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Historic Zen Temple in NYC celebrates half century

September 11, 2018 11:26 am

NEW YORK — Zen masters, esteemed scientists, award-wining authors, artists, musicians,and Zen practitioners from around the world will gather at 223 East 67th St., New York City, Sept. 14 through Sept. 16 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of New York Zendo Shobo-ji, one of the first Zen temples to be established in the West.

The Zen Studies Society held the formal opening of New York Zendo Shobo-ji on Sept. 15, 1968.

The 50th Anniversary Celebration of New York Zendo Shobo-ji will include talks by two prominent Japanese Zen masters, Shunan Noritake Roshi, Abbot of Reiun-in at Myoshin-ji, Kyoto, and Gentoku Kobayashi Roshi, Abbot of Daitsu-in, Shokoku-ji, Kyoto. Adam Frank, an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, will deliver the keynote address, Consciousness and Contemplative Practice. Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being, and noted writer Larry Shainberg will read from their work. The celebration will also feature a shakuhachi performance (a Japanese bamboo flute associated with Zen) and a tea offering by the Urasenke Tea Ceremony Society.

An exhibit of materials related to the history of New York Zendo Shobo-ji will be on display throughout the weekend, along with traditional Japanese flower arrangements created by the Ikenobo Ikebana Society. Both exhibitions will be open for viewing by the general public from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 13. Registration is required for attendance at all other events of the celebration and is available online at zenstudies.org/NYZ50.

The weekend will conclude with an all-day sit on Sept. 16, led by guest teacher Shunan Noritake Roshi and Zen Studies Society Abbot Shinge Sherry Chayat Roshi.