Myōkyō began her training with Jōshu Roshi 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 Roshi until his death in July, 2014. In Montreal, Myōkyō is involved with the larger Buddhist community, and in interreligious dialogue, and serves as an Associate Buddhist Chaplain at Concordia University and at McGill University.
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, Roshi. It has grown in its first two decades to the point of being able to provide a strong and consistent practice environment for members, newcomers, lay monks and practice residents.
On Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, a dharma talk is offered during the third zazen period.
“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 held on the second Saturday of each month, except for December and July, in both English and French, 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 Roshi.
A contribution of $10 is requested for this initial instruction. Please confirm your attendance by email to email@example.com
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.
4620, rue Saint-Dominique - Montréal, QC
In this time of COVID-19, Enpuku-ji, at the beginning of March, limited the practitioners coming to the Zen Centre in alignment with travel and symptom restrictions, and, the week of March 16, closed its doors for the time being and started to offer Zoom zazen sessions. The Zen Centre increased the number of zazen opportunities, adding four new zazen times to the schedule on the website, and held a Zoom zazenkai on Saturday, April 04.
If you have practiced at Enpuku-ji in the past or have practiced with one of Myokyo's fellow monks, and are interested in joining the Zoom zazen sessions, we ask that you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further instructions on joining. At this point in time, there will be no opportunity for newcomers to practice at Enpuku-ji as there will be no instruction sessions for the next months. Please contact us at the same email address if you would have an interest in an online live instruction session in the summer/autumn.
Because of the pandemic, Enpuku-ji Zen is not receiving guests as it has for the last seven years. This income was essential for covering the hefty rent for Enpuku-ji. If you have benefited from having practiced at the Zen Centre in the past, we would ask you to consider a contribution to help with expenses as we go forward. The link for making contributions through CanadaHelps is to be found elsewhere on the website. The help in many forms received thus far is greatly appreciated.
The Zen Centre continues to keep its doors open and a full zazen schedule in place because of your monthly contributions. Please do make that donation, after your first month of practice at Enpuku-ji, through the CanadaHelps link on the website (check that your credit card expiry date is up-to-date) or by leaving a cheque or cash in your envelope at the Zen Centre.
Enpuku-ji apple tree, with reluctant apples...
Seiun Thomas Henderson has been an integral part of Enpuku-ji in
the last few years, assisting Myōkyō with all of the programs/events
that the Zen Centre offers. Seiun is currently the Director General
of Giant Steps, a school for students on the autism spectrum, in
Ekyō Diane Poissant, retired administrator and educator, lives in
Kingston, Ontario, and established a zendo, Ryokusui-an, in her home
in 2013. Ekyō offers a regular schedule of zazen, day retreats and
some Buddha ceremonies.
Jion Ned Shepard, DJ, producer, and remixer, was a regular
practitioner at Enpuku-ji for ten years before recently moving to
Los Angeles, CA. He has created a beautiful zendo, Kattō-an, in his
Beverley Hills home.
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, Kyōzan, garage sales, fundraising events, Zen cooking classes, house maintenance, snow-shovelling, cleaning for Zen guests, the website, translation, fundraising dinners, 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 – and will possibly organize another for 2017. 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 is a small niche festival, and has
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. We continue to host poetry readings and calligraphy workshops with Kaz Tanahashi as extensions of the Festival and to support the poets who have practiced Zen at Enpuku-ji.
The Rumi Li Zen Poetry Library, housed on the second floor at Enpuku-ji, has a special collection of most of Gary Snyder's poetry and essays, some of Philip Whalen's work, the works of our Festival invitees and a collection of haiku works donated to the Zen Centre several years ago. 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. The Centre is supported by general donations, membership payments, retreat and ceremony fees, resident and guest practitioner income and donations to the Abbess, Monk Study and Travel, and Zen Poetry Festival Funds. Those attending regularly are asked to contribute as a member starting with the month after their introduction to Enpuku-ji practice. Donations and membership payments are payable online through CanadaHelps or by cash or cheque at the Zen Centre. To make a donation or a membership 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 may be made by cheque, made out to “Enpukuji”, or in cash.
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.