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 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 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 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 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.
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