Lecture series 2024

in the library of the Takuju House, Schlieperstr. 31, 13507 Berlin.

The lectures in german language take place every two months on Sundays from 10.30 to approx. 11.45 am.
Admission is between 10.15 - 10.25 am.
The text of the lecture can be made availabe in english or any other language if this is indicated when registering.

Participation is free of charge and non-binding, subject to prior registration.
Please register by the Thursday before the event begins:
by e-mail:
or by telephone (please leave a message on the answering machine): 030 - 43 55 71 87.


February 18
Lecture on the subject of "ZEN"

April 21
Lecture on the subject of "Karma"

June 16
Lecture on the topic of "Here and now"

August 18
Lecture on "The Four Noble Truths"

October 20
Lecture on the topic of "Emergence in dependence"

December 15
Lecture on the topic of "Self-confidence"



Due to current events:

I have grown old, 83 years old, and throughout my life I have been plagued by a phrase that echoes in my head over and over again:

Money corrupts the world.

It has drilled itself deep into my heart, hurts incessantly and rots away.
I can't get used to it - it repeats itself too insistently!

Today, on February 29, 2024, I unexpectedly felt an international press release like a balm for my old heart:
In the American state of Illinois, Judge Tracie Porter has disqualified one Donald Trump from the primary election for involvement in the storming of the Capitol in America.
Mr. Trump, a former president, full of negative energy, had faced American voters with a sneer during the election campaign because of inherited money and apparently had a good chance of being re-elected by naive people.
Ms. Porter, an obviously deeply human judge, has now thwarted this in Illinois. My heart responds with a sigh of relief.
So there are still things in the world that put a stop to deadly despair.

Looking out of the window into the garden, my old eyes see harbingers of spring 2024 sprouting from the earth and I look at them silently and with joy - justice has not yet died in this world of mine.
                                                                                                                        Rinzai ZEN Master
                                                                                                                        Sōtetsu Yūzen



 Haiku in spring
  by Sōtetsu Yūzen

Bleak winter now gone,
there, a yellow butterfly
flutters gloom away.


Faces to the sun,
city dwellers lift their heads
like daisies in spring.


Clouds shift in the sky,
springtime sun - oh, alas -
drops into puddles.



April Gans5.

Next events


Three publications by Sōtetsu Yūzen about Kōan studies: 

Nach-Satori-ÜbungNach-Satori-Übung – Begegnungen mit Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen (chin.) Jōshu Jūshin (jap.) 778-897

Mumon-Kai-Verlag 2012, hardcover, 356 pages, numerous calligraphies and coloured illustrations. € 28,50. To be ordered via:


Nach-Satori-Übung - der Antrieb des scheintoten Ochsen:

The book takes the reader all the way back to the ancient times of Zen, to master Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768).
"Eventually," Hakuin said, "I realised that the experience I've gained within the stillness and peace of the Zen hall is almost impossible to maintain in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From that moment on, the chief concern of my Post-Satori exercise was to bring both aspects of my life into harmony: the one gained during my monastery life and the one lived in everyday life."

The author, Sōtetsu Yūzen, revives Hakuin's Post-Satori exercise: He allies himself with Master Jōshū Jūshin (778-897) Borrowing striking incidents from Jōshū's life, he shows how bastions of thought and cathedrals of belief can be totally shattered with the help of Jōshū's spontaneous Zen spirit. For the inexperienced, the occurrences involving Jōshū must appear like locked gates. 48 masterful examples of the effects of a Zen mind have been hereby selected by Sōtetsu Yūzen. The manner in which a student manages to open these gates shows his ability to understand Zen.

If he also proves his ability to turn his Way of Zen into his everyday life, he has truly found jiriki (Jap.), the power to self-liberation.

Tritt durch die WandTritt durch die Wand - Die Koan-Sammlung MUMON-KAN
Mumon-Kai-Verlag 2010, hardcover, 542 pages, 52 illustrations and 52 Chinese calligraphies. € 38,00. To be ordered via:


Step through the wall - of your thinking! Wake up! Come to the realisation of your true self by your own strength! This can only happen when the walls of thinking fall and the vibrant present moment is no longer concealed by illusions of faith. Climate crisis, financial crisis, relationship problems, identity crisis – in short: we are determined by internal and external life crisis. "Who am I, where do I come from, where do I go to and what am I living for?" – Zen proves to be an answer!

By means of 48 landmarks for orientation (Koan), a way to deal with the noisy chaos of our daily delusionary life is shown. As a car driver already knows, it is hardly possible to find your way without a navigation device nowadays. Zen, as a way to self-realisation and, at the same time, the endeavor to apply this insight to everyday life, also needs the instructions and guidance of an authentic master.

Sōtetsu Yūzen guides us while passing the 48 Koan of the MUMON-KAN. After 47 years of learning and practicing, he has experienced ZEN to be an intuitive, spontaneous and unambiguous doing. It has nothing in common with the affected behavior you find in meditation seminars that can be altered at random. By using simple, sometimes provocatively stirring words, he frees the Koan of all mystifications and the incomprehensible, philosophic literary entanglement it has often been subjected to. Free from any esoteric affectation, Sōtetsu Rōshi energetically opens an access to these ancient spiritual treasures and helps the Zen student to perceive and to live in a Buddhist manner.

Heimkommen - und still ruhenHeimkommen und still ruhen - Der Koan-Weg im Rinzai-Zen
Kokurin-Verlag 2012, 276 pages, 28 full page ink drawings. Price: hardcover € 25,00; paperback edition € 19,00. To be ordered via:


The practice of ZEN is no supplement, nor is it a decoration or a fashionable innovation –it is the radical elimination of all kinds of illusions and religious persuasions from our life.

ZEN is our practical, everyday application of the Buddha's teachings. ZEN is a way of life that shows us how to solve the problems of life and death and of alleged fate out of our own strength. Practicing the Way of the Koan, ZEN is a "coming home", a finding back to who we really are.

Each Koan is an offer, a means to expose our ego which causes us to suffer. A Koan can't be solved by mere reasoning at all. We have to venture to leap onto an intuitive kind of understanding instead. If we succeed to enter the Land of the Lotus by finding again our original, inner freedom and peace, we start to live a life of contentedness–even amidst the world's everyday madness.

Thus,"Heimkommen und still ruhen (coming home and resting peacefully)", is what we give to ourselves.

About us – The Tenshin Bulletin

TenshinTenshin is the official bulletin of the First Zen-Community of Berlin. The magazine is published quarterly with contributions from all our Zen-halls, including accounts about Sesshin, lectures and information about Buddhist life in our community. It costs EUR 5,-. An annual subscription costs EUR 20,-.