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Waterfall verticle.jpb     Gyobutsuji (Practice Buddha Monastery) is a small mountain monastery devoted to the practice of zazen.  Located in the Ozark mountains of Northwestern Arkansas, practice at Gyobutsuji aims to realize the spirit of the ancient teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and Eihei Dogen Zenji through the contemporary Soto Zen practice styles of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi and his Dharma heir, Shohaku Okumura Roshi.

     The inspiration for Gyobutsuji's name is found in Eihei Dogen Zenji's Shobogenzo Gyobutsu Igi (True Dharma Eye Treasury: Dignified Behavior of Practice Buddha):

     All buddhas without exception fully practice dignified conduct: this [practice] is Practice Buddha.  [...] Sharing one corner of the Buddha's dignified conduct is done together with the entire universe, the great earth, and with the entire coming-and-going of life-and-death.  [...] This is nothing other than the dignified conduct of the oneness of Practice and Buddha.

     Rather than a means for individual spiritual attainment, practice at Gyobutsuji is approached as the actualization of boundless "truth", done together with "all things".  It is in this actualization, this sincere practice of the present moment, that we are released from suffering.  Dogen Zenji expressed this attitude in Gyobutsu Igi by presenting genuine practice as the universal buddha he called "Practice Buddha"(Gyobutsu).  At Gyobutsuji we aspire to honor our practice as Practice Buddha, the boundless "reality" beyond concepts of self and other, existence and nonexistence, and time and space. Practice at Gyobutsuji is the actualization of our trust that genuine practice is the greatest offering we can make to ourselves and to the whole of life.

     At this time, earth, grasses and trees, fences and walls, tiles and pebbles, all things in the dharma realm in ten directions, carry out buddha work. Therefore, everyone receives the benefit of wind and water movement caused by this functioning, and all are imperceptibly helped by the wondrous and incomprehensible influence of Buddha to actualize the enlightenment at hand.  — Dogen Zenji in Bendowa (Wholehearted Practice of the Way)

     It is through this practice of universal offering that we find our individual paths.  Personal development through study, work practice, interpersonal interactions and meditation, allows us to nurture our vow to awaken to universal life as we allow it to blossom through our individual activities.

Lineage     -     Location     -     Visit

Shoryu FB Profile Photo - CroppedShoryu Bradley was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2002 by Seirin Barbara Kohn at Austin Zen Center.  In 2004 he moved to Bloomington, IN to study with Shohaku Okumura Roshi at Sanshin Zen Community.  He also trained at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, studying with teachers such as Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi, Jiko Linda Cutts, Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, Zenkei Blanche Hartman Roshi, Myo Denis Lahey, and Kosho McCall.  During Sotoshu International Training Monastery angos held in the US and Japan, he studied with Gengo Akiba Roshi and Hokan Saito Roshi.  In 2010 Shoryu received dharma transmission from Okumura Roshi.  He holds a B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M University, an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a student of Japanese psychology at the ToDo Institute of Vermont.  He has lived and practiced at Gyobutsuji since founding it in December 2011.

Shohaku-OkumuraShohaku Okumura Roshi, Shoryu Bradley's teacher, was born in Osaka, Japan in 1948.  He studied Zen Buddhism at Komazawa University in Tokyo and was ordained by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi in 1970.  They practiced together until 1975, when Okumura-roshi came to the United States.  After practicing at the Pioneer Valley Zendo in Massachusetts until 1981, he returned to Japan, where he began translating Dogen Zenji's and Uchiyama Roshi's writings into English.  Okumura Rroshi was a teacher at the Kyoto Soto Zen Center and later at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 1996 he founded Sanshin Zen Community in Bloomington, Indiana where he currently practices and lives with his family.

kosho-uchiyamaKosho Uchiyama-roshi, Shohaku Okumura's teacher, is one of the most highly respected modern Japanese Zen Masters.  In 1912, he was born in Tokyo, Japan.  He received a Master's Degree in Western philosophy from Waseda University in 1937 and was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 1941 under Kodo Sawaki-roshi.  Upon Sawaki-roshi's death in 1965, Uchiyama-roshi became the abbot of Antai-ji, a monastery and temple then located in Kyoto, Japan.  In 1975, he retired from Antai-ji and lived with his wife at Noke-in, a small temple outside Kyoto until his death on March 13, 1998.  During his lifetime, Uchiyama-roshi was a prolific writer publishing 19 books including "Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice."

Kodo-SawakiKodo Sawaki-roshi, Uchiyama-roshi's teacher, was described as being "like an ancient Zen master: fearless and unconventional."  By age 7, both his parents had died, an uncle who adopted him had also died and he was adopted by a professional gambler.  At age 16, he went to Eihei-ji aspiring to become a monk.  The next year he was ordained by Koho Sawada, abbot of Soshin-ji, and given the name, "Kodo".  In 1923, he began travelling around Japan giving lectures and leading sesshins (retreats).  He became a professor of Zen literature at Komazawa University in 1935 and taught there until 1963. He established Antai-ji Shichikurin Sanzen Dojo in 1949 and died there in 1965.

 

Further reading about lineage:

Shoryu Bradley:  SweepingZen.com  -  Soto Zen Buddhist Assn.

Shohaku Okamura:  Sanshin Zen Community  -  SweepingZen.com  -  Soto Zen Buddhist Assn.  -  Wikipedia  -  American Zen Teachers Assn.

Kosho Uchiyama-roshi:  SweepingZen.com  -  Wikipedia

Kodo Sawaki-roshi:  SweepingZen.com Bio  -  SweepingZen.com Lineage  -  Wikipedia

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The directions produced by Google Maps (above) stop on the road they call "Co. Rd. 9". This is incomplete

The road Google Maps calls "Co. Rd 9" is actually Madison 3260, a.k.a. "Red Star Rd" (nowhere is there a sign that says "Co. Rd. 9"; There is, however, a sign posted at the intersection of State Highway 21 and Madison 3260 that says "Red Star ->" & "<- Elk Horn"). 

After drivng this road (Madison 3260) 2.2 miles you must continue by:

- Turning right off of Co. Rd. 9 (actually Madison 3620; Red Star Rd.) onto an unamed road/drive with small post and red reflector
- Stay right at each fork until you arrive at the monastery.


Directions from Kingston, AR:
- Take Hwy 21 south six miles
- Turn right at Madison 3620 (Red Star Road) and continue 2.2 miles. Google maps shows this road as Co. Rd. 9, but the road is actually Madison 3620. There is also a sign posted at the intersection of State Highway 21 and Madison 3260 that says "Red Star ->" & "<- Elk Horn")
- Turn right at an unamed road with a small post with a red reflector
- Stay right at each fork until you arrive at the monastery. 


Shoryu_FB_Profile_Photo_-_Cropped.jpg

Shoryu Bradley was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2002 by Seirin Barbara Kohn at Austin Zen Center.  In 2004 he moved to Bloomington, IN to study with Shohaku Okumura Roshi and the Sanshin Zen Community.  He has also trained at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center where he studied with teachers such as Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi, Jiko Linda Cutts, Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Myo Denis Lahey, and Kosho McCall.  During Sotoshu International Training Monastery angos held in the US and Japan, he studied with Gengo Akiba Roshi and Hokan Saito Roshi.  In 2010 Shoryu received dharma transmission from Okumura Roshi.  He holds a B.S. in psychology from Texas A&M University, an M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a student of Japanese psychology at the ToDo Institute of Vermont.  He has lived and practiced at Gyobutsuji since founding it in December 2011.

Shohaku-Okumura

Shohaku Okumura Roshi, Shoryu Bradley's teacher, was born in Osaka, Japan in 1948.  He studied Zen Buddhism at Komazawa University in Tokyo and was ordained by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi in 1970.  They practiced together until 1975, when Okumura-roshi came to the United States.  After practicing at the Pioneer Valley Zendo in Massachusetts until 1981, he returned to Japan, where he began translating Dogen Zenji's and Uchiyama Roshi's writings into English.  Okumura Rroshi was a teacher at the Kyoto Soto Zen Center and later at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 1996 he founded Sanshin Zen Community in Bloomington, Indiana where he currently practices and lives with his family.

kosho-uchiyamaKosho Uchiyama-roshi, Shohaku Okumura's teacher, is one of the most highly respected modern Japanese Zen Masters.  In 1912, he was born in Tokyo, Japan.  He received a Master's Degree in Western philosophy from Waseda University in 1937 and was ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 1941 under Kodo Sawaki-roshi.  Upon Sawaki-roshi's death in 1965, Uchiyama-roshi became the abbot of Antai-ji, a monastery and temple then located in Kyoto, Japan.  In 1975, he retired from Antai-ji and lived with his wife at Noke-in, a small temple outside Kyoto until his death on March 13, 1998.  During his lifetime, Uchiyama-roshi was a prolific writer publishing 19 books including "Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice."

Kodo-SawakiKodo Sawaki-roshi, Uchiyama-roshi's teacher, was described as being "like an ancient Zen master: fearless and unconventional."  By age 7, both his parents had died, an uncle who adopted him had also died and he was adopted by a professional gambler.  At age 16, he went to Eihei-ji aspiring to become a monk.  The next year he was ordained by Koho Sawada, abbot of Soshin-ji, and given the name, "Kodo".  In 1923, he began travelling around Japan giving lectures and leading sesshins (retreats).  He became a professor of Zen literature at Komazawa University in 1935 and taught there until 1963. He established Antai-ji Shichikurin Sanzen Dojo in 1949 and died there in 1965.

 

Further reading about lineage:

Shoryu Bradley:  SweepingZen.com  -  Soto Zen Buddhist Assn.

Shohaku Okamura:  Sanshin Zen Community  -  SweepingZen.com  -  Soto Zen Buddhist Assn.  -  Wikipedia  -  American Zen Teachers Assn.

Kosho Uchiyama-roshi:  SweepingZen.com  -  Wikipedia

Kodo Sawaki-roshi:  SweepingZen.com Bio  -  SweepingZen.com Lineage  -  Wikipedia

 

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