Description of Organization:
Chozen-ji was founded in 1972 by Omori Sogen and Tenshin Tanouye, both Zen masters, swordsmen, and calligraphers. Omori Sogen is a direct Dharma Successor in the Tenryu-ji Line of Rinzai Zen and a successor of Yamaoka Tesshu’s Taishi School of Calligraphy and of the Jikishinkage School of Fencing. Tanouye Roshi developed an approach to Zen that uses the breath and physical training to cultivate Ki’ai —the intangible yet ever-present spirit/vibration of every object, person or interaction. Using the martial and fine arts, he developed a simple method that emphasized the interruption of habits and attachments. The mission of Chozen-ji is to offer deep and transformative Zen training to anyone, regardless of sex, race, religion or creed, who desires to realize their True Self. Chozen-ji students train in zazen (seated meditation) and a variety of martial and fine arts. Serious Zen students also participate in sesshin, a 1-week intensive, residential training conducted twice a year. Short term programs, such as Art of War study, a 3-month intensive in Mu-I Tai Chi are also offered, as are specialized programs such as Zen and Politics.
In 2022, a grant in the amount of $17,000 was awarded to support The Courage and Strategy Center, an initiative of Daihonzan Chozen-ji, a Rinzai Zen temple in Honolulu. The Courage and Strategy Center conducts workshops and trainings for community groups and organizations, utilizing basic and accessible practices in meditation and martial arts. Also offered is a framework for strategic thinking drawn from such sources as Sun Tzu’s Art of War which outlines a structure of problem-solving where the goal is true lasting harmony. Participants cultivate the ability to respond to opportunities without hesitation (courage) and the ability to see clearly and set plans accordingly (strategy) through these physical and spiritual practices. In addition to its general programming, The Courage and Strategy Center also operates working groups focused on specific sectors and communities. One of the main working groups is currently focused on Asian American Buddhist renewal.