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Shodo Harada Roshi, taken at the Sogen-ji monastery located in Okayama, Japan.

Shodo Harada Roshi

...The Teacher

Writings by Shodo Harada Roshi:


Original Mind

Dojo: A Place of Practice

The Way of Zazen


Morning Dewdrops of the Mind: The Teachings of a Contemporary Zen Master

The Path to Bodhidharma: Teachings of Shodo Harada Roshi

Shodo Harada Roshi was born in 1940 in Nara, Japan. He began his Zen training in 1962 when he entered Shofuku-ji monastery in Kobe, Japan, where he trained under Yamada Mumon Roshi (1900-1988) for twenty years. He was then given dharma transmission (inka) and was subsequently made abbot of Sogen-ji monastery in Okayama, Japan where he has taught continuously since 1982.
Harada Roshi (Roshi means "teacher") is heir to the teachings of Rinzai sect Zen Buddhism as passed down in Japan from Hakuin...and his successors. Harada Roshi's teaching includes the traditional Rinzai practices of daily sutra chanting, zazen (seated meditation), sanzen (private interviews with the teacher), sussokan (breath counting) and koan ('past cases') study, samu (work), sesshin (intensive retreats), teisho (lectures by the teacher) and takuhatsu (alms receiving). While the outward appearance of this type of training may seem rigorous and spartan to some, it is important to note that Harada's teaching is formed by deep compassion and permeated by the simple and direct Mahayana doctrine that all beings are endowed with the clear, pure Original Buddha Mind. The purpose of our training is to realize this mind in ourselves and in all other beings.
With this all-embracing view constantly in mind, Harada Roshi has been training people of various backgrounds at Sogenji since 1982 and welcomes serious students (men and women, lay and ordained) from all over the world. Over the past fifteen years, he has trained men and women from Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Iran, Greece, Sweden, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam and Japan.
In 1989, Harada Roshi made his first visit to Seattle, where he led a sesshin at the home of one of his senior students. He has returned since then to lead sesshins, at first once each year and then twice, at other locations in Washington state, including Cloud Mountain Retreat Center, Bastyr University, and the Whidbey Institute. Several years ago, as facilities were developed on site, the Roshi began to lead sesshins at Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery on Whidbey Island, with expectations of increasing his visits to Whidbey Island - and hence the number of sesshins he will lead - to three each year.
The Roshi also visits one country abroad each year to lead sesshins and maintain his connection with students there. In past years, he has led sesshins in Denmark, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland and India.
As soon as possible, hopefully within the next few years, the Roshi plans to take up permanent residence as the abbot of Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery on Whidbey Island, at which time the practice and sesshin schedule will be significantly enlarged and intensified.