Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji or “The Listening to the Dharma Zen Temple on Great Plum Mountain” was founded in Seattle, WA by Zen Master Genki Takabayashi. Genki Roshi (Senior Priest) was invited by the Seattle Zen Center (founded by Dr. Glenn Webb, at the time a University of Washington Art History professor) to become the resident teacher in the fall 1978. He accepted, and by 1983 formalized his teaching style around a small group of students and founded Cho Bo Zen Ji, which had its opening ceremony 10/1/84. Before Genki Roshi came to Seattle, he trained for nearly twenty years at Daitoku-Ji, the head Rinzai temple in Japan, founded in the fourteenth century. In addition Genki Roshi directed a Rinzai temple in Kamakura, Japan. He entered the monastery when he was eleven years old.
Genki Takabayahsi Roshi, Chobo-Ji’s founding abbot, fully ordained three priests, including in 1990 our current abbot, Kokan Genjo Marinello Osho and Daiju Gentei Diedricks Osho, who now lives in Kailua Hawaii, and Genko Kathy Blackman Ni-Osho on April 8th 2007. After twenty years of tirelessly giving himself to the transmission of Buddha Dharma to the United States, in 1997 he retired as our teacher (see Retirement Teisho), got married and moved to Montana. There he planted the seeds for yet another American Zen group with the assistance of Rev. Genchoku Johnson. In retirement, Genki Roshi continued to do the activities he loved best, gardening, pottery, calligraphy, writing and cooking. Muho Genki Zenji Dai Osho dropped his body on February 24th, 2013. He passed at his home in Victor Montana with his wife and cat at his side. May the flower of his inspiration continue to bloom for generations to come.
Osho Genjo Marinello, our current abbot, began his Zen training in 1975 after befriending Rev. Daizen Brian Victoria at UCLA and began practicing zazen under the instruction of Thích Thiên-Ân. Genjo did his first sesshin in the summer of 1977 under the instruction of Soto Zen Priest Hirano Osho-san. Genjo was ordained an unsui (priest in training) in 1980 in Seattle. In 1981-82 he trained at Ryutaku-Ji in Japan, under Sochu Suzuki Roshi and retired Soen Nakagawa Roshi. For a time both Genjo Osho and Genki Roshi trained with Joshu Sasaki Roshi.
Genjo Osho was formally installed as our second Abbot on Rinzai Zenji’s memorial day January 10th, 1999. In addition to being our Abbot, Genjo Osho is a psychotherapist in private practice, a certificated spiritual director from a program that was at that time affiliated with the Vancouver School of Theology, married to wife, Carolyn, and devoted father to daughter, Adrienne. Our temple is in the Rinzai – Hakuin Ekaku Zenji Dharma Line; after Genki Roshi retired, Genjo Marinello Osho trained with Eido Shimano Roshi, former abbot of DaiBosatsu Monastery in New York, who affirmed Genjo Osho as Dharma Heir on May 21st, 2008. Genjo’s Dharma Talks and essays have been published in several Dharma journals beginning with the Theosphical Society’s Quest Magazine in 1991 and more recently in the Buddhadharma Practitioner’s Quarterly and NWDA News. Genjo Osho’s commentary on Koan Practice has been translated into several languages.
Genjo Osho has served the greater Seattle community as an Adjunct Faculty member at Antioch University Seattle in Buddhist Studies, a member of the Religious Coalition for Equality, a volunteer Buddhist pastor for the Washington State Department of Corrections, a Spiritual Director associated with Anamchara a Progam of Multifaith Works, and has worked repeatedly with the Church Council of Greater Seattle in interfaith trauma response to tragedies. Currently Genjo serves on the board of Patacara Community Services, which strives to provide community services inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism. In addition he is a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the Zen Peacemakers organization where he has received Witness Council training and participated in international Bearing Witness retreats at Aushwitz/Birkenau, Rwanda and the Black Hills of SD.
Genjo Osho is very aware of the problems associated with three of his core teachers, Genki Takabayashi Roshi, Eido Shimano Roshi and Joshu Sasaki Roshi concerning their misuse of power to exploit and take advantage of students under their care. He and the Chobo-Ji sangha repudiate and condemn the inappropriate liberties these men have taken with their students. The Chobo-Ji Sangha abides by their Ethics and Reconciliation policy.
Genko Kathy Blackman Ni-Osho began Zen training at Chobo-Ji in 1983, and was ordained by Genki Roshi in 1997. She became an Osho in 2007. In addition to assisting Genjo Osho at Chobo-ji, she presently trains in both the Kagyu (Tibetan) and Insight Meditation traditions. She is a teacher of the Urasenke Tea Ceremony, and leads several Buddhist groups in Washington State prisons and at the King County Jail.
- Sister Zendo in Victoria, BC: Zenwest
- Sister Zendo in Allentown, PA: Blue Mountain Zendo
- Sister Zendo in Scripps Ranch, CA: Scripps Ranch Zen
- Sister Zendo in Portland, OR: No-Rank Zendo
- Sister Zendo in Ellensburg, WA: Rai Un Zan Ji
- Sister Zendo in Wenatchee, WA: Stone Blossom Sangha
Donations to the temple can be made at the bowl provided at the zendo entrance, by mail, or at: The Seattle Foundation.