Keizan Scott Sensei
Rev Dr Dave Keizan Shoji Scott FRSA is the leader of the StoneWater Zen Sangha, an ordained Buddhist priest and lineage holder in the Soto Zen school, having received shiho (dharma transmission) from Tenshin Fletcher Roshi in October 2009. He is also a widely published writer on Japan, Zen Buddhism, comparative religion and cookery, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Sensei lives in Liverpool and was a joint owner of the renowned Everyman Bistro on Hope Street.
After gaining a doctorate at Manchester University, he left academic life to travel and write. He went to Okinawa in 1974 where he studied karate with Master Kanei Uechi at the dojo in Futenma. On his return to Liverpool, he started his own dojo and founded the Uechi-Ryu Karate Association (Great Britain).
Sensei has been a Zen practitioner with White Plum Asangha since 1982, intially under the guidance of Genpo Merzel Roshi of the Kanzeon Sangha. In 2002 he was given the rank of Hoshi ("dharma holder") by Genpo Roshi. In 2006, Sensei was ordained as a monk by Genpo Roshi at the Kanzeon Zen Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he has also been authorised by Genpo as a Big Mind Facilitator.
In November 2008, Sensei formally became a student of Tenshin Roshi who he had by then known for fifteen years, and was ordained as a priest by Roshi at a Denkai ceremony at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, California. This qualifies him to give jukai (precepts) and shukke tokudo (ordination). In October 2009, Roshi recognised Sensei as a lineage holder in a dharma transmission ceremony in Liverpool. He was given the name "Keizan Shoji" (translation), and is now formally addressed as "Sensei" (teacher).
Tenshin Fletcher Roshi
Born in Manchester, Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi went to the United States in 1979 to study at the Zen Center of Los Angeles with founder Taizan Maezumi Roshi. In 1994, Tenshin Roshi received Dharma Transmission (authorization to teach) in the White Plum lineage from Maezumi Roshi, and Inka from Genpo Roshi in 2006 (Zen Master, final seal of approval). He acted as administrator for many years at ZCLA and is now the primary teacher and abbot at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. Tenshin Roshi is one of the few North American teachers officially certified as a Dendokyoshi (Recognized Zen Teacher) by Japanese Soto Headquarters. In 2009, Tenshin Roshi was appointed Kokusaifukyoshi (Official Foreign Representative ) by the Japanese Soto Headquarters.
He served as administrator for many years at ZCLA and is now teacher and Abbot at Zen Mountain Center. Tenshin Roshi is one of twelve North American teachers officially certified as a Dendokyoshi by Japanese Soto Headquarters. Tenshin Roshi is sought out by Zen students from around the world for his profound insight into traditional Zen study and ability to guide students towards tapping into their own inner wisdom. In 2009, Tenshin Roshi was appointed Kokusaifukyoshi (Official Foreign Representative ) by the Japanese Soto Headquarters.
Roshi has trained thoroughly in both koan and shikantaza "just sitting" practice and works with students using these traditional and other more recently developed forms. He strongly encourages that we pay attention to every aspect of our lives, giving life to life.
Emptiness is often misunderstood; people think that emptiness is a blank state. This is a view that could not be further from the truth. The experience of emptiness does not negate anything; rather it embraces everything. Through practicing and experiencing emptiness great joy and equanimity is experienced.
- Tenshin Fletcher Roshi
[Roshi's biography & photo from Yokoji Zen Mountain Center website]