Activism Without a Reference Point 3/15/15 from SokukoJi on Vimeo.

This Dharma talk arose out of Q and A during Sokuzan’s visit to Traverse City, Michigan in March 2015. Many of the questions that came up were about social activism. Sokuzan encourages us to use the practice of meditation to help us see that taking action does not necessarily require taking a position. (Our camera battery died out before the end of the talk but most of it is here! )

Sokuzan will visit Traverse City again to lead us in the meditation retreat April 17th and 18th: “What Should I Do?” Sokuzan Talks about Consensus Reality. For more information, refer to the announcement/registration page

Sokuzan and Unyo will be visiting Traverse City  Michigan March 13-17, 2015 and again April 17-21, 2015.

The main intention of the March visit is to support the SokukoJi Buddhist Community-North sangha with Sokuzan as our guiding teacher. We will have retreat at Kozan’s house Saturday March 14 from 9:00am to 6:00pm.  Sokuzan will teach on how to study Buddhist texts. Lunch is provided. We are asking for at least $25.00 to cover travel and food costs. We have room for three more people. If you are interested, contact Kozan

On Sunday March 15th 5:00pm to 7:00pm Sokuzan will give a Dharma talk for the Traverse City Mindfulness Meditation Group at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Traverse City.  The theme of the talk will arise out of questions from the participants…so bring on your questions! “The harder the better” as Sokuzan likes to say.

During the visit, Unyo, who teaches sewing rakusus and okesas at SokukoJi, will help Kozan make meditation cushions for local community practice. If you would like to help, let Kozan or Unyo know!

On Friday April 17-Saturday April 18th we will have 2 full days of retreat for the Traverse City Mindfulness Meditation Group at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation with the theme “What Should I do?” Sokuzan Talks about Consensual Reality.  Tuition for each day is $40.00 which includes meals. We will have more details soon. To reserve a spot contact Kozan

On Sunday April 19th Sokuzan will give a Dharma talk at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Traverse City that continues with the theme of the weekend from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.

On the eve of Monday April 20th we are working finding a venue in town for a public talk on meditation practice. If anyone has ideas about potential venues, will you share them?

SokukoJi Buddhist Community is a 501 c3 non profit organization. Your tax deductible donations are greatly appreciated and help provide the space to practice at the SokukoJi Temple/Monastery, support the Prison Dharma Project and Addiction Awareness Program, and provide online Dharma talks which you can subscribe to at .  If you would like to help us help others please visit our donation page.

Senshu offers incense during her Jukai ceremony

Senshu offers incense during her Jukai ceremony

Ashley Mannion-Woodward and Justin Ardnt received the sixteen precepts from Sokuzan during their Jukai ceremonies on January 11, 2015. It is a symbol of deeper commitment to the path- Sokuzan calls it “glue”.

Prior to the ceremony, the student hand stitches a Rakusu, with the guidance of Sewing Teachers Unyo and Seiko Sensei. The Rakusu resembles a bib, andrepresents the Buddha’s Robe. With each stitch, the student recites thethreerefuges: “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I takerefuge in the Sangha.” Upon receiving Jukai, the student was given back their Rakusu, now with their Dharma/Bodhisattva names handwritten by Sokuzan on the white silk facing. 

Shoka recites the sixteen precepts during his Jukai ceremony

Shoka recites the sixteen precepts during his Jukai ceremony

Ashley was given the Dharma name, Senshu, meaning Hidden Treasure,Secret Pearl. Justin received the Dharma name, Shoka, meaning Bright Water, Crystal River. They also received a Ketchimyaku, handwritten by Sokuzan, which lists the bloodline of all ancestors back to the Buddha. Senshu and Shoka function as Practice Residents at SokukoJi Buddhist Temple/Monastery.

See the photo album on our Facebook page for more pictures.

Back by Popular demand: More live online teachings!  Sokuzan was invited back to join several other dharma teachers for the three month online program presented by The Open Heart Project: “The Daily Dharma Gathering” with live meditation sessions Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:00pm EST from January 20-April 20. Please refer to the website below as the schedule for the program has changed several times.  Currently Sokuzan is scheduled to give the teaching at 8:00pm on Sunday January 25th: Getting Rid Of A Non-Existent Self.  Sokuzan will be giving more teachings throughout the program but the schedule is pending. Each session will be recorded and made available until the next day’s session.  To learn more and to register, go to: