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 Zentrum Utrecht once a week, while Jifu has become the spiritual leader of 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. Once a month, both on the Zen Boat and via zoom, putting the dharma into words is practiced in conjunction with study of Buddhist literature in Study & Speech classes.

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, the 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.


September 2Zazenkai on the beach, Schiermonnikoog at 6 am – 9 pm (incl. boat trip)
September 16Introductory Workshop at the Zen Boat at 1 – 5 pm
September 30Zazenkai at the Zen Boat with Senko at 7 am – 5 pm
November 1 – 5Sesshin Holterberg (National Park, Ov.) with Senko via Zentrum Utrecht
November 26Zen Sunday at Kenkon Wageningen with Senko via Zen – Wageningen
December 9Zazenkai at the Zen Boat with Jifu at 7 am – 5 pm

Study & Speech Class via Zoom on excerpts Genjokoan,
monthly on 23 Sep, 21 Oct, 25 Nov, & 16 Dec, at 9.30 am
Study & Speech Class at Zen Boat on excerpts Tenzo Kyokun,
monthly on 9 Sep, 14 Oct, 11 Nov, & 2 Dec, at 9.30 am
Aug. – Dec.Fusatsu Ceremony, on 31 Aug, 28 Sep, 26 Oct, 30 Nov, 28 Dec, at 8 pm
January 17 – 21Sesshin in Havelte (Ov.) with Jifu via Kanzeon Rotterdam (in Dutch)


Week schedule physical presence on the Zen Boat

9.00 – 10.00 am zazen (till August 27 at 8.30 – 9.30 am in Stadspark)
6.30 – 8.20 am zazen + morning service / 7.30 – 9 pm zazen + daisan Senko
6.30 – 8.20 am zazen + morning service / 7.30 – 9 pm zazen + dharma words
6.30 – 8.20 am zazen + daisan Senko + morning service
6.30 – 8.20 am zazen + morning service / 7.30 – 9 pm zazen + daisan Jifu

Week schedule, zoom
4 – 5.30 pm daisan Senko / 7.30 – 9 pm zazen + dharma words
4 – 5.30 pm daisan Jifu
7.30 – 8.30 am zazen + morning service

Introduction: Please call or email for a first appointment and possible participation in our
introductory workshop, on September 16 (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 sessions)€100 p.y.€100 p.y.
Introductory workshop€20
Zazenkai, one day at Zen Boat€30
Zazenkai, Schiermonnikoog€60 / incl. ferry, lunch & bicycle rental
Weekend Sesshin€50/excl. Stay overnight
Stay overnight€20/night
Sesshin on locationsee relevant website

Zen Boat Membership includes zazen, study classes, and 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