Zen Road
Zen Road
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zen teachings

In this section some of the teachings of the Masters Kodo Sawaki, Taisen Deshimaru, Kojun Kishigami Osho and Philippe Coupey are presented to a wider public.

[Picture of “Homeless” Kodo Sawaki carrying a stick and wearing all he needs for walking]

Kodo Sawaki was one of the most influential Soto Zen masters of the 20th century. Charismatic, unconventional, sometimes irreverent, he revitalized Japanese Zen, which had fallen into a quagmire of religious rituals and nepotism. He emphasized shikantaza (just sitting), tirelessly brought the practice to laypeople as well as ordained followers, and taught that zazen and satori were one – all the while insisting that zazen was “good for nothing.” Read more...


[Picture of a youthful, dynamic Deshimaru at the beginning of his time in Europe]

Mokudo Taisen Deshimaru has been called “the modern-day Bodhidharma” because of his formidable character, his uncompromising Zen practice and his pioneering mission to plant the seed of authentic Zen in a new land (in this case, Europe). Like his master Kodo Sawaki before him, he insisted on the importance of the seated posture, zazen. His teaching – direct, concrete and rooted in daily life – encouraged disciples to be beyond thinking (hishiryo), without any interest in personal profit (mushotoku), and free to follow the cosmic order “unconsciously, naturally and automatically.” Read more...


philippe coupeyPhilippe Rei Ryu Coupey, Zen monk, is a Zen teacher in Europe in the Sōtō tradition, a lineage that is transmitted directly from master to disciple and whose practice is shikantaza, simply sitting, without goal or profit-seeking mind.

After finishing his studies in literature, he met Master Deshimaru in Paris in 1972, became one of his close disciples and, working on his transcriptions and teachings, followed Deshimaru until the latter's death in 1982. He continues to work and teach within the International Zen Association (Association Zen Internationale or A.Z.I.).

He is the teacher and spiritual referent for around thirty dojos in France, Germany, the UK and Switzerland.

Rei Ryu Coupey continues to practice and teach Zazen at the Paris Zen Dojo, where he is Vice-President, and at the Seine Zen group in Paris, as well as at numerous sesshin (intense periods of zazen practice) in France and Germany, organized by his disciples in the Sangha Sans Demeure.