The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Ryōmō Kyōkai means "Association for the Abandonment of the Concepts of Objectivity and Subjectivity". It was founded at the beginning of the Meiji restoration, when Japan started to modernize:
- The Zen lay practitioners Yamaoka Tesshu, Takahashi Deishu and other top leaders of our country asked Soryu-kutsu Imakita Kosen Roshi, the chief abbot of Engaku-ji Temple in Kamakura,
- Members could discuss anything they wanted except politics and "worldly affairs".
- Meals were limited to rice, sake, and three bowls of vegetables.
- Participants would be honest and polite.
- New participants would be introduced by an existing member and affirm their Vows every month.
It attracted lay Buddhists and possibly inspired the Form of Zen practice centers throughout the Western World. Sō Katsu stayed in the USA four years before returning to Japan, leaving only Sokei-an behind.
Sokei-an lived most of his adult Life in the United States, returning to Japan only briefly on four occasions, principally to complete his Zen training and receive his final Dharma transmission from SōKatsu.
In 1930 he established the Buddhist Society of America in New York City, initially as a branch of Ryōmō Kyōkai; this was renamed the First Zen Institute of America after World War II, and continues to this day, in spite of having no resident Teacher.
The Ningen en Kyodan.