What is the »Community Without Gates«?

Zen Gemeinschaft

The »First Zen Community of Berlin« is a group of Zen practitioners, who are united by practicing the Path of Rinzai-Zen. The community is an association that is officially recognised as a non-profit-making organisation of benefit to the public. Its purpose is to enable their members and interested parties to participate in an authentic Zen training under the guidance of a Zen-Master or authorized Zen-Teacher. In our Zazen-halls the structure of Zen-training corresponds with that of the Rinzai-Zen school which is deeply rooted spiritually in Buddhism.

The »First Zen Community of Berlin« was founded by Sōtetsu Yūzen in June 1971. As his student, he followed Seki Yūhō Rōshi, abbot of the Rinzai-Zen-Monastery Eigen-Ji / Japan. Later, Seki Yūhō Rōshi, appointed him to develop Zen in the German-speaking countries and to provide the necessary conditions for Zen to take root.

In following his Silesian roots - and deeply moved by the turmoil of World War II he had witnessed as a child - Sōtetsu Yūzen also decided to promote, practice and implant Rinzai-Zen in Poland. Thus, under his energetic guidance, many Zen-centres and training-halls in Germany and Poland were established, where he conducted Sesshin (training sessions lasting several days), gave Teishō (master's lectures) and trained practitioners in Dokusan (Koan training).

All Zen-centres are directed and managed by carefully trained and examined instructors (Jikijitsu).