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Integrated Buddhist Studies ProgramMain Course C

Retreat practice and study in Soto Zen Buddhism. This is a yearly program which operates on a trimester basis of 5, 5, 5 weeks. Each trimester is highlighted with a 7-day retreat during Easter, August and November. A full enrolment is 15 units.


Main Course C ushers students into intensive practice, study and ryo training at Bendoho retreats, a form of Zen monastic community practice, emphasizing Zen Master Dogen’s method of practices and teachings within his major work Shobogenzo, The Treasure House of the Eye of True Teaching. There he said:

To reach the Truth, one cuts oneself off from using the spoken word and lets the intellective function die out. This is because going beyond words and going beyond intellect are how one reaches the Truth, since having words and having thoughts is entirely different from the Truth.

– from Ango On Summer Retreat (Page 857)

Students are encouraged to have a long term vision, commit- ment and plan when they pursue Course C study. Anyone can apply to attend a Jikishoan Zen retreat. However, for formal entry and enrolment into the Main Course C program, in addition to their application, students are required to have an interview with Ekai Osho for their Individual Training Plan (ITP).


Course Work Strategy:

  • IBS Year Planner
  • Dokusan/Tutorial
  • Individual Training Plan (ITP)
  • Report Writing

Retreat Training

  • Monasticism in lay life
  • Ino Ryo – Zendo
  • Shu Ryo – Base study
  • Shika/Jiroku – Admin
  • Tenzo Ryo – Kitchen
  • Yaku Ryo – Personnel

Soto Zen Perspectives

  • Shobogenzo – Dogen Zenji
  • Denkoroku – Keizan Zenji
  • Eihei Shingi – Standard of Zen Community

Associated Curriculum

  • Course A
  • Course B
  • One Day Workshop
  • India and Japan Study
  • Zen Class in Melbourne (KEBI)
  • Buddhist Summer School (KEBI)
  • Tibetan Festival Teaching

Overseas Study

Study at Bodh Gaya where Buddhism originated 2500 years ago and Sanzen at Zen training temples in Japan as part of an Independent Study and Project. The 3 to 10 weeks is 2-8 units.

Study in India Director: Dr. Arthur McKeown
Dr McKeown received his PhD from Harvard University and is the Director of the Buddhist Studies in India Program, Carleton-Antioch Global Engaement. Dr McKeown invites IBS students to accompany Ekai Osho to study zen in India.

Sanzen in Japan Director: Seido Suzuki Roshi
Seido Suzuki Roshi accepts students from Jikishoan for an extended period for Sanzen (traditional Zen practice and study) at Toshoji, a Soto Zen training monastery where he is Abbot and Teacher.

For information, please email:

For Main Course C enquiry, overseas study and student report papers of their projects.