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 1977. He accepted, and early in 1984 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 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 Oxnard California, 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 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.
Kokan (古観) Genjo (玄成 )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. For parts of 1981 and 1982 he trained for one winter period at Ryutaku-Ji in Japan, under Sochu Suzuki Roshi and retired Soen Nakagawa Roshi. For a time both Genjo and Genki trained with Joshu Sasaki.
Genjo was formally installed as our second Abbot on Rinzai Zenji’s memorial day, January 10th, 1999. In addition to being our Abbot, Genjo 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 Takabayashi retired, Genjo trained with the late Eido Shimano, 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’s commentary on Koan Practice has been translated into several languages.
Genjo 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 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 is very aware of the problems associated with three of his core teachers, Genki Takabayashi, Eido Shimano and Joshu Sasaki 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 October 5, 2019 Genjo affirmed Rinzan Pechovnik Osho, Abbot of No-Rank Zendo in Portland, OR as a Dharma Heir in a Seiho-Shiki (Dharma Transmission Ceremony). As an acknowledged Dharma Heir, Rinzan has the authority to give Teishos, do one-on-one Dokusan and ordain priests in training (unsui in Japanese) and full priests (Oshos). Dharma Heirs may name their own Dharma Heirs with continued good standing in the maha-sangha and with never ending maturation (a ten year maturation period is strongly advised). §
On September 28, 2013 Genjo 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, do one-on-one Dharma interviews and ordain priests in training (unsui in Japanese).
On January 22, 2014 Genjo affirmed Joriki Baker, Abbot of Blue Mountain Zendo– Koryu-Ji in Bethlehem, 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 March 1, 2020 Genjo affirmed Doshu Rogers, Abbot of Zenwest Buddhist Society as Osho. Osho is the Japanese Zen word for temple priest, so this ceremony acknowled and affirmed Doshu Rogers 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, Doshu 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. Soshin McMurchy, with Zenwest, Victora, BC
Rev. Hoyu Boulter, with Zenwest, Victora, BC
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 Bethlehem, 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)