lived about 2500 years ago in northern India. According to legend he left his home and family as a prince to become a homeless ascetic to find the answers to life and death and to be relieved of suffering. He practiced the strictest asceticism until he nearly died of exhaustion. Finally he concentrated solely on Zazen. Sitting with an upright posture under a bodhi tree his body-mind fell away and he awoke to the true path.
The 28th Patriarch succeeding Shakymuni Buddha brought the „Great Path“ from India to China in the sixth century A.D.. But it was not until after Bodhidharma spent nine years of intensive Zazen practice in the seclusion of Shorinji (Shaolin monastery) that the Dharma began to spread in China.
Dogen Zenji (1200 – 1253)
brought the true Buddha Dharma from China to Japan. Dogen thoroughly revised the Buddhism already existing in Japan and brought it back to its core.
Kodo Sawaki (1880 – 1965)
was one of the most famous Zen Masters of the 20th century. He was a great reformer of Zen. He restored Zens original freshness and simplicity.
Shuju Narita Roshi (1914 – 2004)
was the head of the temple Todenji in northern Japan and co-pupil of Master Deshimaru. He was the first to receive Shiho from Kodo Sawaki, the seal of transmission of the authentic Dharma.
Taisen Deshimaru Roshi
T. Deshimaru lived from 1912 – 1982. He was the pupil of Kodo Sawaki from 1936 – 1982 came to France in 1967 where he begann zu teach the practice of Zen – Zazen. He had many pupils and founded over 100 Dôjôs. Master Deshimaru is considered to be one of the greatest Zen Masters of our time.
Ludger Tenryû Tenbreul
Born in 1956, he was a pupil of Narita Shûyu for many years and from whom he received Shihô, the transmission of the Dharma, in the line of Kôdô Sawaki Roshi. L. Tenryû is president of the Zen association of Germany (ZVD), the head of the Berliner temple Shôgôzan Zenkôji and of the Zen Center Mokushôzan Jakkoji in Schönböken and is also Dendôkyôshi (a Zen teacher acknowledged by the Zen authorities in Japan).
Thomas Kairyû Quitschau
Born in 1955, started zazen in 1978 and met Master Deshimaru for the first time in the winter of the same year in his Zen dôjô in Paris. After his bodhisattva ordination in 1980, he received ordination as a Zen monk from Master Deshimaru in the summer of 1981.
After the death of Master Deshimaru in 1982, Th. Kairyû became a student of Master L. Tenryu, from whom he received Shihô, the Dharma transmission, in 2003. Since 2004 he has been “Kokusaifukyoshi”, a Zen teacher recognized by the Japanese Shumuchô. Th. Kairyû founded the Zen-Dôjô Gyojin Lübeck in 1981 and headed it until 2000.
In 1989 he was involved in the founding of the Schönböken Jakkôji Zen center and over a long period of time in developing it.
In addition, he has been leading sesshins in the Frankfurt and Leipzig area for many years. The Zen-Dôjô Leipzig Kyôdaizan belongs to his student circle.