How it all began ...
Ekai Korematsu Osho has practised and taught Zen Buddhism in Japan, the USA and India for over 30 years. He trained with a number of teachers, including Ikko Narasaki Roshi, deputy Abbot of Eiheiji Temple in Japan, his Dharma transmission teacher. In 1996 Ekai Osho founded the international zazen network 'Friends of the Lotus'. In February 1998 he moved to Melbourne and now lives there with his wife Deniz and sons Sunao and Shoan.
Ekai Osho is the spiritual director at Jikishoan and is also Zen practice instructor for Antioch University's study program in India.
Establishment of the Soto School in Japan (Nihon Kaishu)
The Soto Zen School recognises two eminent ancestors as our founders, Dogen Zenji and Keizan Zenji.
The essence of the Soto School was transmitted from China eight hundred years ago, during the Kamarkura period, by Koso Dogen Zenji (left).
The fourth Japanese ancestor of the school was Taiso Keizan Zenji, who was instrumental in enhancing the teachings and expanding the school (below left).
Today, the Soto Zen School has developed into a major religious movement, which includes about 15,000 temples and some eight million adherents throughout Japan.
The two head temples/monasteries (Daihonzan) of Soto Zen are Eiheji of Fukui Prefecture (below upper), founded by the venerable Koso Dogen Zenji, and Sojiji of Kanagawa Prefecture (below lower), founded by venerable Taiso Keizan Zenji.
Ryos - the body of Zen practice
Like cogs in a watch, the ryos (or work groups) that carry out the various tasks required for Jikishoan's practice to take place, tend to just whir around in the background. However these groups, based on those that exist in traditional Zen monasteries in Japan, are integral to the functioning of the community.
The Jiroku Ryo is the reception team at Sunday Sanzenkai. Members of the Jiroku ryo are rostered on every six weeks to record Sanzenkai attendance, the evening's activities and the funds received as Dana or through the sale of incense, books, cards and cushions.
The Shika Ryo's primary task is to take care of newcomers at Sunday Sanzenkai. Shika members, who are rostered on a rotational basis, run a basic orientation class at the beginning of every Sunday Sanzenkai, to introduce newcomers to the format.
The Ino Ryo is responsible for the smooth functioning of the Zendo both at Sunday Sanzenkai and retreats. Ino members set up the Zendo, make the various sound signals that regulate Zendo activities, and lead the chanting. They are responsible for making the experience of sitting as comfortable as possible.
The Tenzo Ryo nurtures everyone's practice in the most practical sense, providing the meals. Tenzo members cook a meal for Sunday Sanzenkai every five or six weeks. The Tenzo Ryo also co-ordinates meals at retreats and other functions, such as one day workshops.
The Kan'in Ryo consists of the executive committee of Jikishoan, the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Membership of this ryo is limited to this core group of committee members.
The Shoji Ryo is headed by the Committee Secretary. This ryo provides administrative and secretarial support to the Committee, undertakes official communications with other organisations and keeps the official membership records. A number of Jikishoan's administrative volunteers operate under the auspices of the Shoji Ryo, including the Membership Secretary, the Library Coordinator and the Jiroku Ryo.
The Fusu Ryo, which is headed by the Treasurer, manages Jikishoan's finances. This ryo collects and banks money, keeps accounts, manages cash flow and budgeting, maintains statistical data and pays bills, all of which requires great attention to detail. It tends to operate quietly in the background, but its work is essential to the smooth operation of every other ryo.
The Shuppan/Koho Ryo produces publications such as Myoju, flyers and manages the website and its content, with material that contains both community news and information about Jikishoan's various activities, which is then shared with members, friends and the wider community.
The Jisha Ryo has a core membership of ordained members, as well as support members and Jisha Ryo assistants. Members of the Jisha Ryo assist Ekai Osho in his various activities, in particular organising his teaching engagements.
Becoming involved in the day to day practicalities of ryo practice gives rise to a special kind of intimacy, with the community, with the teachings and ultimately with your self. If you are interested in ryo practice, there are often opportunities to help out, particularly in the Tenzo, Koho and Fusu Ryos.
Please note that newcomers and casual participants are not generally members of Ryos.
Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community
Ekai Korematsu Osho (Abbot) is an Honorary Committee Member
The President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and five Ordinary Committee Members are elected at the Annual General Meeting held in September each year.
The calendar contains contact details of current Committee Members.
Jikishoan Zen Buddhist Community Inc. is Incorporated
under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. Registered No. A0037927K