Message from Ryoun Roshi

The objective of Sanbo Zen International is to lead people to discover their True Nature through the correct practice of Zazen, and to eradicate our attachment to enlightenment after the discovery of the True Self.

Zen is not a religion, a belief system, nor a philosophy. Zen is the way to discover, through direct and concrete experience, our True Self and to actualize and manifest this fact in our daily life.

What is this True Self?

Our True Self does not have any form, weight, height or any dimension. Most people’s perception of reality, their selves and everything around them is mistaken. What they ordinarily perceive as a self or a thing or an event is nothing but a concept, a mental construct. This is true for everything in the universe – you and I, this chair, the trees and the plants around us, that camera, that building.

True nature has no substance. It is beyond the measure of time and it is one with the whole universe.

Zen is nothing but pursuing and clarifying the nature of this True Self. If we pursue this search earnestly and relentlessly, we will come to the same discovery that Shakyamuni Buddha made more than 2,400 years ago.

People have asked what the term sanbo means. Sanbo is a Japanese word that means “three treasures”. The three treasures refer to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. There are classical versions of these terms but let me just say that Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are nothing more than another way of naming your True Self.

One must grasp this fact by direct experience. Otherwise, he or she can never have true peace of mind. The way to this experience is zazen. All one needs is a set of cushions, and the will and perseverance to discover the True Self.

Zen does take discipline and regular practice but the effort is priceless when you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being at home with your True Self.

As far as the activities of Sanbo Zen go, what is most important is “Sitting.” It is not Koans nor lectures (teishos). Nor is it recitation of the Sutras or the rules of the Zendo.

Never forgetting the importance and wonderfulness of “just sitting with all one’s might,” with your cooperation I intend to exert myself fully for the further development of Sanbo Zen.

Let us continue to protect and uphold the Dharma together.

Ryō'un YAMADA 山田凌雲

Ryoun Yamada Roshi, Abbot, Sanbo Zen
(Birth name: Masamichi Yamada)

Zen-related Bio:
1940 Born in Manchuria as the first son of Kyozo Yamada (later Koun Roshi) and Kazue Yamada

1956 At age 16, became a student of Yasutani Roshi

1978 Finished koan study under Koun Roshi

1985 Dharma transmitted from Koun Roshi. Appointed Authentic Zen Teacher (正師家) of Sanbo Zen Kyodan (current Sanbo Zen)

Oct 2004 Appointed the Abbot of Sanbo Zen Kyodan (current Sanbo Zen)

Educational/Business background:
1964 Graduated from Keio University (Economics).
Joined Mitsubishi Bank (current MUFG, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group)

1969 Graduated from Harvard Business School (MBA)

2000 Appointed Senior Managing Director, Mitsubishi Bank (current MUFG)

2002 Appointed Chairman CEO, Mitsubishi Securities (current Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities)

2007 – current Representative Director and Chairman, Itoki Corporation

Other activities:
President, Tokyo Kenbikyo-in Foundation
President, Genki Plaza Medical Center for Health Care