Master of Rinzai-Zen

Sōtetsu Yūzen RōshiSōtetsu Yūzen Rōshi

Sōtetsu Yūzen. He founded the »First Zen Community of Berlin« (registered association), on July 27, 1971.

Sōtetsu Yūzen, the current Master of the Zen-Community, began his Zen-training as a student of Seki Yūhō Rōshi (whose ancient Japanese name is Yūhō Sōshun Seki Zenji, 1900-1982), whom he later followed as one of his Dharma successors.

He was born 1940 in Silesia. During his medical studies at the university of Berlin, he discovered the teachings of Shākyamuni Buddha and he has been following these teachings ever since with deep conviction. Dr. Zernickow (Sōtetsu Yūzen) has worked as a doctor since 1976. He regards his profession as his realisation of Zen in everyday life.

  • His Zazen training began in 1964.
  • In 1969 he met Professor Nagaya (Tokyo) who taught him the formal basics of Zazen. Later, Dr. Zernickow received spiritual instructions by several other Rinzai-Zen masters.
  • In 1971 he founded the »First Zen Community of Berlin« (registered association), which was named Mumon-Kai (»Community Without Gates«) by Professor Nagaya.
  • In 1974 Dr. Zernickow met his personal master Seki Yūhō Rōshi, whom he followed as a student until the death of the master in 1982.
  • In 1980 Dr. Zernickow received Tokudo, the ordination-vow as a monk within the Rinzai-Zen tradition, by Jōshu Sasaki Rōshi. He was confirmed as Shika by the Myōshin-Ji (Japan).
  • In 1982 Sōtetsu (his Dharma name) Yūzen (his Unsui name) became one of his master’s Dharma successors.
  • In 1986 Sōtetsu Yūzen also received confirmation as a Ch’an Master of the Lin-Chi-School (the Chinese Rinzai-School) in China by Master Che Huai, the abbot of the Baima-Si (Whitehorse-Monastery) in Luoyang (Henang province).
  • In 1998, after 34 years of Zen practice and after the confirmation of several Zen-Masters and the completion of his pledge of a 20-year long self-examination, Sōtetsu Yūzen became an official Zen-Master of the Rinzai-School.

Tōkaku Chizō SenseiTōkaku Chizō SenseiWaldemar Pienkowski was ordained as a Rinzai-Zen monk in Japan in 1997. He was born in Poland in1958, where he works as a gynecologist.

He has been practicing constantly with his teacher, Sōtetsu Yūzen Rōshi, who confirmed him as ZEN NO SENSEI (teacher of the Rinzai-Zen School) in 2009.

To date, Tōkaku (his Dharma name) Chizō (his monk's name) has solved all Pre-Koan, Mumon-Kan-Koan and Post-Satori-Koan in countless Dokusan examinations.

Sōtetsu Yūzen und Tōkaku Chizō SenseiSōtetsu Yūzen Rōshi and Tōkaku Chizō SenseiNow his task is to demonstrate to his master, whether and how he implements all the insights attained by Zen training in his daily life. If he succeeds to do so, he will proove himself to be an energetic and true Dharma-Successor. He may realise the essence of the Buddha's teachings for the rest of his life and by this show genuine Zen. He may keep alive our Rinzai-Zen Dharma-Lineage, take care for its continuity. One day he himself will have to find a Dharma successor, who in turn will have to ensure that Zen, the Buddha's Path to self-liberation, will keep leading through this world.  


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