Abbot of Yokoji
Tenshin Fletcher, Roshi
Born in Manchester, England, Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi came to the United States in 1979 to study at the Zen Center of Los Angeles with founder Taizan Maezumi Roshi. In 1994, Tenshin Roshi received Dharma Transmission (authorization to teach) in the White Plum lineage from Maezumi Roshi, and Inka from Genpo Merzel Roshi in 2006 (Zen Master, final seal of approval). He acted as administrator for many years at ZCLA and is now the primary teacher and abbot at Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center. Tenshin Roshi is one of the few North American teachers officially certified as a Kokusaifukyoshi (Official Foreign Representative), a title appointed in 2009 by the Soto Zen Headquarters in Japan.
Students come from around the world to train with Tenshin Roshi for his profound insight into traditional Zen study and ability to guide students toward their own inner wisdom. Tenshin Roshi's own life experience includes 8 years of running his own business as a general contractor in Los Angeles and 5 years in business in England, as well as raising a young family. Like most teachers in the White Plum lineage, Tenshin Roshi uses both koan and shikantaza (just sitting) in his training. Although traditionally associated with the Rinzai school of Zen, koan practice has a strong history in the Soto school and The Harada-Yasutani lineage, of which Maezumi Roshi was a part, emphasize the importance of both practices. Tenshin Roshi also has over 20 years of voice dialog experience, a psychological technique described by its founders as an "empowering psychospiritual approach to relationship, personal growth and communication".
Tenshin Roshi co-authored a book with David Keizan Scott Sensei called "Way of Zen". It was published in 2001 by St Martin's Press at their request for a comprehensive book on Zen Buddhism at the turn of the century. As such, it is an invaluable resource on the history, various cultures and practices of Zen Buddhism from India to China, Japan and the United States and Europe. The book is used by many as a text book on Zen Buddhism and appears often on reading lists for Zen temples and study groups.
Way of Zen
Tenshin Roshi and Keizan Sensei wrote this book at the request of a publishing house who wanted a book for the end of the millenium that gave an overview of Zen practice, its history and culture. The book is used as a text book in many Zen Centers as it fits so much information into a small volume.
The book is available in the Yokoji gift store for the discounted price of $12.95. It is part of our online reading list as well. The reading list links to Amazon where you can also buy a copy.