Myōkyō began her training with Jōshu Roshi in 1980 and moved to Mt. Baldy in 1985. She was ordained as a Zen monk in 1986 at Mt. Baldy Zen Center, and practiced at Mt. Baldy and Rinzai-ji Zen Centers in California and Bodhi Manda and Albuquerque Zen Centers in New Mexico before returning to Canada in 1995. She was ordained as a Zen Osho (Priest) in 1999, receiving the religious name Zengetsu, and continued to study with Jōshū Roshi until his death in July, 2014. In Montreal, Myōkyō is involved with the larger Buddhist community, and in interreligious dialogue, and serves as an Associate Buddhist Chaplain at Concordia University and at McGill University.
Centre Zen de la Main was founded in 1995 by Myōkyō, with the help of generous donors. In 2009, its name was changed to Enpuku-ji with the move to its new location at 4620 Saint-Dominique Street. Enpuku-ji is the temple name which was given to Myōkyō by her teacher. The meaning of the kanji for Enpuku-ji is Temple of Full Prosperity. Enpuku-ji is an affiliate centre of Rinzai-ji in Los Angeles, the motherhouse of a network of centres which are committed to practicing Rinzai Zen as was taught by Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki, Roshi. It has grown in its first two decades to the point of being able to provide a strong and consistent practice environment for members, newcomers, lay monks and practice residents.
On Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, a dharma talk is offered during the third zazen period.
“The real Zen practice is to realize that you have the
center of gravity of the universe. When you realize
that you have the center of gravity which is one with
the center of gravity of the universe, then you unify
the world and you are unified by the world. You are
embraced by the world. When you unify the world
and you are unified by the world, that center of
gravity is only one. So you cannot call it your own
center of gravity. That center of gravity doesn’t
need to call itself “self,” because there is no object.
Since it unifies the world. There is no object. It is
very difficult to understand, so you need more zazen
to experience it.”
- Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki, Rōshi
Excerpt from Buddha is the Center of Gravity
Those interested in formal Zen practice are asked to attend an instruction session in order to join the regular zazen schedule. The instruction session is held on the second Saturday of each month, except for December and July, in both English and French, from 11:30am to 1:00pm. The session outlines the form and etiquette of practice, as well as a brief history of the Centre and Jōshū Roshi.
A contribution of $10 is requested for this initial instruction. Please confirm your attendance by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 514.842.3648
The main entrance for Enpuku-ji is in the garden. Follow the path to the left of the parking area and go through the gate to the deck doors with the Enpuku-ji logo.
4620, rue Saint-Dominique - Montréal, QC
(514) 842-3648 - email@example.com
Special weekend events at Enpuku-ji will preempt the usual zazen schedule on the Friday evenings of April 17 and 24. There will be no zazen on Easter Monday, April 06.
Myokyo and Seiun travelled to Los Angeles in early December to do a two-day zazenkai with Jion in his new home in Beverly Hills. Up a steep canyon, a fabulous house with a small zendo which Jion created on the ground floor, we had a peaceful and steady two days of zazen. Myokyo chose the name Katto-an for the zendo, surrounded by lush growth, including climbing and sprawling vines, remembering the Shumon Katto-shu, collection of koans translated by Yuho Tom Kirchner. Myokyo returned to Katto-an in mid-January for early morning zazen with four Rinzai-ji monks who were participating in a practice week at Rinzai-ji with her. We had coffee afterward and some climbed up to Jion’s highest terrace behind his house, where he hopes to build an outdoor zendo.
On the occasion of Kyozan Jōshū Sasaki Roshi’s 52nd anniversary of coming to America to teach Zen, July 20th of this year, at Rinzai-ji, the mother temple in Los Angeles, the first book of his writings, About Tathagata Zen, was presented. This book is now available at Enpuku-ji for purchase. Please be in touch with us if you are interested in having a copy of this beautifully crafted book.
The Zen Centre will host a sangha (community) meeting on Saturday, March 07, 11:30am to 12:30/1pm. We will make some coffee and tea after zazen is finished at 11 and re-arrange to seat everyone for the meeting. This will be an opportunity, in council style, to hear from everyone about their ideas of what Enpuku-ji is and what they envision for it in the future. Myokyo will give a report about how things actually work at the Zen Centre, its financial situation and its relationship to her mother house, Rinzai-ji. Everyone, including friends of Enpuku-ji, practitioners of past and present, and Board members past and present, is invited. If you would like to bake some cookies or pick up some bagels or fruit, that contribution would be much appreciated. Please rsvp so we know how many chairs to set up.
The Zen Centre continues to keep its doors open and a full zazen schedule in place because of your monthly contributions. Please do make that donation, after your first month of practice at Enpuku-ji, through the CanadaHelps link on the website (check that your credit card expiry date is up-to-date) or by leaving a cheque or cash in your envelope at the Zen Centre.
help with shovelling snow at Enpuku-ji this winter, as needed > books for the Rumi Li Zen Poetry Library > small to mid-sized oven-proof casserole with lid > a straw bale, newspapers, coffee grounds for “lasagna garden bed” > help with pruning and bringing the apple and sour cherry trees back to good health
Much appreciation to those who have contributed to the Zen Centre this year with regular cleaning and handyman help along with a multitude of other gifts and contributions. A special thank you to Seiun, Ian Goodman and Mike Bjella for their snow-shovelling help while Myokyo was at Rinzai-ji and Mt. Baldy Zen Center for two weeks. Also, a special shout-out to Robert who has been offering up four hours and sometimes eight hours each week to help with cleaning for airbnb guests and with the Lufa Farms drop-off. Also, special thanks to Ekyo, from Ryokusui-an in Kingston, who came to stay at Enpuku-ji for several days in my January absence. Ekyo helped with the daily schedule of zazen as well as, with Seiun, the January zazenkai.
Seiun Thomas Henderson has been an integral part of Enpuku-ji in
the last few years, assisting Myōkyō with all of the programs/events
that the Zen Centre offers. Seiun is currently the Director General
of Giant Steps, a school for students on the autism spectrum, in
Ekyō Diane Poissant, retired administrator and educator, lives in
Kingston, Ontario, and established a zendo, Ryokusui-an, in her home
in 2013. Ekyō offers a regular schedule of zazen, day retreats and
some Buddha ceremonies.
Jion Ned Shepard, DJ, producer, and remixer, was a regular
practitioner at Enpuku-ji for ten years before recently moving to
Los Angeles, CA. He has created a beautiful zendo, Kattō-an, in his
Beverley Hills home.
The tokudo-shiki (ordination) ceremony for Seiun and Jion was held at Enpuku-ji in January, 2011 and that for Ekyō at Ryokusui-an in October, 2013.
Volunteers and the understanding of dana have always been important aspects of the Zen Centre. Dana is considered to be the Buddhist practice of cultivating generosity, or some might say, selfless spontaneous giving. Enpuku-ji has always had much help from members and from friends of the Zen Centre, those who do not come to practice but want to support the existence and future of Enpuku-ji. We have help with the garden, the current Zen Centre dog, Kyōzan, garage sales, fundraising events, Zen cooking classes, house maintenance, snow-shovelling, cleaning for Zen guests, the website, translation, fundraising dinners, and so on. Most of this help goes unnoticed by others but is essential to the spirit and stewardship of Enpuku-ji.
The Montreal Zen Poetry Festival was conceived of by several
young poets who were practitioners at the Zen Centre
around 2005. We held three festivals – 2007, 2009 and
2011 – and will possibly organize another for 2017. We have
been fortunate to have hosted the likes of Jane Hirshfield,
Robert Bringhurst, Red Pine, Steve Sanfield, David Budbill,
Peter Levitt, Chase Twichell, Kaz Tanahashi and others. The
Montreal Zen Poetry Festival is a small niche festival, and has
led to rich collaborations with McGill University and with the
Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival over
Enpuku-ji published two collections of the works of our 2007 and 2009 invitees under the imprint of Enpuku-ji Press. The collections, Forget the Words and Words have no Meaning, are available for purchase at the Zen Centre. We continue to host poetry readings and calligraphy workshops with Kaz Tanahashi as extensions of the Festival and to support the poets who have practiced Zen at Enpuku-ji.
The Rumi Li Zen Poetry Library, housed on the second floor at Enpuku-ji, has a special collection of most of Gary Snyder's poetry and essays, some of Philip Whalen's work, the works of our Festival invitees and a collection of haiku works donated to the Zen Centre several years ago. People are invited to sit and read, by appointment. An offshoot of the Festivals has been the acquisition by Myōkyō and a former resident practitioner and Festival volunteer, Ian Sullivan Cant, of a small letterpress.
The rabbit fish logo, for the 2009 festival, was created by Ian who is a very fine zine artist and illustrator.
Enpuku-ji is incorporated under Federal law as a charitable organization and, as such, issues tax receipts for donations and membership payments. The Centre is supported by general donations, membership payments, retreat and ceremony fees, resident and guest practitioner income and donations to the Abbess, Monk Study and Travel, and Zen Poetry Festival Funds. Those attending regularly are asked to contribute as a member starting with the month after their introduction to Enpuku-ji practice. Donations and membership payments are payable online through CanadaHelps or by cash or cheque at the Zen Centre. To make a donation or a membership payment via CanadaHelps, simply click on the “Contribute” button on this page. A screen with the Enpuku-ji logo will appear. Then choose "Donate Monthly" for a membership payment and follow the instructions. If you wish to make a single donation, click on "Donate Now" and, on the next screen, after entering the amount, go to “Fund/Designation” and choose which fund you would like to contribute to. CanadaHelps allows donors to download a tax receipt at any time. Payments other than donations and membership payments are not tax-receiptable and may be made by cheque, made out to “Enpukuji”, or in cash.
No one will be excluded from practicing at the Zen Centre because of inability
It is possible to make alternate arrangements involving work at the Zen Centre and/or in-kind contributions.