Rinzai-ji Press publishes and distributes books that have been selected and developed by the Publication Review Committee of Rinzai-ji Zen Center (Los Angeles, CA).
Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki Rōshi, the founding Abbot of Rinzai-ji, established the Publication Review Committee with the goal of publishing expertly reviewed and translated written records of his master Dharma lectures (teishōs) and writings. The committee works with Asian religion scholars, long-term practitioners, and disciples of Jōshū Rōshi.
Rinzai-ji Press publications stand as the official record of Jōshū Sasaki Rōshi’s teaching and are issued by Rinzai-ji Inc., which holds the intellectual property rights. Transcripts from unauthorized sources have not undergone this careful review process and cannot be taken as authentic and representative records of Jōshū Rōshi’s teaching.
Kyōzan Jōshū Sasaki (1907–2014) was a lineal descendant of the great systematizer of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, Hakuin Ekaku (1686–1769). Entering Zuiryō-ji in Hokkaido in 1921 at fourteen, he became the disciple of Jōten Sōkō. In 1947 he received Dharma transmission (inka) from Jōten Rōshi. After years of training and teaching at Zuigan-ji monastery in Matsushima and at Shōju-an in a remote part of the Japanese Alps, he was asked by the abbot of Myōshin-ji to introduce his unique Zen practice to the West. He arrived in California in 1962, and by 1968 he had established the Cimarron Zen Center (now Rinzai-ji Zen Center) in downtown Los Angeles. The Mt. Baldy Zen Center was founded in 1971, and the Bodhi Mandala Zen Center in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, in 1973. His followers later established Zen practice centers across North America, including in Albuquerque, Ithaca, Phoenix, and Seattle in the United States; in Montreal and Vancouver in Canada; and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In Europe, Zen practice centers affiliated with Rinzai-ji are located in Oslo, Vienna, and the German city of Augsburg. After teaching tirelessly in the West for more than fifty years, Jōshū Rōshi published his first book, About Tathāgata Zen, in 2014. Manifesting Zen, published posthumously in 2022, is a collection of his master Dharma talks.
Publication Review Committee
Kendō (謙道) Hal Roth practiced with Jōshū Sasaki Rōshi from the age of twenty and was ordained by him in 1987 at Mt. Baldy Zen Center. A professor of Religious Studies at Brown University and director of the Contemplative Studies program, the first of its kind in North America, he is a specialist in Chinese and Japanese religious thought. Roth is the author or co-author of five books, including Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism (2004) and The Contemplative Foundations of Classical Daoism (2021), and the editor of Jōshū Rōshi’s two books. In 2013 Jōshū Rōshi appointed him to chair the Publication Review Committee and to lead in the curation and publication of his teaching materials.
Chigan Dokurō (獨僂) Jaeckel is the Vice Abbot of the Zen Studies Society and an 84th generation Zen master in the Japanese Rinzai Zen tradition. He is the first Dharma heir of Shinge Rōkō Sherry Chayat Rōshi, whose lineage traces back through Eidō Sōtai (Shimano) Rōshi and Sōen Genju (Nakagawa) Rōshi. He began his Zen training under Genrō Seiun (Koudela) Dai-Oshō in Austria and was ordained by Jōshū Sasaki Rōshi in 1989 with the monk name Dokurō. In 2004 he received the Oshō name Kyō-On in a Suiji-shiki ceremony at Rinzai-ji. After Jōshū Rōshi’s passing in 2014, Dokurō continued his studies with Shinge Rōshi from whom he received Inka-shōmei and after advanced training was given the title of Rōshi. Chigan Rōshi has been serving as a Buddhist Chaplain at Harvard University for fifteen years and supports Rinzai-ji on this committee and as a teacher in retreats. Under his secular name (Roland Jaeckel), he serves as Executive Director of Distance Education at Boston University.
Myōren (妙蓮) Kumiko Yasukawa is currently on leave, undergoing traditional training as an Unsui (雲水) under the tutelage of Yamakawa Sōgen (山川 宗玄), Rōshi at Shōgen-ji (正眼寺) in Minokamo, Gifu, Japan. Myōren served as Inji (personal assistant) to Jōshū Sasaki Rōshi for the last years of his life and was ordained a Zen nun in 2010 at Rinzai-ji.