enpuku-ji

RINZAI ZEN Centre

Enpuku-ji is a Rinzai Zen practice centre located in a lively, ethnic neighbourhood of Montreal. The centre provides a daily schedule of Zen practice in the style and spirit of the teaching of Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki, Roshi. The resident monk and abbess is Zengetsu Myōkyō. In addition to the regular zazen schedule, the Zen Centre offers one-day retreats, five-day sesshins, Buddha ceremonies and personal ceremonies such as weddings and memorials.

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THE ABBESS

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.

  • Zen Osho

  • Community Involvement

HISTORY

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.

  • Founded in 1995 as Centre Zen de la Main

  • Name changed to Enpuku-ji in 2009

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SCHEDULE

Enpuku-ji Zen Centre Schedule

Monday through Friday

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Saturday

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Dharma talk

On Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, a dharma talk is offered during the third zazen period.

Zazenkai

Zazenkai (one-day silent retreats) are held monthly on a Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The schedule includes sutra chanting, formal meal, nitten soji, dharma talk, meeting with Myōkyō, and zazen. Participants are expected to be familiar with the practice etiquette. Part-time participation is possible, although preference is given to those attending full-time.

All people new to Enpuku-ji, regardless of their practice background,
are asked to attend a newcomer's session.

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ZEN BUDDHISM

Why practice Zen?

“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

NEWCOMERS

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.

  • Newcomers contribution

    A contribution of $10 is requested for this initial instruction. Please confirm your attendance by email: info@enpuku-ji.org or phone: 514.842.3648

  • Main entrance

    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.

  • Address

    4620, rue Saint-Dominique - Montréal, QC
    (514) 842-3648 - info@enpuku-ji.org

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February/March/April NEWS

  • Changes to the schedule

    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.

  • Katto-an, Entangling Vines Hermitage

    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.

  • About Tathagatha Zen

    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.

  • Enpuku-ji sangha meeting

    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.

2015

  • A reminder

    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.

  • Wish list

    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

  • Thank you

    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.

  • 2015 Important Dates
    • Sunday, February 22 - Zazenkai
    • Saturday, March 14 - Newcomers instruction
    • Sunday, March 29 - Zazenkai
    • Monday, April 06 - No zazen, Easter Monday
    • Fridays, April 17, 24 - No evening zazen
    • Sunday, April 26 - Zazenkai

COMMUNITY

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Lay Monks

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 Montreal. 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

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.

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Montreal Zen Poetry Festival

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 the years.

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.

GIVING & MEMBERSHIP

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.

  • Your support of Enpuku-ji is greatly appreciated, and will help to ensure its future as an urban centre dedicated to contemplative Zen practice.
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MEMBERSHIP

Membership payments

Supporting Member

$100/month

General Member

$40/month

Full-time Student/Retired

$30/month

Family Member

$50/month

Affiliate Member

$20/month

non-practicing supporter

Alternative arrangements

No one will be excluded from practicing at the Zen Centre because of inability to pay.
It is possible to make alternate arrangements involving work at the Zen Centre and/or in-kind contributions.

Contact the Centre

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