Koryu-ji Ranking System

Blue Mountain Zendo offers formal Rinzai Zen Training for those who are interested in a deeper level of commitment and practice. These training paths are open to everyone, and Koryu-ji will offer all available accommodations to allow those with disabilities to ordain. Koryu-ji is a welcoming sangha, and believes that diversity enriches its members while encouraging an open heart and mind.


Refuge (Triple Jewel)

Anyone can request to take Refuge at Koryu-ji whether they are a member or not. There is no requirements other than a basic understanding of the Three Jewels. Traditionally a Juzu (mala) is used to mark this ceremony.

Jukai (Precept taking)

The rank of Jukai is the formal admission into Sangha via the taking of the *”The Sixteen Precepts”. A student is required to attend weekly zazenkai and sesshin (retreat) for a one year period. This rank is many times called a “Lay Ordination”. Traditionally a Rakasu is bestowed upon the initiate along with a Dharma Name and certificate.

The Three Refuges (Three Treasures)

I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha.

The Three Pure Precepts

I vow not to do harm. I vow to cultivate compassion. I vow to love others.

The Ten Grave Precepts

I take up the way of not killing, and vow to cherish all life. I take up the way of not stealing, and vow to respect that which belongs to others. I take up the way of not misusing sex, and vow to be honest and respectful. I take up the way of not lying, and vow to speak the truth. I take up the way of not misusing drugs or alcohol, and vow to keep the mind clear. I take up the way of not gossiping about others’ faults, and vow to be understanding and sympathetic. I take up the way of not praising myself by criticizing others, and vow to overcome my own shortcomings. I take up the way of not withholding spiritual or material aid, and vow to give freely when needed. I take up the way of not unleashing anger, and vow to seek and extinguish its source. I take up the way of not speaking ill of the Three Treasures, and vow to cherish and uphold them.

Rank of Sensei (Master)

The rank of Sensei is a formal recognition of a “lay teacher”. A Sensei must have taken Jukai, practiced for at least ten years and have attended 60 Sesshin or more. The sesshin may range from 3-12 days.

Path of the Monk/Priest

Path of a Postulate Monk/Priest

The path of a “Postulate Unsui” (cloud water) or “Postulate Priest” is a tentative ordination bestowed upon an initiate. Due to the PT schedule of Koryu-ji, what normally takes one year of FT training, takes two years at Koryu-ji. Postulate students must attend all zendo activities as well as meeting various training requirements. To encourage those seeking Unsui ordination, Koryu-ji offers a postulate ordination which allows the postulate to live as a novice monk under the guidance of a teacher after the first year. Within the two year training period, both the postulate and the teacher may terminate the training arrangement at any time. The postulate retains his Jukai name/rank but, looses the rank of Unsui. The “Postulate Unsui” is welcome to reinitiate the training process, beginning once again at the one year mark.

Rank of Priest (Jushoku)

The training of a priest and a monk are almost identical. The main difference between the two is the monk lives at either a temple or a monastery, while a priest typically does not. A priest may run a zendo or a temple, yet also have an outside job. A priest is focused on meeting the needs of the local community by offering various teachings, ceremonies and services.

Rank of Unsui (Cloud/Water)

The rank of Unsui requires two years of supervised training. This includes, memorizing sutra, services, instruments, form and personal koan practice. An Unsui is still encouraged to attend all zendo activities, however, the schedule is more flexible than the “Path of a Postulate”.

Rank of Osho (Tranquil Monk)

The rank of Osho requires Unsui Ordination, sixty weeklong sesshin, ten years of temple or sangha experience and the endorsement of a Roshi.

Active Jukai Students

Kyosei Daniels, Seido Souders, Taipo Macintyre, Joshin Zimmerman, Ryukei Clasen, Shuji Roberts, Myoho Schultz, Enmei Pettigrew, Seiun Leavey, Dana Landau

Active Unsui

Rev. Zoho Wilson, Unsui