Eido Tai Shimano

Eido Tai Shimano

Religious Biography
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Eido Tai Shimano

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is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist roshi. He was the founding abbot of the New York Zendo Shobo-Ji in Manhattan and Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-Ji monastery in the Catskill mountains of New York; he retired from that position after 40 years amid controversy.


Eido Shimano was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1932. His first encounter with a Buddhist scripture came at the age of nine, when his school teacher instructed his class to memorize the Heart Sutra.

In his youth Shimano was ordained as novice monk by Kengan Goto, the priest of Empuku-ji, the Rinzai temple in Chichibu. Kengan Goto gave him the Dharma name Eido, composed from first characters of two Japanese Zen founders, Eisai and Dogen. Later he was trained by Shirozou Keizan Roshi, abbot of Heirin-ji, near Tokyo. This was a Rinzai training monastery with strict discipline.

In 1954, Shimano left to study at Ryutaki-ji and practice with Soen Nakagawa Roshi, a relatively young Zen teacher. The following year Nyogen Senzaki visited the temple from America and left a lasting impression on Shimano. In 1957, Soen Roshi asked Shimano to go to America for one...
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