Myōkyō began her training with Jōshū Rōshi in 1980 and moved to Mt. Baldy in 1985. She was ordained as a Zen monk in 1986 at Mt. Baldy Zen Center, and practiced at Mt. Baldy and Rinzai-ji Zen Centers in California and Bodhi Manda and Albuquerque Zen Centers in New Mexico before returning to Canada in 1995. She was ordained as a Zen Osho (Priest) in 1999, receiving the religious name Zengetsu, and continued to study with Jōshū Rōshi until his death in July, 2014. In Montreal, Myōkyō is involved with the larger Buddhist community. She served as Associate Buddhist Chaplain at Concordia University and at McGill University for two decades.
Centre Zen de la Main was founded in 1995 by Myōkyō, with the help of generous donors. In 2009, its name was changed to Enpuku-ji with the move to its new location at 4620 Saint-Dominique Street. Enpuku-ji is the temple name which was given to Myōkyō by her teacher. The meaning of the kanji for Enpuku-ji is Temple of Full Prosperity. Enpuku-ji is an affiliate centre of Rinzai-ji in Los Angeles, the motherhouse of a network of centres which are committed to practicing Rinzai Zen as was taught by Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki, Rōshi. It has grown in its first decades to the point of being able to provide a strong and consistent practice environment for members, newcomers, lay monks and practice residents.
A dharma talk is occasionally offered during the Saturday morning zazen session and is part of retreat schedules.
“The real Zen practice is to realize that you have the
center of gravity of the universe. When you realize
that you have the center of gravity which is one with
the center of gravity of the universe, then you unify
the world and you are unified by the world. You are
embraced by the world. When you unify the world
and you are unified by the world, that center of
gravity is only one. So you cannot call it your own
center of gravity. That center of gravity doesn’t
need to call itself “self,” because there is no object.
Since it unifies the world. There is no object. It is
very difficult to understand, so you need more zazen
to experience it.”
- Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki, Rōshi
Excerpt from Buddha is the Center of Gravity
Those interested in formal Zen practice are asked to attend an instruction session in order to join the regular zazen schedule. The instruction session is usually held on the second Saturday of each month from 11:30am to 1:00pm. The session outlines the form and etiquette of practice, as well as a brief history of the Centre and Jōshū Rōshi.
Please confirm your attendance by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The main entrance for Enpuku-ji is in the garden. Follow the path to the left of the parking area and go through the gate to the deck doors with the Enpuku-ji logo.
It is with a light heart that New Year greetings come from Enpuku-ji!
Despite the challenges in every realm in 2023, 2024 finds Myōkyō planted firmly back in Montreal after much travel over the past two years to help her Zen community in California. At the beginning of September, we welcomed a new Enpuku-ji resident, Listen, a female Malamute two-month-old puppy.
The Zen Centre has been well supported with contributions both financial and otherwise. We have received funds for a new refrigerator (after four years of poorly functioning ones), an air purifier, and a hishiki (traditional zendo bowing mat). We have received a beautiful and very large scroll of Kuan Yin (Kannon) to be installed this year in an alcove close to the zendo; an excellent cell phone to replace the ten-year-old one; bountiful organic vegetables from an Eastern Townships farm; regular deliveries of vegetable curry; many chauffeured trips with Listen to Puppy Class and for burger runs; and very-much-welcomed help with updating the Enpuku-ji website.
Weekly practice opportunities, both in-person and online, have increased since Myōkyō's return, and newcomers sessions are back to their monthly schedule. There has been much adaptation on everyone's part to the Zen Centre zendo arrangement, schedule and protocol, with a young pup. We hope that zazenkai practice will be able to begin again in the early summer.
Seiun, after many years of support with Enpuku-ji's schedule, has moved to Colombia, and has started a sitting group in Pereira, a close-by city to the farm where he lives and works the land. Seiun is still able to offer some on-line support for Enpuku-ji zazen. Myōkyō will travel to Colombia this year to lead a retreat and to bestow a name on Seiun's zendo, which was recently completed on the farm.
We would like to thank those of you who have supported the Zen Centre over the years with one-time contributions as well as monthly contributions via CanadaHelps. The response was wonderful for the call-out for monthly assistance two years ago and everyone has continued with their contributions to date.
Practice continues in a strong way at Enpuku-ji, and we hope to see some of you in the zendo this winter.
With gratitude, and with wishes for you for a year of adventure and full feeling,
Myōkyō, Abbot, and the Board of Directors
The Zen Centre continues to keep its doors open and a zazen schedule in place because of your monthly contributions. Please do make that donation, after your newcomers session, through the CanadaHelps link.
Seiun Thomas Henderson, autism and education specialist, was an integral part of Enpuku-ji for a decade, assisting Myōkyō with all of the programs/events
that the Zen Centre offers, until he moved to Colombia in early 2023. Seiun has built a zendo on his farm and has established a weekly zazen group in the small city of Pereira.
Ekyō Diane Poissant, retired administrator and educator, lives in
Kingston, Ontario. She established a zendo, Ryokusui-an, in her home
in 2013, where a regular schedule of zazen is offered.
Jion Ned Shepard, DJ, producer, musician and remixer, was a regular
practitioner at Enpuku-ji for eight years before moving to
Los Angeles, CA in 2012. He created a beautiful zendo in his
Beverly Hills home for which Myōkyō bestowed the name, Kattō-an - Hermitage of Entangling Vines. Jion lends invaluable support to Rinzai-ji, Myōkyō's motherhouse, in LA.
The tokudo-shiki (ordination) ceremony for Seiun and Jion was held at Enpuku-ji in January, 2011 and that for Ekyō at Ryokusui-an in October, 2013.
Volunteers and the understanding of dana have always been important aspects of the Zen Centre. Dana is considered to be the Buddhist practice of cultivating generosity, or some might say, selfless spontaneous giving.
Enpuku-ji has always had much help from members and from friends of the Zen Centre, those who do not come to practice but want to support the existence and future of Enpuku-ji. We have help with the garden, the current Zen Centre dog, Listen, house maintenance, snow-shovelling, the website, translation, and so on. Most of this help goes unnoticed by others but is essential to the spirit and stewardship of Enpuku-ji.
The Montreal Zen Poetry Festival was conceived of by several
young poets who were practitioners at the Zen Centre
around 2005. We held three festivals – 2007, 2009 and
2011. We have
been fortunate to have hosted the likes of Jane Hirshfield,
Robert Bringhurst, Red Pine, Steve Sanfield, David Budbill,
Peter Levitt, Chase Twichell, Kaz Tanahashi and others. The
Montreal Zen Poetry Festival, a small niche festival,
led to rich collaborations with McGill University and with the
Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival over
Enpuku-ji published two collections of the works of our 2007 and 2009 invitees under the imprint of Enpuku-ji Press. The collections, "Forget the Words" and "Words have no Meaning", are available for purchase at the Zen Centre.
The Rumi Li Zen Poetry Library, housed on the second floor at Enpuku-ji, has a special collection of Zen poetry and haiku works. People are invited to sit and read, by appointment. An offshoot of the Festivals has been the acquisition by Myōkyō and a former resident practitioner and Festival volunteer, Ian Sullivan Cant, of a small letterpress.
The rabbit fish logo, for the 2009 festival, was created by Ian who is a very fine zine artist and illustrator.
Enpuku-ji is incorporated under Federal law as a charitable
organization and, as such, issues tax receipts for donations and
membership payments via CanadaHelps. The Centre is supported by general donations,
membership payments, retreat and ceremony fees, resident and
guest practitioner income and donations to the Abbot, Membership, General Donations, Practice Scholarship and Temple Maintenance Funds.
Those attending regularly are asked to contribute as a member after their newcomers session. Donations and membership payments are payable online through CanadaHelps. To make such a payment via CanadaHelps, simply click on the “Contribute” button on this page. A screen with the Enpuku-ji logo will appear. Then choose "Donate Monthly" for a membership payment and follow the instructions. If you wish to make a single donation, click on "Donate Now" and, on the next screen, after entering the amount, go to “Fund/Designation” and choose which fund you would like to contribute to. CanadaHelps allows donors to download a tax receipt at any time. Payments other than donations and membership payments are not tax-receiptable and are made by Interac e-transfer to email@example.com.
No one will be excluded from practicing at the Zen Centre because of inability
It is possible to make alternate arrangements involving work at the Zen Centre and/or in-kind contributions.