Moon Mountain is a name that symbolises, encompasses and expresses the Dharma activities of Kaishin Tenryu, a German Zen teacher. The current formless form is/will be based around a facebook group and a website as a main point of contact. In the years to come, Moon Mountain may manifest itself as a more formal Sangha, but only time will tell.

The word Zen comes from the Chinese word Ch’an, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit word Dhyana, which very broadly speaking means „meditation“ or „contemplation“. Another way of outlining the Zen tradition can be found in the following traditional (slightly paraphrased) lines:

A special transmission outside the scriptures Not founded upon words and letters Pointing directly to the original Heart Revealing one’s own true nature

There are multiple Zen schools with slightly different perspectives and approaches to theory and practice. Although some may want to argue that the Truth that Zen is pointing to and which it is expressing is beyond religious affiliations in an ultimate sense, Zen has always been a part of the Mahayana tradition. Until a few decades ago, there was absolutely no doubt that Zen equals Buddhadharma and is indeed a religious tradition. Due to the cultural influence of theosophy, perennialism, western consumerism and certain organisations who have a vested interest in distancing Zen from its Buddhist roots, these days anyone capable of breathing and chewing gum at the same time seems confident enough to re-define what Zen is. This has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to spreading and adapting forms of Zen practice. The orientalist mystique attached to the term “Zen” has made it a marketing term that is common as dirt nowadays and is being used to sell commodities and goods of all kinds. Another much shorter answer could be that Zen is a way of clarifying, experiencing, exploring and expressing life as it is.

Silent sitting, a direct awareness practice we might want to call Shikantaza or pure (in the sense of “nothing other”) sitting. This way of silent sitting is the essential practice expression of Moon Mountain, although other Buddhist practices and approaches may be introduced and shared at times. The “spirit” of Moon Mountain Zen honours the notion of Ekayana and the fact that there are 84.000 Dharma gates available to individuals of all kinds. In the case of Moon Mountain, it all comes down to silent and effortless sitting in the end. Having said that, rituals have an important role to play as well. Whether Soto or Rinzai, the sphere of Japanese Zen has never been a ritual free zone, no matter how much many modern teachers may want to make it seem that way. The same holds true for Moon Mountain

Kaishin Tenryu received Dharma transmission from his beloved master Taigu Turlur in the Soto-Zen tradition in late 2017. Kaishin Tenryu and Moon Mountain are affiliated with the Order of Mountains and Clouds, which is a small Soto-Zen lineage spread around the world.

English is the new Lingua Franca of the world in general and of western Buddhist studies in particular. In order to enable as many people as possible to catch a glimpse of the Moon Mountain, English seems the best choice. Those whose first language is German or Dutch can always write to Kaishin Tenryu directly and ask questions in those languages, invite Kaishin for a cup of coffee in Cologne etc. Having to make a little effort is no bad thing at all, quite the contrary.

That would depend on a number of important questions and their respective answers. I am not selling any kind of certificates and am not interested in training priests at this point. Having said that, I will not be stingy with the Dharma as such and am happy to help people receive the precepts. There are really no stupid questions at all in this context, however there ARE lazy questions. A prospective student would have to be prepared to visit me regularly at any rate. I really enjoy the wonderful ways in which modern technology can allow us to stay in touch, but I am not running correspondence courses of any kind. And just to be clear, Moon Mountain Dharma is not a commercial enterprise. Whether you found your way to me via digital media or through contact at a retreat etc., I trust that you are an adult and I will treat you as such. You found the door on your way in, you can surely find the door to let yourself out. Neither me as a person nor Moon Mountain as an emerging Sangha is here to entertain you.