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Some programs are held in person and online. Check the calendar for details.

Before attending in person, read the full protocol here, updated April 23, 2023.

HomeEvents"Ryonen Scars Her Face" - Mark Bloodgood

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"Ryonen Scars Her Face" - Mark Bloodgood

What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to awaken and find freedom?  What would be too great a barrier?

A poem by Ryonen Genso:

To serve my empress, I burned incense to perfume my exquisite clothes.

Now as a homeless mendicant I burn my face to enter a Zen temple.

The four seasons flow naturally like this, who is this now in the midst of these changes?

This image of Genso is depicted by painter Utagawa Kunisada

Sensei Mark Kizan Shogen Angyo Bloodgood began a love of Eastern religion and philosophy in the 1970’s. During this period Shōgen spent time in the Religious Studies Department at Cal State Northridge, California, where he furthered his studies of religion, existentialism, and Buddhism.

Shōgen remained a “closet-intellectual-Buddhist” for decades. On his 50th birthday, during a camping trip in Big Sur, he read an article in Tricycle magazine celebrating the anniversary of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. Shōgen realized he needed to deepen his meditation practice and look for a teacher. In October of 1999 he found his way to the Zen Center of Los Angeles and became a student of Roshi Egyoku Nakao. He received Jukai in 2005, Tokudo in 2012, Denkai in 2016, was empowered as a Dharma Holder in April of 2019 and received Dharma Transmission on December 14, 2019.

Sensei Shōgen has led the SLO Zen Circle for over 17 years. He also leads a prison sangha at the California Men's Colony, where inmates meet weekly for service, meditation, and Dharma teachings. He recently retired from service as a hospice chaplain. He is a member of the White Plum Asanga, the Zen Peacemakers, the American Zen Teachers Association, and an associate member of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.

For more information click here.

Update: In-person attendance is now open to all individuals who are free from cold/flu/COVID symptoms, regardless of COVID vaccination status. Attendance on zoom will continue to be an option for the Sunday Program.

  • Meeting ID:599 251 806
  • Password: WHS

Sunday, April 30, 2023, 5:00 PM until 6:30 PM
Online Main Hall

Additional Info:
Sunday Evening
Registration is not Required
Payment In Full In Advance Only