Posts

Ryōnen, Dōgen's First Female Disciple

Image
Maruyama Kōgai (丸山郊外) was born in 1946 in Gunma Prefecture.She graduated from Waseda University, and then went on to receive her graduate degree from the Sōtō Zen affiliated Komazawa University. She is a nun in the Sōtō Zen tradition, who ordained relatively late in life, at the age of 36.[1] She completed her monastic training at Aichi Senmon Nisōdō (愛知専門尼僧堂), the all women’s monastery in Nagoya. She received dharma transmission (shihō,司法) from Suigan Yōgo Roshi, the former abbot of Sōjiji. Yōgo Roshi was also the head instructor (shike 師家) at Nisōdō for twenty years, and is known in America for his tutelage of Jiyu Kennet, the first Western woman to practice in a Japanese monastery. Maruyama Sensei is a research fellow at the Sōtōshu Institute for General Research (曹洞宗総合研究所). She has written widely on a variety of Buddhist topics, including a book focusing on Chinese Zen masters. However, her most common topic is the history of Sōtō Zen nuns, in particular Ryōnen, Dōgen Zenji’s (12…