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Genpo Merzel Roshi

Genpo Merzel Roshi

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Published by: Dew Nada on Oct 13, 2009
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Genpo Merzel Roshi
Genpo Roshi is the creator of the Big Mind/Big Heart practice, as well asthe Founder and Abbot of Kanzeon Zen Center and Kanzeon SanghaInternational. He used to be a champion athlete, and is a devotedhusband and father, a successful businessperson, and the respectedauthor of five books.Zen master Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi was born in Brooklyn, New York, in1944. Soon after, his family moved to Long Beach, California, where hegrew up. He received a bachelor's degree from California State Universityat Long Beach in 1966, and a master's degree in educationaladministration from the University of Southern California in 1968. Froman early age, he was active in competitive swimming and water polo, andwas named All-American in those sports. Genpo Roshi taught school in LosAngeles and Long Beach from 1966 to 1971.In 1972, after spending a year in the mountains of California in solitaryretreat, Genpo Roshi started formal Zen training at the Zen Center of LosAngeles, under Maezumi Roshi. He was ordained a monk by Maezumi Roshiin 1973 and given the title Hoshi (Dharma-Holder) after completing Koanstudy in 1979.In 1980, Genpo Roshi received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) from MaezumiRoshi, followed by Zuisse (Empowerment Ceremony required to becomean abbot) in Japan in 1981. In the following year he began to conductretreats in England, Holland, Poland, France, and Germany. In 1984, heleft Los Angeles to devote himself completely to the internationalcommunity of students he named "Kanzeon Sangha." This Sangha nowincludes thousands of members in the United States and Europe.
 
In 1988, Genpo Roshi completed Shinsanshiki (installation as abbot) atHosshinji Temple in Bar Harbor, Maine. In 1991 he moved to Oregon and in1993, at the invitation of the Wasatch Zen Group, he relocated Hosshinji(Kanzeon Zen Center) to Salt Lake City, Utah.Genpo Roshi received the certificate of Dendokyoshi Kenshuso in 1995 atGreen Gulch Farm in California. In October of 1996, he received Inka fromhis elder Dharma brother, Bernie Glassman Roshi, in New York City. RoshiBernie had received Inka from Maezumi Roshi shortly before the latter'sdeath in May of 1995.To date, Genpo Roshi has given Dharma Transmission to Catherine GennoPages, the late John Shodo Flatt, and Anton Tenkei Coppens. Genpo Roshigave Inka to John Daido Loori in 1997.In 1999, after studying voice dialogue with Hal and Sidra Stone from 1983- 1984, Genpo Roshi discovered the Big Mind Process. This method allowsanyone who wishes to open their mind to a more universal consciousnessto do so in a relatively short amount of time. Individuals or groups areable to do so quite easily without any previous formal Zen training. It is anon-threatening technique which uses the ego instead of trying to destroyit. Genpo Roshi has established a non-profit, non-sectarian organizationthat brings the Big Mind Process out to the world.
 
Dennis Genpo MerzelRoshi
(born 1944) founded the KanzeonInternational Sangha in 1982. He has been Abbot of Big Mind Western ZenCenter, (formerly known asKanzeon Zen Center) inSalt Lake City, Utah, since 1987. He received transmission in both Soto Zen and Rinzai Zen. Heis the second Dharma Successor ofTaizan MaezumiRoshi, with whom hebegan hisZenpractice in 1972. In 1996 he receivedinka(final seal of approval as Zen Master)from RoshiBernard Glassman, Glassman being Maezumi's firstDharma Successor. Genpo Roshi served as President of theWhite PlumAsangafrom 1996 to 2007,and has appointed thirteen Dharma Successors (Senseis) and given final Seal of Approval (inka) to eight Zen Masters. In 1999 heoriginated the Big Mind process,which has become central to his teaching since then. He is theauthorof five books and several DVDs. He lives inSaltLake City, Utah with his wife Stephanie Young Merzel, and has two children, Tai and Nicole.
Biography
Dennis Merzel was born inBrooklyn, New York, and raised inSouthern California. In high school and college he was an All-American water poloplayer and champion swimmer. In junior collegehe was captain of the U.S. water poloteam that won the gold medal at the 1965Maccabean Games held inIsrael. He attended theUniversity of Southern California, obtaining a Masters degreein educational administration and went on to become a school teacher.[1][2]Hakuyu Taizan MaezumiRoshi andGenpo SenseiIn February of1971 he had his first awakening experience. At that point, he decided to dedicate his life to understanding who hewas and how he couldbe of service to humanity.[3]In 1973 he ordained as a ZenBuddhist monkunderthe guidance ofTaizan Maezumi. Before ordaining in 1973, he had spent a year alone in themountains ofCalifornia. He completedkoanstudyin 1979, and in 1980 he

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