White Plum Asanga
StoneWater Zen Sangha is part of the White Plum lineage established by Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931-1995), one of the great pioneers of modern Zen, who opened up a unique tradition of Buddhist practice to a worldwide movement. Born into a prominent Soto Zen family, Maezumi received transmission from his father, Hakujun Kuroda Roshi. He then went on to receive approval as a teacher (Inka) from two Rinzai masters, Koryu Osaka Roshi and Hakuun Yasutani Roshi. With this exceptionally rich background Maezumi Roshi was able to express the teaching of the Buddha in a very broad and colourful way. Originally sent to the USA in 1956 as a priest for the local Japanese community in Los Angeles, he went on to found Zen Center Los Angeles and Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. As well as guiding thousands of students, he gave transmission to twelve dharma successors, each of whom is an important teacher in their own right, including Genpo Merzel Roshi and Tenshin Fletcher Roshi
Tenshin Fletcher Roshi is abbot of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, California. Born in Lancashire and trained as a carpenter, Tenshin went to the USA in 1979 to study with Taizan Maezumi Roshi, and received dharma transmission in 1994. In 2009, he in turn passed on this transmission to Keizan Sensei, and each Easter he visits the UK to lead a Zen retreat at Crosby Hall, Liverpool. In this way, he has played an important role in the support and development of the UK and StoneWater Zen Sanghas. Tenshin Roshi is patron of the StoneWater Zen Centre Trust.
Genpo Merzel Roshi, the second Dharma successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, is the founder of Kanzeon Sangha and abbot of Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received transmission from Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 1980. Since 1982 he has visited Europe several times a year to conduct Zen retreats and workshops and his students form a very international community. Keizan Sensei, was a student of Genpo's for over 20 years. Steeped in traditional Japanese practice, Genpo Roshi is well known for his experiments with new training methods. His latest approach in which he combines the way of Zen with Western psychological insights is called "Big Mind" and has been very successful. Over the last few years he has conducted workshops and conferences on Big Mind all over the USA and Europe; in Holland an international sesshin with the emphasis on Big Mind is held yearly on the island of Ameland.