Soji Zen Center is a contemporary Buddhist center
Soji is a place where people can go to slow down, meditate and learn about the healing qualities of the mind. We all agree that training the body through exercise and diet is beneficial, but rarely in Western society do we focus on awakening the healing energies in our brain.
— Jules Shuzen Harris Roshi
The Center is part of the White Plum lineage which brings together elements of Japanese Soto and Rinzai traditions of Zen Buddhism.
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara serves as Abbot of the Village Zendo. She received priest ordination from Maezumi Roshi and Dharma Transmission and Inka from Bernie Tetsugen Glassman. Roshi Enkyo’s lineage comes through Maezumi Roshi whose teaching was uncommon, bringing together Soto priest training and study of the Rinzai koan system. Moreover, Roshi Glassman’s focus on social engagement and peacemaking underlie much of her vision of Zen practice.
Roshi is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Family, a spiritual and social action association. Roshi’s focus is on the expression of Zen through caring, service, and creative response. Her Five Expressions of Zen form the matrix of study at the Village Zendo: Meditation, Study, Communication, Action, and Caring.
Jules Shuzen Harris Roshi is a Soto Priest who has been practicing Buddhism for almost 40 years. In May 2002, Shuzen received Denkai (transmission of the precepts) from Genpo Roshi, Abbot of Kanzeon Zen Center.
Shuzen Roshi received Hoshi, Shiho and Inka from Enkyo Roshi and is her second Dharma successor. Shuzen Roshi is the founder and Abbot of Soji Zen Center, a member of the Zen Peacemakers Sangha, The Soto Zen Buddhist Association, as well as the American Zen Teachers Association.
Shuzen Roshi holds an Ed.D. with a concentration in applied human development. As a psychotherapist, Shuzen has found creative ways to synthesize Western psychology and Zen to achieve dramatic results with his patients and students. He also focuses on the relationship between Zen and the martial arts. He holds black belts in Iaido (the art of drawing and cutting with a samurai sword) and in Kendo (Japanese fencing). Shuzen founded two Japanese swordsmanship schools in Albany, NY and Salt Lake City, UT.