Time & Location
Nov 25, 2023, 5:00 AM – 11:55 PM
Location is TBD
About the event
Our Soto-Zen Buddhist Sangha is in the lineage of Dr. Soyu Matsuoka (松岡 操雄, 1912–1997).
He was born in Japan into a family which has a history of Zen priests dating back hundreds of years.
After he graduated from Komazawa University, Rōshi spent several years at Sōji-ji Monastery. He then was assigned a mission of establishing a temple at Karafuto Prefecture (Sakhalin), in the northern part of Japan.
Later he received a special assignment to the United States, shortly before World War II to serve Japanese immigrants.
Therefore he is sometimes referred to as "The light bearer".
In America, he served as a Zen priest in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Zen Temples.
While in America he furthered his academic studies by pursuing graduate work at Columbia University with Dr D.T. Suzuki. Rōshi.
He then established the Chicago Buddhist Temple in 1949, the first Zen Temple in the Midwestern states. This establishment still operates under the dharma heirs of Rev Matsuoka Rōshi.
Besides managing the temple in Chicago, Matsuoka Rōshi undertook many various activities.
He conducted zazen for the students of the Chicago Jūdō-Karate School and was registered at the Chicago Central YMCA as a special instructor in Japanese culture and its relation to Zen Buddhism.
In addition, Matsuoka Rōshi lectured intensively throughout the United States and abroad. This included an eight-month tour of Japan, which was sponsored by the American Embassy to Japan. On this tour, he spoke about the “Unknown America” to groups all over Japan.
In August of 1971, Matsuoka Rōshi established the Zen Center of Long Beach (Zen Buddhist Temple), where he served as superintendent until ill health forced his retirement in 1995.
During his career, Rōshi helped thousands of people take their first steps on the Dharma path. Four students were registered with the Soto-Shu as "initial novice priest", and five students were conferred "full priesthood".
Matsuoka left the Soto-shu, holding that Zen is a personal experience and that the authority of the Soto Sect and its training monasteries inhibit the practice of Zen.