Development History

Ryumonji Zen Monastery

Ryumonji Zen Monastery

A forty acre farm was donated for the development of Ryumonji. The land was donated in February of 2000. During the first two years many volunteers worked to clean up the farm land and renovate the existing buildings. The farm house was originally a 1890’s log cabin. The second floor of the log cabin portion of the farm house was used as the original zen meditation room. The barn was renovated for workshop use and the grainery renovated for storage.

Buddha Hall

In 2004, the first of four permanent monastery buildings was dedicated. This main building is referred to as the Buddha Hall (Hondo). It is the place of services, ceremonies and lectures. The Buddha Hall is a 40′ x 52′ timber framed structure with metal roof and in-floor heating. It was dedicated on June 27, 2004.

Buddha Hall Dedication June 27, 2004

Buddha Hall Dedication
June 27, 2004

Entry Gate

The Entry Gate (Sanmon) is a traditional passage way from one’s secular life
to entering the monastery living complex. It was completed in 2005.

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower (Shoro) is a tradition structure of the Zen Monastery
The sound of the bell echoes throughout the valley and calls people to service. The bell tower was completed in 2005.

Bell Tower (Shoro)

Bell Tower (Shoro)


The Kuin is a kitchen/residential facility. It contains a large commercial kitchen and residential facilities for guest participants and resident teachers. There is also a large community dining facility, office, and library/dokusan (interview) room. It is a 46′ x 70′ structure with two levels. It also has a geothermal heating/cooling system in place. It was dedicated on June 26, 2007.

Kuin DedicationJune 2007

Kuin Dedication
June 2007


The Sodo or Monks’ Hall was dedicated June 26, 2011 and is used for monks in residential priest training periods and the practice of zazen meditation for the general public. Residential monk practitioners practice zazen as well as sleep and eat in the Sodo. The Sodo is built to ancient traditional standards that have been transmitted through India, China and Japan.

Sodo Dedication  June 2011

Sodo Dedication
June 2011


The final monastery building will be completed in 2013. This is the Shuryo
(Residential Study Quarters). This is a complementary building attached to the Sodo.
It provides study quarters and bath facilities for those residing in the Sodo during
residential practice.