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. Every Thursday afternoon, an introductory hour is held for those new to zen practice. Once a month, on Saturdays, there is a day of zazen (zazenkai). Four times a year a sesshin is organized in cooperation with Zen Centre Rotterdam and Zentrum Utrecht. 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 the 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 and towards other (local) Buddhist groups. The Zen Boat is open to anyone who wants to get acquainted with Zen practice. Each Thursday, full instruction is given to newcomers, including guided meditation, introducing basic principles of Zen Buddhism and Q&A.


Feb. 10Zazenkai at the Zen Boat with Senko at 7 am – 5 pm
Feb. 25Presentation ‘Memories of Harada Tangen’ with Ciska Matthes
at the Zen Boat at 10.30, morning zazen beforehand at 9 – 10 am
March 2Zazenkai at the Zen Boat with Jifu at 7 am – 5 pm
March 21–24Sesshin Holterberg (National Park, Ov.) with Senko via Zentrum Utrecht
May 18Zazenkai at the Zen Boat with Senko at 7 am – 5 pm
June 9ZenSunday at KenKon Wageningen with Senko at 8.30 am – 4 pm
June 12–16Sesshin Holterberg with Jifu via Zen Centrum Rotterdam (in Dutch)

Study & Speech Class – monthly at the Zen Boat on Buddhist basics
On 13 Jan, 3 Feb, 9 March, 6 April, 4 May & 1 June at 9.30 – 11 am
Study & Speech Class – monthly online on Buddhist basics
On 20 Jan, 17 Feb, 16 March, 27 April, 25 May & 15 June at 9.30 – 11 am
Jan–JuneFusatsu Ceremony on 25 Jan, 22 Feb, 28 March, 25 April, 23 My & 20 June
at 8 pm, zazen beforehand at 7.30 pm
August 31Zazenkai at the Beach with Zen Boat Sangha at 5.30 am – 9 pm


Week schedule physical presence on the Zen Boat

9–10 am zazen
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 / 5.30–6.30 pm zen intro / 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 joining our weekly zen intro on Thursday late afternoon (see program).

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 per month / €400 per year€15 p.m. / €150 p.y.
First meetingdonation appreciated
Sunday morning zazendonation appreciated
Study & Speech (10 sessions)€100 per year€100 per year
Zen intro€40 per month
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, zen intro, study classes, zen intro 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