Roshi. Yuko-san met Tenkei once in Germany, and attended a public talk by him in Tokyo when he and Myoho visited Japan earlier this year. She then invited Tenkei to give a dharma talk at Shogakuji. It made her and her master curious about our style of practice and they decided to visit Zen River. While they were here, Yuko-san gave a lively and moving record of her experiences as a nun in Japan.

First Jukai Ceremony at the Zen Boat


We are happy to announce that on Sunday June 9th the first Jukai ceremony took place on the Zen Boat. Harold Anzan (Quiet Mountain) en Joris Shodo (True Way) received the Buddhist precepts from Senko Sensei in the presence of Tenkei Roshi. Congratulations!

Opening Ceremonies at Keiryuji

Camprodon, Spain

Hojosan and Tenkei Roshi both officiated the opening ceremonies at Keiryuji, the mountain temple led by Tenkei Roshis first successor, Gakudo den Hollander


Memorial service for Koren Sensei; founder of Keiryuji, successor to Tenkei Roshi, and wife of Gakudo Sensei

Gakudo Sensei officiates his first shukke tokudo ceremony for Pascal Tetsuko van der Knokke and Emke Gyoen Jutte


Senseis Doin, Gakudo, and Rev. Tetsuko

Visit Junyu Kuroda Roshi & Yamamoto Roshi


Zen River was happy to welcome both Junyu Kuroda Roshi and Yamamoto Roshi for the Falling Flowers Sesshin. Hojun, their translator, was unable to join but Doin could connect him from Poland through Skype with the assistance of a large speaker.

Kuroda Roshi gave a in-depth talk on the koan “Joshu Washes His Bowls” eloquently translated by Rev. Shuho Go

Shukke Tokudo Ceremony


On May 22nd Tenkei Roshi gave shukke tokudo to Mieke Jyokun Eikemans, one of the Zen River residents. Congratulations!



Tenkei Roshi was one of hundreds of international delegates invited to attend the UNDV 2019 held in Hanoi

Shukke Tokudo Ceremony


Wayne Taikan Gregoire received shukke tokudo (monk ordination) from Tenkei Roshi on May 4th. Congratulations!

Young Rivers Article


A very nice article about the Zen River Young Minds seminar came out in a student magazine called Spectrum. It was written by one of the Young Mind participants who came in January. Click on the photo to read the full article.

Jukai Ceremony


Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai to Dani Gensho (Magical Nature 幻 性) Delacámara at the end of the Sakura Spring Sesshin. Congratulations!

Gensho, standing with Tenkei and Myoho, is also a long-standing member of Zen River Madrid.

Happy Buddha’s Birthday!


Visit Japan


Tenkei and Myoho started their visit attending the Higan Ceremony at Kirigayaji, the home temple of Hojo-san, which included a memorial service for Bernie Tetsugen Glassman

Food offering

Ashes of Bernie that were sent over by his widow Eve Marko were put in a traditional urn and placed on the altar together with the Ihai (memorial tablet)

Later the urn was buried next to the urn with ashes of Maezumi Roshi at the graveyard close to Fuji-dera, the mountain temple of Hojo-san near Mount Fuji

Tenkei was invited to give a talk at Kirigayaji. He also gave a dharma talk at another temple, Shogakuji, and a public lecture in Tokyo

Visiting Tōsen-in, the family temple of Rev. Shuho Go


They also went to visit Keisho-In, the temple of Koichi-san and his wife Masami


Dropping in for a cup of tea at Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi’s temple


The last evening, Hojosan celebrated his 80th birthday party at a lovely restaurant in Tokyo

Visit to Madrid


In February, Zen River Madrid invited Myoho Roshi to give a teisho for the sangha. A lovely space was available at Fundación Pons. Many Zen River Madrid members attended with friends and family.

Lecture by Yusho Sasaki Roshi


Zen River was happy to welcome Rev. Yusho Sasaski, the Sokan for the European Soto school. She gave an interesting lecture on the meaning of some of the gods and protectors depicted in the temples in Japan.

Shusohossenshiki Ceremony

for Gyosei Overbeek


On February 10, Zen River held a shusohossenshiki ceremony for Gyosei Overbeek. Tenkei Roshi had requested her to be the head monk for the winter ango training period.

Receiving the shippei from Tenkei Roshi

Rev. Yusho Sasaski, the European Sokan, attended and witnessed the ceremony as Jokeshi.


Jukai Ceremony


Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai to three young minds; Eden Sho-gaku (祥學 Fortunate Study) Lonsdale ; Reyhan Ban-kyu (萬究 Ten thousand things Investigation) Lonsdale; and Merryn Yu-shin (雄心 Strong Heart) Lonsdale. The three brothers have been coming with their father, Andreas Soshin Wisniewski, to Family Week since it began in 2004.


Young Minds Weekend Retreat


Young Minds Weekend Retreat attracted many students from many different nationalities!

Besides zazen, services, oryoki meals and study classes there was also a painting project led by Tenkei Roshi

Snowy Entrance


The gate is 99 percent complete, just in time for the first snowfall! All that is left to do is the stain and a few details on the woodwork when the weather warms up

Zen River Temple Gate


The gate is almost finished. Just a few steps left.

Young Minds Zen Weekend

A monastic experience for anyone age 15-30

February 2-3, 2019


The program, especially designed for young people, will include training in zazen (Zen meditation), Buddhist ritual, scriptural study, and several group activities. Arrival is Saturday February 2nd, at 11:00 am, and ends Sunday, February 3rd, at 5:00 pm. The suggested donation for this event is €40,-. For more information, and for registration, please contact the office at office@zenrivertemple.org or +31 (0)595 435039

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year from the New Years Sesshin participants!

Strijdlustig en Vredelievend

Tutti Cantano Chamber Choir at Zen River


One of our Zen River members, Pieter Fumon Bosma, is a professional music director. He conducts various ensembles, most notably the ‘Groninger Studentenorkest Mira’. A few years ago he even managed to teach a choir of Zen River residents and members Adiemus by Karl Jenkins, a beautiful piece of music that we performed twice during celebratory events.
 In 2016 Pieter began working with the chamber choir Tutti Cantano in Zuidwolde, Groningen, and invited both Tammy (Myoho Roshi) and Robert (Doin Sensei) to join their ranks and for the last two and a half years they have been active members. On Wednesday December 19th, Tutti Cantano came to Zen River to share an enthusiastic performance of their latest repertoire!

Jukai Ceremony


Peter Yushin Pottebaum, from the Dusseldorf Zen River group, received jukai from Tenkei Roshi. Congratulations!

Zen River Annual Fundraising Appeal, 2018


This year we would like to ask your attention for a simple – but urgent – renovation….read on to help!

Fall / Winter 2018 Newsletter


Gate Taking Shape


The new Temple gate starting to take shape; the beams for the roof are up.


Taikan on the roof securing the beams.

Zen River Lima


During the annual visit to Peru, Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai to a group of twelve students who practice with Ryusho Sensei at Zen River Lima. Congratulations!


Ryusho Sensei and his team organised a Zazenkai  which was led by Tenkei Roshi and took place at a Tibetan centre in downtown Lima

Farewell Seishi-san!


Seishi-san (centre left), who came to practice at Zen River for two months, is now on his way to Kanshoji and Ryumonji in France. After that he will return to Toshoji senmon sodo in Okayama. Thank you for joining the team and hope to see you here again one day!

Bernie Tetsugen Glassman, Roshi

January 18, 1939 – November 4, 2018


Yesterday morning we did a special service at Zen River for Bernie Tetsugen Glassman Roshi, a Dharma Uncle, who passed away on Sunday, November 4th. He was Maezumi Roshi’s first dharma successor, and the co-founder of the highly influential Zen Peacemaker Order. We will keep him in our hearts and wish him a swift passage to the other shore.

Autumn Morning at Zen River


Scaffolding Going Up


Zen’etsu and Seishi-san prepare the scaffold for the next phase of the new temple gate!


Final sanding the gate posts

Gate Foundation Complete


Zen’etsu checking the completed foundations for the new temple gate. The wood is now being prepared for the next phase!

At Fudenji, Italy


Taiten Guareschi Roshi, the abbot of Fudenji in Italy, invited Tenkei Roshi as one of the lecturers at their annual International seminar. Tenkei was accompanied by Shin’yu-san to the event.


Asayama Roshi was also one of the lecturers with a delegation from Eiheiji, Japan


Tenkei with Myoko Roshi and Taiten Roshi



Samu at Zen River; Shuho-san raking leaves with Rev. Seishi Nagaso. Seishi-san is a trainee monk from Toshoj in Okayama, and will practice at Zen River for two months. Afterwards he will go to Ryumonji and Kanshoji in France before returning to Japan. Welcome!


Taikan sanding panels that will neatly close off the attic storage in the old wing.

Inryo Windows


After a few unforseen delays, the outside of the new windows of the inryo are being painted! Steffen Buikema, who also helped paint the windows of the Zendo, will be working on it this week.

Visit Rev. Koichi Isoda


Tenkei Roshi and Myoho were happy to welcome Koichi Isoda from Keisho-In, Fuji City, Japan. They first met in Sojiji in 2000. Since then Koichi-san has visited Zen River many times. Besides running his home temple and performing Shamisen, he also assists Seido Suzuki Roshi at Toshoji Senmon Sodo in Okayama.

Koichi-san gave a talk on his history and connection with Zen River

Jukai Ceremony


On August 29th, just after the summer month long, Julie Konin (illumination trust) Arends received Jukai from Tenkei Roshi. Congratulations!

Shusohossenshiki Ceremony


Rev. Shuho Go was Shuso for this summer Ango period. It was the first time a Japanese monk fulfilled this position and did Hossenshiki.

Memorial Service for Koren Sensei


Monthlong Memory


Garden Shed Repairs


Summer Monthlong Sesshin


The Month-long sesshin is in full swing. The Hossenshiki for Shuho-san will be on Saturday August 25.

Gate Foundation


Zen’etsu is in the process of making the structure to pour concrete for the foundations for the new gate

Film project Shumucho


Rev. Taibun Terumoto from the Shumucho office in Paris and film-maker Stanislas Wang-Genh joined us for two days during the Month-long. They are working on a movie about European Soto temples and came over to film sesshin at Zen River. The movie will be posted on the Shumucho website beginning next year. We look forward to seeing it!

Guest Speaker Han de Wit

06/08 2018

Zen River was happy to welcome Han de Wit as a guest teacher during the second week of the Month-long. He gave an inspiring talk about the Shambhala tradition, and explained how Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche incorporated Japanese Zen elements into his training programme, due to his connection with masters like Maezumi Roshi. Apparently it was Genpo Roshi who, at the time, introduced Shambhala members to the practice of Oryoki!

Gate Foundation


Zen’etsu started on the construction of the new gate at the head of the driveway. He found a local company to come and literally screw in some foundation pegs! Those screws are a meter and a half long each. Next step is to pour the concrete.

Young Rivers Seminar


The paintings


Outdoor Zazen at Noordpolderzijl


Morning service


Sutra Reading class with Doin Sensei


Outdoor painting in nature

Roof Repairs


The siding of the roof was damaged by wet weather and needs to be replaced. Gert and Wayne are busy with it while the seminar continues

Thistle River

Spring 2005 – July 2, 2018


Thistle, the temple cat who lived in the Inryo with Tammy and Tenkei sadly passed away to the other shore after a brief illness. She was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.

Genpo Roshi Visit


Genpo Roshi and his partner Charlotte were travelling in Europe and came to visit Zen River for two days


Genpo Roshi gave a moving talk and brought up many stories of the good old days with Tenkei and Tammy. He concluded with conferring Inka (final seal of approval) to Tammy, and gave her a new Dharma name Tenshin 天頂 (zenith)


Reciting his Inka poem: Subtle Dharma / Surrendered / Zenith  / Empowered


After the talk, Genpo Roshi and Charlotte visited the Zen Boat in Groningen


And joined us in the city for a celebratory drink

Spring/Summer Newsletter


The spring/summer newsletter is now available to read online.

Open House

Sunday June 17


The open house on Sunday afternoon was a great success and enjoyed by everyone. Around fifty people attended from the local area and beyond.


Tenkei Roshi officiated a service during the course of the afternoon so that people could experience what happens in the Hatto. Gyosei and Julie sat zazen in the zendo all afternoon and several visitors felt compelled to join and sit too!

United Nations Day of Vesak Celebration May 25-27


Tenkei Roshi was invited to the UN Vesak Celebrations 2018 in Bangkok. It was a great opportunity to meet many prominent Buddhists from all over the the world.

Cultural Performance

Zen Boat Inauguration


On Sunday May 13 Tenkei Roshi officiated the inauguration of the Zen Boat in Groningen as a branch temple of Zen River. Senseis Senko and Jifu live there as resident teachers, while Doin and Ranka also conduct classes regularly.


Congratulations to all!

Jukai Ceremony, May 6


Tenkei Roshi gave Jukai to five recipients this weekend. Congratulations!


Marleen Monshin 聞心 (Listen Heart) Laroy, Matthijs 純 道 (Pure Way) Noordzij, Jasna Zuisho 瑞祥 (Good Omen) Terihaj, Tenkei Roshi, Leo Kyokai 巨 海 (Great Ocean) van Nieuwenhuijzen, and Margriet Seisen 清 川 (Clear River) Broekroelofs


Many family and friends attended the ceremony

Bell Repair


Shinyu’san and Taikan-san made it the roof (with a safety harness!) to detach the faulty electrical mechanism that hits the bell. It  had stopped working over the winter period. The broken part has been sent to the bell company for repair and should be back soon!

Tenkei Roshi in Madrid


Tenkei Roshi was invited by Zen River Madrid to lead a public talk and zazenkai. He was also asked to show some of his earlier art works which were sold to raise funds for the new gate at the head of the driveway.


Public Talk


Tenkei Roshi at the Art Show with two of his paintings


The Spanish sangha also invited Shuho-san to accompany Tenkei Roshi and visit the soccer stadiums – a dream come true!

Drain Pipe Dilemma


A block in one of the drains forced Daishin and Zenet’su to dig up the pipe that ran under the Stone Garden.


Unbeknownst to anyone there was a large drainage hole found to be damaged by tree roots and full of mud and leaves!

Practice Weekend at Zen River


Zen River was happy to welcome Wanda Sluyter and members from Zen Centrum Eindhoven for a practice weekend. The two days included a guided meditation, zazen, services, dokusan, study class, samu, and formal oryoki meals. While they were here they filmed some impressions with a short video clip

Kitchen Prep


Kitchen prep for 5 spice lentil dhal with apple chutney.

Guest speaker Pablo d’Ors from Madrid


Pablo d’Ors is a Catholic priest from Madrid who includes zen meditation in his spiritual practice. He came to join our program with some of his Spanish students. Pablo has written a highly acclaimed book entitled “Biografia del Silencio”. During their stay he treated us to a very interesting talk.

Shukke Tokudo Ceremony for Tessa Gyosei Overbeek


Last Saturday Tenkei Roshi gave Shukke Tokudo (monastic ordination) to Tessa Gyosei Overbeek, who has been a resident at Zen River for several years now. Congratulations!

Thursday May 17 – Tuesday May 22, 2018

5 Day Sesshin

With special guests Rev. Junyu Kuroda and Yamamoto Roshi


Zen River is happy to welcome Rev. Junyu Kuroda and Yamamoto Roshi for the May Spring sesshin.  Yamamoto Roshi is the last surviving successor of Koryu Roshi, one of Maezumi Roshi’s teachers. Both will be giving dharma talks during this extended weekend retreat. Yamamoto Roshi will also give talks at Zencentrum Amsterdam and in Utrecht. If you would like to attend this sesshin please contact the office for more information.

Zen Boat Groningen


Monthly City Sesshins on the Zen Boat in Groningen began this year. They will be led alternately by Senseis Jifu and Senko.

Shusohossenshiki for Timo Myogaku Bieber