Open Way Zen

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Open Way Zen
Tradition/Linage Soto Zen
Main School Mahayana
Founder(s) Zen Master Hogen-san
Contact Infotmation
Address 22 Galaxy Street
Bridgeman Downs
Queensland 4035
Country Australia
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Mobile 0421 010 167

An unincorporated non-profit organisation supporting the Australian teachings of Zen Master Daido Hogen Yamahata. Zen meditation meetings of the Open Way Zen Group are held at the Quaker Meeting House, 10 Hampson Street, in Kelvin Grove from 7:00pm to 9:00pm every Wednesday.

Zen Eco-Symphony Village

Zen master Hogen has long had the dream of forming a residential zen community on a rural piece of land in Australia. It is envisaged that the land will incorporate a permanent community of students with their families as well as a zendo and facilities for residential sesshins and self retreats. We are actively investigating potential properties in the Springbrook area, in the mountains at the back of the Gold Coast, Queensland. This location is between Byron Bay and Brisbane, both centres where sangha members currently live. Springbrook offers a pristine environment but is also only a half an hours drive down the mountain to the Gold Coast. There is a preference for situating the community near the Theosophical Society retreat centre. (Open Way Zen does not have any connection to the Theosophical Society).

The following directions were written by Hogen-san during the time of his last visit. They are born out of his deep and long term commitment to us all, the Dharma, and his vision for a simple and pure life. This dream has been evolving for the past 15 years on this continent since the time of Hogen-san's first sesshin in Australia. Please know, by your participation in this, however large or small, such a possibility ripens.

The Basic Direction for Establishment of Our Zen Sangha Community

  1. This is the first priority: To find the essential basis to be in deepest harmony, peace and love with our whole community. This is most necessary and important for us all.
  2. Daily Zen practice (with basic and essential precepts of love and compassion).
  3. Permaculture penetration.
  4. Self-sufficient community with alternative energy systems, a seed bank and many other positive alternatives.
  5. Enough space and places for our new family and Dharma friends. A space from 80 or 200 acres, large enough to receive visits from global Dharma friends who will surely join us in living and working with our community which is open-air breathing, organic, gateless gate, with open-heart-precepts.
  6. Simple life, humble being, wonderful awakening-encounter; (of Here-Now.)
  7. A Pure natural environment (in nature and the surroundings).
  8. Co-operating and learning with different eco-villages, in the mutual understanding of aid and support.
  9. People can always join us from outside of the community for Zazen, sesshins or some new, open workshops, (wholistic medical, psychological, yoga, or art of living, crafts, macrobiotic, biodynamic etc.), even self-retreats, etc. (Which can also be a source of financial support for us).
  10. To look for land with as many buildings as possible. Land with council approval is important.

Our Teachers

On the "Open Way" of now, every act arises here Through this spontaneous and natural function of no-mind love, Hogen invites us to see, to meet, to open in full discovery of THIS!

Zen Master Hogen-san

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Zen Master Hogen-san

Zen Master Hogen-san the founder of Open Way Zen began his spriritual journey as a teenager, roaming the Japanese countryside from monastery to hermitage in search of the ultimate truth. Carrying few possessions, he visited a wide range of noted teachers, in both the Rinzai and Soto traditions. After many years of inquiry, he met an enigmatic monk, who, in response to a sincere question about the meaning of life, shouted "this is it!". That monk eventually became Harada Tangen Roshi, the widely respected Abbot of Bukokuji Monastery, and Hogen-san's lifelong teacher. Hogen San has also written about his life koan.

More than thirty years ago, after a term of solitary retreat, Hogen-san assumed responsibility for a vacant Soto temple. It is located in a traditional farming community near the foot of Mount Fuji. Here he established a simple lifestyle with a daily schedule of meditation, yoga, running and organic gardening. Recently his son has taken over as abbot administering the religious needs of his village and Hogen-san has retired from formal duties. Following his retirement he has authorised a small number of teachers in Australia as future Dharma successors.

He now spends many months of the year in Australia and keeps close correspondence with many friends and students worldwide, among them leading artists, humanitarians and philosophers.

Michael Doko Hatchett

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Michael Doko Hatchett

Doko-san has been practicing Zen since 1989 and met Hogen-san in 1991. He became a monk in 1994, with dharma heir transmission to teach in 2008. He became Hogen-san's "fully transmitted successor and a new ancestor in the lineage" in 2009. He is head monk of the sangha, Abbot of Dochu-an Zen temple and lives in Mullumbimby, NSW.

Peter Genjo Bruza

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Peter Genjo Bruza

Peter (Genjo) Bruza started zen practice in the late eighties with the Kanzeon Sangha (The Netherlands). His first teacher was Genno Roshi, who greatly helped him on The Way. After moving back to Australia he briefly studied within the Korean Kwan Um school of zen and and then met is master, Hogen Yamahata at a sesshin near Byron Bay in 1995. Since then he has been studying under Hogen san's guidance and became a Dharma heir in January 2008.

Peter Genyo Gallagher

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Peter Genyo Gallagher

Peter developed a serious interest in zen during his mid teens but it wasn't until the early 1990s that he began regular practice. His first formal teacher was John Tarrant, through retreats with the Sydney Zen Centre. On moving to Queensland in 1996 he became, and continues to be, a student of Zen Master Hogen Yamahata. The late Chan Master Sheng Yen has also influenced his practice.

Peter's formal Jukai was with Harada Tangen Roshi (Hogen Yamahata's master) on 16 August 2001, receiving the Dharma name of Daigyo Genyo. Peter ordained as a monk on 18 April 2003, and in January 2008 Hogen Yamahata gave him authority to teach, lead retreats, and give dokusan.

Quentin Genshu Reilly

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Quentin Genshu Reilly

Quentin studied about Buddhism in the late 1960s when a medical student in Adelaide by reading publications from the Buddhist Publication Society of Shri Lanka. This he continued to do when working as a young doctor in the 1970s. In 1974 he went to Sydney to study Public Health and met and learned from Phra Smai of the Thai Sangha - now Than Chau Khun Smai, and Lama Yeshe of the FPMT Tibetan Sangha.

On returning to Papua New Guinea he continued his reading and learning and attended retreats and teachings at Buddha House Tibetan (FPMT) in Adelaide when he went there to visit his parents. In the 1990s after he, his wife and two daughters moved to Cairns he undertook Vipassina retreats at Pomona, north of Brisbane, under the guidance of the Goenka organisation. In the latter half or the 1990s he worked with Laurence Kantipalo to help establish the Bochicitta Buddhist Centre in Cairns and was its foundation president. He undertook teachings and retreats with the guidance of Laurence Kantipalo. Amongst the visiting teachers to the centre were Lama Choedak and Master Hogen-san. He undertook several retreats with Master Hogen-san in Cairns and in southern Queensland and was ordained by him on the 12th of March 2005 and given the Dharma name of Genshu.

Master Hogen-san gave him permission to teach and also supported his application to the Buddhist Education Foundation of Taiwan to have three books of Buddhist teachings published which he had translated into Tok Pisin for use in Papua New Guinea. As well as teaching in Cairns he also taught about the Buddhist teaching and meditation in Papua New Guinea. In 2008 the Sangha bilong Groim Klia Save (Sangha for developing Understanding and Wisdom) was started on Kali Island in the Manus Province of Papua New Guinea. This Sangha is based on Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeng.


Open Way Zen