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Kobun sitting near Puregg Zendo


Houn Kobun Chino Roshi Otogawa – his students and friends simply called him Kobun – was born on 01/02/1938 in Kamo, Japan, in his parents’ Zen temple Jokoji the youngest of six children into the world. After the early loss of his biological father he was, as it were adopted by his later masterpieces, Hozan Koei Chino Roshi. During his studies at the University Kamazawa and his stay at Eiheiji monastery he took for years, regularly attend the lectures of Kodo Sawaki Roshi. The third authoritative influence was finally Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, which in Jahre1967 directly from Eiheiji after Tassajara, the newly founded Zen monastery in California, took him. The next 35 years lived kobun mainly in the US.


Kobun during calligraphy lesson

Kobun was a gentle and good-natured soul. ‘An open and flexible mind is the way’ he said and lived. Many people felt in his presence existentially touched and they recognized in him their Zen master, with some he went a formal teacher – student ratio a. And although he organizational structures and ‘politics’ as he put it like (along with’ hands off …), always avoided and sometimes sabotaged specifically, exist today in America and Europe a number of centers and a sitting area, which is rely on him and found in his suchness inspiration. Towards the end of his life he encouraged some of his older students to take themselves more responsibility in the transmission of the Zen and authorized them as a teacher.


Except Zen priest and master of ceremonies was kobun painter, calligrapher, poet, Kyu-Do shooter, he played Shakuhatchi, the Japanese bamboo flute, like cooked, was a good and fearless skiers, a healer and astrologer, most bull, sometimes all night long herumgeisternd, and in heart always an artist. He has two children from his first and three from his second marriage and four grandchildren. On 26 July 2002 Kobun drowned along with his 5 year old daughter Maya when trying to save the latter from a pond.