The Origin of Zen

The secret of Zen is practicing Zazen

The origins of authentic Zen lie in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, who lived in India in the 6th century BC. He taught that sitting in the lotus position is both practice and realization at the same time.
Through the centuries, this practice has been passed down from master to disciple. Zen Buddhism was brought to China by the Indian monk Bodhidharma (6th century AD) and from China to Japan by the monk Eisai, and a few years later, by the founder of the Soto school of Zen, Master Dogen (13th century AD). The word “Zen” derives from the chinese word “Ch’an” which itself derives from the sanskrit word “Dhyana” meaning meditation or concentration.

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Master Kodo Sawaki did not teach in monasteries but in the heart of society and made zen accessible for everyone. At his request his disciple Taisen Deshimaru settled in Paris in 1967 to teach Zen in the West, where he remained until his death in 1982..


Master Deshimaru started a zentempel, the Gendronnière and many other dojos throughout Europe. Master Kosen is the successor of Master Deshimaru.


Under his leadership practices a thriving sangha in dojos both in Europe and in South America.

In Amsterdam there is a daily practice in Zen Dojo Amsterdam – Gyo Kai. Each year (usually in June), there is a sesshin in the center with Master Kosen. There are also sesshins, zazendays led by disciples.

Every Sunday there is a free introduction to get known easily with the practice.

For more background, there is an introduction course.