Zen and the Sutras: Faith From Within and Without

A Three-part Telecourse with Tenkei Coppens Roshi

Abbot of Zen River Temple, Netherlands

9:00-10:15 am MT 

December 2, 9, & 16, 2017



In 2015, Tenkei Coppens Roshi introduced his Four Modes of Meditation and shared how the first three (harmonizing body and mind, turning one’s own light inward, and clear observation) culminate in the fourth one, Bodhisattva activity.


Last year he focused on ways to manifest wisdom and compassion in the everyday world, orienting to the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts as springboards for meditation in action and for personal transformation in social interaction with others.


According to great masters like Dogen Zenji, we need both practice and study for realizing the Way. The faith from within that is engendered by zazen needs to be complemented by faith from without that arises from studying the sutras. In this year's three-part telecourse on the interactive Zoom platform, Tenkei Roshi will address the relevance of the sutras in Zen Buddhism. 

Tenkei Roshi will share his own ongoing work regarding the sutras, and how this has benefitted him in practice. For examples to illustrate the process he will primarily use excerpts from the Lotus Sutra but also refer to the Diamond Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Surangama Sutra, the Platform Sutra, and the Awakening of Faith scripture.


$75 TAZ Members and White Plum Asanga Affiliates

$100 Non-Members

NEW $45 Self-Study Option (Recordings and Reading Materials only)

This is a foundational course for all students of Zen. All members of Two Arrows Zen are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of this exceptional opportunity to learn more about the Sutras and the role of Sutra study in Zen practice.


Tenkei Roshi recommends reading this recent article from the November 2017 Zen River Newsletter: FAITH FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT

The Sutras that may be quoted in the course:
  • The Lotus Sutra, translated by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, 1993
  • The Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra, Translated and explained by Edward Conze, George Allen & Unwin LTD, 1975
  • The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui Neng, Translated by A.F. Price and Wong Mou-Lam, Shambala, 1985
  • The Flower Ornament Scripture, A translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra, by Thomas Cleary, Shambhala, 1993
  • The Surangama Sutra, With Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsua Hua, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2009
  • The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra, translated and edited by Charles Luk, Shambhala, 1972
  • The Awakening of Faith, translated by Yoshito S. Hakeda, Columbia University Press, 1967
  • In the Buddha’s Words, An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon, edited and introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom, 2005
  • Complete Enlightenment, Translation and Commentary on The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, by Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, Dharma Drum, 1997



Tenkei Coppens Roshi is the abbot of Zen River Monastery in Uithuizen, Netherlands, which he established in 2000 with his wife, Tamara Myoho Gabrysch Sensei. He is a dharma successor of Genpo Merzel Roshi and certified by the Japanese Soto School as Kokusai Fukyoshi - a teacher who spreads the dharma internationally. Tenkei Roshi teaches at his home base in Zen River after years of traveling and living abroad. He regularly visits other locations to conduct workshops, including Madrid, and Lima. This is his fifth telecourse for the Two Arrows Zen Sangha. We are once again honored to receive his teaching.