The teaching in Kanshoji

In Sôtô Zen, the teaching is transmitted from person to person.

At Kanshoji, it is given by Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure, who received the Dharma transmission from Dônin Minamisawa Zenji, abbot of Eiheiji zen temple.

 Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure’s teaching is based on that of Shakyamuni Bouddha rewritten at each period. It takes the different traditional forms of sôtô zen (see page Sôtô zen buddhism). All the teachings are translated into English.


Oral teaching given during zazen

Kusen is the oral teaching given by the teacher during zazen.

It is not literature. Sentences are simple, short and straightforward. The kusen speaks to the deep part of the brain, to the heart of the disciple, who should not try to grasp it intellectually.

Life feeds on life, life offers itself to life. Each form of life receives its life from all the other forms. That is reality. As long as we don’t conform to this reality, our practice is meaningless. As long as we don’t understand the meaning of our lives, as long as we take the wrong direction, our practice is sterile.

From the start, we must understand by ourselves that our life can only be but at the service of life.

For some people, this life we receive from the universe is only for profit. Then it’s impossible to attain liberation, that is peace of mind, true happiness. As long as our practice only has a selfish purpose, it is futile, and even further, it is harmful.

How can one have selfish purposes and be happy? It’s not possible. It’s just not possible. These people go round thinking: How can I be selfish and be loved? How can I be selfish and be liberated from fear?… These people can’t make up their mind to turn their life into the right direction. So their thoughts only add confusion to their confusion, only add anxiety to their anxiety. It’s a toxic way of thinking. When thinking is moved by greed, aversion and ignorance, it’s a toxic way of thinking. It can only lead to sadness, despair, anger.

Some people come to think that their brain does not work properly. They are prepared to place themselves in the hands of brain specialists. All one has to do is to go in the direction of life, to put one’s life at the service of life, to ensure that our life, at every moment, is beneficial for all the forms of life. All one has to do is to make the vow that our life becomes beneficial for life. Then everything comes to its place, everything flows, everything is put right. That is the true conversion: rather than living a purely selfish life, change direction, live a life that is beneficial for all the forms of life. Such is the life of Buddha.

It is when we have understood the true meaning of life that we can practice Zen and that the practice frees us step by step from all our flaws.

Buddha tells us that from the start, such as we are from the origin, we are perfect. The only problem is that, on this perfection, we superimpose selfish points of view, selfish strategies aiming at gaining a greater benefit and a greater fame.

We can’t avoid having to answer this question: “What am I really? What do I do with what I am?”

Taiun JP Faure, April 2023

Faith: non-two

Some people tell me: “I have faith in the future.” Others tell me: “I don’t have faith in the future.” What do we know about the future? During the FIFA World Cup, some people said to me: – I have faith in the French team,…

To Forgive

Rather than letting your thoughts wander, rather than giving free rein to your madness, please bring your mind back to the body. Come back to the normal condition where thoughts glide without clinging to the mirror. Some people tell me: “Is…

Truth takes its course, no matter what you may think

You may think what you want. You may believe what you want. You have the impression that things are like this, or like that… You may believe that truth can be caught with words, that truth can be locked up in words; but truth takes its course,…


Meeting with the founding abbot

The teacher expounds the Dharma freely in the presence of his disciples, around a cup of tea.
The teaching relates to real-life situations.

A monastery is not great because of its many disciples.
It is great because chosan is practiced daily.
Master Dôgen

Chôsan on engaged Buddhism

The premise of this chôsan is a film, The Venerable W, about a Burmese monk who encourages racism towards Islam. I have reservations about engaged Buddhism that shifts towards politics. That monk, pointing the finger at crimes committed…

Zen and psychoanalysis

" [...] Zen is different: its purpose is not to fix the ego, to make it compatible with society or the others. Zen deals with issues having to do with a whole other nature [...]"


Questions and Answers

The mondo is the opportunity, for the disciple, to ask the teacher a question on some aspects of the teaching and how to realise them in daily life.



The commitment of a nun in the city (Hosetsu Laure Scemama – IZA seminar)

The commitment of a nun in the city (Hosetsu Laure Scemama) There exits several styles of life for a Zen monk or nun. I would like here to present an account of the style of life of a nun who is totally engaged in city life. In Japan,…

Personal experience: the monastic life (Yashô Valérie Guéneau – IZA seminar)

  As you can see, it is possible to live in a monastery for a number of years and remain quite normal! In our Sangha of the AZI certain members imagine that monks and nuns live in a monastery like “extra-terrestrial” beings – austere,…

Zen monk, bodhisattva : the-vows of the candidate for Awakening (Taiun JP Faure – IZA seminar 2014)

Human beings are religious animals. The Absolute is present at the heart of all phenomena of the universe. The entire universe practises the Way, naturally, unconsciously, and automatically. That gives rise to the question that Master Dogen…

Frequently Asked Questions

Ask questions

You are welcome to feed this page with questions. So, please feel free to send them to

There is no mind without a body, no body without a mind. They are two aspects of a single reality. When body and mind are unified, we can remain present to ultimate reality, like Buddha Shakyamuni says so well: “The sound that is heard and the one who hears it are instantly forgotten”
That is what we get into the habit of doing in zazen. In other words, regardless of the situation, we are totally open to it, totally available. When we let go of everything that appears on our consciousness, without running away from or rejecting anything, nothing separates us from reality. Body and mind in unity, we become one with all existences in the universe. Being in unity with all existences, we can respond to them with wisdom and compassion.

Zazen is not at the service of anything. Zazen is simply the manifestation of ultimate reality, which has no end per se. Bringing this ultimate dimension within us has the power to change our life… We realise then that our points of view, our conceptions, our interpretations are relative, and that in no case should they be confused with ultimate reality.

A wrong vision of reality leads us to believe that all things in life are permanent, solid; that they have their own existence, independent from the rest. But the opposite is true.
In reality, all things in life are impermanent: they exist in interdependence with all other things, and have no separate existence.

Buddha teaches that we are the cause of our suffering, which comes from our ignorance, greed and aversion. However, he also asserts that we can put an end to our suffering, if we free ourselves from those three defilements, the three poisons.
Ignorance (waywardness):
Not seeing the true nature of life, the true nature of all things, that is to say, Buddha nature. Ignorance stops us from leading our life the right way, harmoniously, because we do not see reality as it is.
Greed (envy):
Neglecting our true nature and that of all things, we do not have access to the satisfying feeling of peace and plenitude. Consequently, we are in a state of frustration and lack, which leads us to look for happiness in material possessions, social status, fame, recognition, etc.
Aversion (anger, violence, hatred…):
Oblivious to the state of awakening, we accuse others; we feel aversion for everything that bothers us; we feel anger and hatred towards the outside world.
It is because we follow the three poisons – often unknowingly – that we entertain relationships with the world which are not right, which prevents our fulfillment and that of others

To practice the Buddha way is to show wisdom and compassion. This can be realised when we become free of the three poisons — ignorance, greed and aversion — and of all the resulting toxic flows. Then, we are no longer locked up in our selfish thoughts, and consequently, no longer separate from other beings. We see the others as they are, with their joys and their sorrows. We feel the desire to help them with their sufferings. Being compassionate is being in unity with the others. The river of giving then flows naturally and freely between all existences. When we are free of the three poisons, the virtue of giving arises naturally. It’s a characteristic of Buddha’s functioning.


Sagesses Bouddhistes TV broadcast

  • Which place and meaning should monastic life have? (French)
  • The Master-Disciple relation (French)
  • Understanding of Buddhism by Westerners, difficulties and traps (French)
  • The resonance in the Buddha Way (French)
  • The desire of appropriation, source of all the sufferings (French)