Aim of Sanbo Zen

Sanbo Zen International

Penticton Zen Center: Mountains and Waters Sangha


About us:

Sanbo Zen International (SZI), founded in 2013, is a worldwide network of local or regional Zen groups practicing zazen (sitting meditation) according to the Zen understanding of the Sanbo Zen (earlier: Sanbo-Kyodan) line, which originated in Japan in 1954 (à Cf. History of Sanbo Zen).

The word “Sanbo” stands for “three treasures” of the Buddha-Way, namely “Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,” designating the core of the Way.

Penticton Zen Center was established in 2008 in the now Sanbo Zen line. Our initial teacher from the Toronto Zendo was Nenates Albert Roshi and currently Brian Chisholm Roshi. We are indebted to Sr. Elaine MacInnes Roshi from the Toronto Zendo for ongoing support.   

Our aim:

Our primary aspiration is to experiencially grasp our true Self and the essence of all things (enlightenment or “satori”). It is to attain one of the most important “three fruits” of zazen (s. below), following in the footsteps of Shakyamuni Buddha. This is promised to all human beings and has been realized by so many people, regardless of culture, history, religion, age, sex, education, etc. It is the very foundation of true peace of mind.

Furthermore, we believe that, through the practice of zazen, we can substantially personify the above-mentioned essence of our being in our actual life and eventually in society.

Zazen brings forth also other very positive effects, mentally and physically, which certainly help us to live through this stress-laden life in the modern world.

All this constitutes the reason why we practice zazen and recommend it also to all people interested in meditative life, thus hoping to contribute to making this world a better place to live in.


Our characteristics:

One characteristic of Sanbo Zen is that it is basically a lay movement, having no involvement in the monastic temple system of Buddhism – the main reason we can uncompromisingly and without secondary interests pursue our aims.

As more fully described in “History of Sanbo Zen”, another important characteristic of our line is that it is a unique harmonization of the Soto and Rinzai Schools, two main traditional schools of Zen in Japan. Thus, we use the so-called “koans” to effectively bring students to enlightenment and to deepen that experience.

Moreover, we consciously take the standpoint that Zen is trans-religious: You can practice zazen with us regardless of your religious affiliations or without any such connections – although we are sure that zazen practice will deepen, widen and sometimes revolutionalize whatever religious life you may practice. Therefore, each local sangha enjoys its relative independence as to religious rites and formalities of practice.


28 December 2014   SATO Migaku Roshi

3 January 2015 minor modifications for Penticton Website


Contact us:

If you are interested, please feel free to contact any of the local group in Penticton.

Tom Ashton:  Zen Teacher – Penticton Zen Center

Penticton Zen Center