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.
Genki Takabayahsi: 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. He is Chobo-Ji’s founding abbot. During his life he fully ordained three priests, including in 1990 our current abbot, Kokan Genjo Marinello Osho, 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. 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.
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 Roshi and Genki Roshi trained with Joshu Sasaki Roshi.
Genjo Roshi was formally installed as our second Abbot on Rinzai Zenji’s memorial day, January 10th, 1999. In addition to being our Abbot, Genjo Roshi 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 trained with the late Eido Shimano Roshi, former abbot of DaiBosatsu Monastery in New York, who affirmed Genjo 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 Lion’s Roar and NWDA News. Genjo Roshi’s commentary on Koan Practice has been translated into several languages.
Genjo Roshi has served the greater Seattle community as an Adjunct Faculty member at Antioch University Seattle in Buddhist Studies, a volunteer Buddhist pastor for the Washington State Department of Corrections, 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. Genjo also serves on the Faith Action Network Interfaith Leadership Council and with Faith Action Network’s Interfaith Network for Indigenous Communities. In addition he is a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and Zen Peacemakers organizations where he has received Witness Council training and participated in international Bearing Witness retreats at Auschwitz/Birkenau, Rwanda and the Black Hills of SD.
Genjo Roshi 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.
On September 28, 2013 Genjo Roshi affirmed Eshu Martin, former Abbot of Zenwest Buddhist Society as Osho. Osho is the Japanese Zen word for temple priest, so this ceremony acknowled and affirmed Eshu Martin as a full temple priest and Dharma Teacher. This is not the same as Dharma Transmission which may come later. As an acknowledged temple priest, Eshu has the authority to give Dharma talks, doone-on-one Dharma interviews and ordain priests in training (unsui in Japanese).
On January 22, 2014 Genjo Roshi affirmed Joriki Baker, Abbot of Blue Mountain Zendo– Koryu-Ji near Andreas, PA as Osho. This ceremony acknowledges and affirms Joriki as a full temple priest and Dharma Teacher. This is not the same as Dharma Transmission which may come later. As an acknowledged temple priest, Joriki has the authority to give Dharma talks, do one-on-one Dharma interviews and ordain priests in training (unsui in Japanese).
On May 26, 2017 Genjo Roshi affirmed Rinzan Pechovnik, Abbot of No-Rank Zendo in Portland, OR as Osho. This ceremony acknowledges and affirms Rinzan as a full temple priest and Dharma Teacher. This is not the same as Dharma Transmission which may come later. As an acknowledged temple priest, Rinzan has the authority to give Dharma talks, do one-on-one Dharma interviews and ordain priests in training (unsui in Japanese). §
Zen Sensei (lay teachers) currently training at Chobo-Ji or affiliate center:
Carolyn Josen Stevens, Sensei §
Tom Shodo DeGroot, Sensei §
Scott Ishin Stolnak, Sensei §
Sharon Meho Petit, Sensei, with Stone Blossom Sangha, Wenatchee, WA
Sally Zenka Metcalf, Sensei §
Unsui (ordained priests in training) currently training at Chobo-Ji or affiliated center:
Rev. Doshu Rogers, with Zenwest, Victora, BC
Rev. Soshin McMurchy, with Zenwest, Victora, BC
Rev. Hoyu Boulter, with Zenwest, Victora, BC
Rev. Seiho Morris
Rev. Gendo Testa, with Shoshinkan Dojo,Coventry, RI §
Rev. Sendo Howells §
Rev. Seifu Singh-Molares §
Affiliated Zendos with Sensei or Unsui/Osho:
- Sister Zendo in Victoria, BC: Zenwest
- Sister Zendo near Andreas, PA: Blue Mountain Zendo
- Sister Zendo in Portland, OR: No-Rank Zendo
- Sister Zendo in Wenatchee, WA: Stone Blossom Sangha
- Sister Zendo in East Coventry, RI: Shoshinkan
Donations to the temple can be made at the bowl provided at the zendo entrance, by mail, or via Paypal.
To add your email address to our Weekly Email Bulletin (Temple Happenings) or your street address to our Quarterly Newsletter (Plum Mountain News) by post, please send your request to: email@example.com.
§ – actively training at Chobo-Ji (a minimum of one weeklong sesshins for Sensei, two for Oshos and four for unsui)