Clear Mind School
main training center, Mt. Baldy Zen Center, was opened in 1971 in
an abandoned Boy Scout camp high in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast
of Los Angeles. Located in the middle of a national forest, Mt.
Baldy operates under a 99-year lease from the government. The monastery
sits beneath towering conifers on a scree slope strewn with granite
boulders – notoriously hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
It has been refurbished to accommodate resident monks and nuns,
as well as visitors attending dai-sesshin. Mt. Baldy Zen Center
has gained a reputation in American Zen circles for its rigorous
practice, which includes 19-hour-a-day sesshin schedules. Most of
Rinzai-ji's monks and nuns have received some or all of their training
the establishment of the Rinzai-ji and Mt. Baldy Zen
Centers in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Joshu Roshi had laid
the groundwork for a corps of ordained monks, nuns and priests to
help him carry out his work. When a student named Michelle Martin
asked Roshi to come to New Mexico to conduct a dai-sesshin, he playfully
replied, "You find hot springs, I come." Back in New Mexico,
Martin and a friend found an old Catholic monastery for sale in
Jemez Springs. They invited Roshi to inspect the facilities to see
of they were appropriate for a Zen community, and, in 1974 Jemez
Bodhi Mandala (now known as Bodhi Manda Zen Center) was founded.
Manda became Roshi's second training center, offering daily zazen
and communal work practice. Bodhi Manda borders the Jemez River,
set deep in a canyon with towering red sandstone walls. The facility
includes dormitories, a communal dining hall, and guest quarters.
Bodhi Manda residents have extensively renovated the property, expanding
the hot pools, piping geothermally heated water through the living
quarters to provide heat, and planting an orchard and an extensive
garden, which provide fresh vegetables and fruit for the residents.
Bodhi Manda Zen Center integrates a challenging daily schedule
of formal practice and samu with monthly zazenkai and spring and
fall training periods known as kessei (each of which includes several
dai-sesshins). Jiun Hosen Christiane Ranger, Osho, serves as Bodhi
Another important component of Joshu Roshi's work in the United
States has been the annual Summer Seminars on the Sutras, begun
at Mt. Baldy Zen Center in 1977. Over the past 30 years, the seminars
have drawn Buddhist scholars from around the world to examine the
fundamental principles of Buddhism. The seminars have been held
at Bodhi Manda Zen Center since 1985.
Joshu Roshi has traveled extensively to lead dai-sesshins. He has
conducted sanzen (koan practice) with students in the U.S., Canada,
Poland, Norway, Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium and New Zealand.
For nearly 10 years, he held regular dai-sesshins for Trappist monks
at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Mass.
Meanwhile, Roshi's students have established Zen centers in places
as diverse as Albuquerque, Tempe, Ariz., Boulder, Colo., Vashon
Island, Wash., Pittsboro, N.C., Vienna, Austria, San Juan, P.R.,
Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver, B.C., Ithaca, N.Y., Brooklyn, N.Y.,
Miami, Fla., Mt. Cobb, Calif., and Princeton, N.J.