Anton Tenkei Coppens Roshi (1949 – Den Bosch, the Netherlands) is the third Dharma Successor of Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi. He received Shiho (or Dharma Transmission) in 1996 and for the following four years assisted Genpo Roshi full-time in teaching in Salt Lake City. Together with his wife Tamara (Tammy) Myoho Gabrysch Sensei he established Zen River Temple in Uithuizen in the Netherlands in 2000.
Tenkei Roshi is co-editor of Beyond Sanity and Madness by Genpo Roshi. He has also edited a series of dharma talks that Maezumi Roshi gave in Europe, published under the title The Echoless Valley and Teaching of the Great Mountain. In 2020 Tenkei Roshi published his book Timeless Calling, Timely Response, A Guide For Zen Buddhist Practice.
Tamara Myoho (Tammy) Gabrysch Sensei (Edinburgh, Scotland), started studying with Genpo Roshi in 1988 and also started working as Tenzo (Temple Cook). In 2000, together with Tenkei Roshi, she established Zen River Temple, in the Netherlands. In 2008 she received Shiho from Genpo Roshi in Salt Lake City.
Tammy is one of the writers of The Hidden Lamp. She also published a cooking book: Zen River Cookbook; Mouth-watering, Vegetarian Recipes and a second volume called Zen River Cookbook; Recipes from a Western Zen Temple.
The White Plum Lineage was established by Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931–1995), one of the great pioneers of modern Zen who, alongside a handful of other Japanese masters, turned the wheel of dharma in our age and opened up a unique tradition of Buddhist practice to a worldwide movement.
Maezumi Roshi received not only Shiho (Dharma Transmission) in Soto Zen from Baian Hakujun Kuroda Roshi, which he transmitted to his Dharma successors, but he also received Inka (Seal of Approval) in the Shakyamuni Kai from Osaka Koryu Roshi and in the Sanbo Kyodan from Hakuun Yasutani Roshi. As he incorporated the approaches of all of these masters, he could draw from an exceptionally rich background and express the teaching of the Buddha in a very broad and colourful way.
Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944, and grew up in California. He started formal Zen training under Taizan Maezumi Roshi at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1972. In 1980, Genpo Roshi received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) from Maezumi Roshi and in the following year he began to conduct sesshins in several European countries. He founded Kanzeon Sangha in 1984 which includes all his students in the United States and Europe. Until 2000 Genpo Roshi’s teaching was clearly based on the models he had inherited. Since then he started to diverge from those models and developed an interactive method called ‘Big Mind’, which combines the way of Zen with Western psychological insights.
Baigaku Junyu Kuroda Roshi, or ‘Hojo-san’ (1940-2021), is a younger brother of Maezumi Roshi and Abbot of two temples — Kirigayaji in Tokyo and Fujidera in Gotemba, close to Mount Fuji. He graduated from Komazawa University in 1963 and received Shiho from his father in 1968. In addition to traditional Sodo training in Sojiji, he completed a special course there that qualified him as a Zen Master in 1970. Since then he has traveled widely. Later on he developed a special connection with Bhutan. In 2010 Hojo-san became Gondai Kyoshi or Vice-President of the Japanese Soto School, and in 2012 he received the title of Daikyoshi, which is one of the highest ranks in the school. Hojo-san has been very closely connected to Zen River. Tenkei Roshi and Myoho Sensei visited him many times in Japan and also Gakudo Sensei and Koren Sensei have been his guests on various occasions.