The Center

The sole purpose of the Bodhi Manda Zen Center (“The Bodhi”) is to promote universal wellbeing, helping people to experience their true selfless and symbiotic nature through providing genuine teachings and training in Rinzai Zen Buddhist practices, as taught by Denkyo Kyozan Joshu Roshi, for the immense benefit of current and future generations.

Michele E. Martin, an early student of Zen Master Denkyo Kyozan Joshu Roshi, requested that he come to her home state of New Mexico to teach Zen Buddhist practices. The Roshi lightheartedly replied, “You find hot springs, I come.” Taking his response to heart, Michelle began searching and serendipitously, in the small town of Jemez Springs, she found an abandoned Catholic monastery for sale complete with undeveloped natural geothermal springs. Michelle very kindly donated the down payment and in March of 1974 the Bodhi Manda Zen Center was founded.

KaiHan‘Bodhi Manda’ is Sanskrit for “Place of Enlightenment,” the fundamental purpose of The Bodhi being to promote universal wellbeing and unexcelled tranquility by providing genuine teachings on Zen Buddhism. Located in a high desert river canyon in the stunning and secluded Jemez Mountains, the harmonious practices of Bodhi Manda invite and encourage the cultivation of symbiotic relationship in every aspect of life, while the serene environment supports both visitors and residents in attentively deepening the understanding of our collective ‘true nature.’

Since its incorporation as a non-profit religious organization based on the firm foundation of Zen practice, The Bodhi has continually transformed itself, constantly adapting to the needs of its participants and responding to the demands of the environment. Thanks to countless people having contributed to its growth and development over the years, the Bodhi Manda Zen Center has a particularly rich history and now offers an exceptionally wide variety of educational and enriching opportunities.

In the spring and autumn The Bodhi focuses primarily on providing formal monastic training in Zen Buddhist practices for committed students, while during the off-season the Center opens to the public and functions as a guest house, giving visitors the option to participate in the daily monastic activities or enjoy the facilities on their own schedule. Throughout the summer the Bodhi rents out the property to a diverse mixture of independent retreat groups, some of which have been returning for over thirty years. In the midst of the groups’ programs all are encouraged to perform a service for Bodhi Manda, inviting everyone to form relationships through fully engaging with one another, the environment, and the Bodhi staff, simultaneously bridging the gap between the ideas of Buddhist and non-Buddhist.

All through the year members of The Bodhi, as well as harvesting fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in various plots on the land, receives from the local farmers market in Albuquerque weekly food donations called “Takuhatsu,” a tradition of fostering community support that extends back to the time of the historical Buddha. Consisting mainly of produce that the market has deemed unsellable, Bodhi residents sort through the products, saving what is still fresh to be cooked for the students, staff, and groups, and composting what has spoiled to supply nutrients for the gardens’ soil and crops.

For many decades Bodhi Manda conducted the annual “Summer Seminar on Buddhism” conceived in 1977 by Zen Master Joshu Roshi, where scholars from around the world are invited to lecture and present Buddhism from an academic perspective, immersing participants in both Buddhist philosophy and Zen practice.

The Bodhi extends itself to local middle and high schools as well, offering week-long programs where the students engage in a daily monastic schedule that include early wakeup, zazen meditation, chanting, work practice, and silent meals. In addition, Bodhi Manda conducts traditional Buddhist ceremonies that are always open to the public, zazen-kais (weekend-long meditation intensives), weddings, and funerals.

Entering The Bodhi’s fortieth year, the Board of Directors now has many important goals and projects aimed at the continued expansion of The Bodhi’s outreach and enhancement of the Center’s service and benefit for generations to come, projects that won’t be possible to realize without your support! Jiun Hosen, Vice-Abbess of Bodhi Manda, is the current Shika (resident director). Having begun her training with Joshu Roshi in 1979, she has been residing at The Bodhi since 1980. Ordained as a Zen nun at Bodhi Manda Zen Center on April 30, 1983, she received the “Suijishiki” ceremony that recognized her as an Osho (Zen priest) at the Rinzai-ji home temple in Los Angeles, California on July 21, 1988, and has been Vice-Abbess of Bodhi Manda since 1989.

Thank you for your interest and support! Please call or write for more information.