The Peak of Light Temple – Hoshoji

The Way of Zen transmitted by Buddha Shakyamuni, and later on in its Japanese form by Master Dogen, reached Europe thanks to the mission of Taisen Deshimaru. The living legacy of the old masters embodied in Master Dogen´s Shobogenzo is still carried on by Master Sando Kaisen.

The temple

The main sanctuary of our sangha is located in Southern France, in Larzac, Dordogne county on a picturesque hill (have a peek…).  and carries the name HOSHOJI – The Peak of Light Temple. It has been constructed since 2005, when we moved from the Seishoji Temple close to Perigord and the Komyoji Temple near Censtochova in Poland.

The building itself and the area around it have undergone many reconstructions. A gate has been built, decorative and vegetable gardens made, a meditation room (dojo) has been rebuilt, rooms and bathrooms have been reconstructed. The biggest pride of our temple is the Zen Garden. It is open to the general public, as is all the temple (apart from at the time of our retreats). Recently, we have carried out landscaping works on the eastern slope and renewed an old vineyard there.

All the works have been financed from the donations of people who practice and with the financial help of other friends of the practice. But there is still a lot ahead of us, our works still continue and we still need contributions. We are planning to insulate the building, completely revitalize the heating, build houses where people can stay, and create a library and a lecture hall.

The temple is the heart of our community. A root out of which live branches spread to all Europe – France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.

It is a place of meeting the Master and people from other countries who practice. We meet during our retreats (sesshin) and camps (ango). It is a place where we practice, meditate, study and work. Where we forget ourselves and devote ourselves fully to the Way.

Practice in the Temple

The Way of Zen is in the first place zazen, a quiet aimless sit, out of which all activities arise. This sit is not a meditation, since it is not connected to any object and does not focus on any mind content. To practice zazen means to come to realize that Buddha´s nature has always been our own. Zazen is not a means to reach some goal, it is to be present during the sitting itself. It is shikantaza.

Dógen wrote: “Even though some people know, based on their experience, that to sit is the Dharma of Buddha, no-one can sit just for the sitting.”

The retreats in the monastery have a taste of simplicity. Zazens alternate with the time of meals, everyday activities, work and rest. The life is run by the rhythm of sounds which we simply follow regardless of our mind and its disturbing tendencies. There is nothing that would not express the Big Way. But it is good to come here with a simple mind, freed from all intentions, goals and all spiritually-imaginative searching.

No strictness, no special morality, no promises of happiness or freedom. Here, each of us has always been enlightened in our own Nature. This “each of us” has been forming the holy community of the venerable Buddha from the times without beginning.

No word can define the marvellous flower of contemplation. “Simply sit” is the great Awakening of Buddha.

You can support us here.

You can visit the temple, if arranged in advance, and you may join some of the events we organize or you can start to practice with us.

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