Ryumonji is a Soto Zen Buddhist Monastery. It is registered as a formal temple with Soto Zen Headquarters in Japan.

The name “Ryu-mon-ji” is comprised of three Japanese characters meaning “Dragon Gate Temple”. It’s an ancient name that comes from a Chinese legend. The legend is that there is a gate in the ocean where huge waves repeatedly rise. The fish that can pass through the waves of this gate become dragons. Dragons are mythological characters that represent qualities of great strength and compassion. The waves there are no different than the waves anywhere else. The waves of everyday life are the dragon gate. How we pass through these waves is our human challenge.

Ryumonji is rooted in the Zen Buddhist tradition. Historically, in India from the Buddha’s time (500 B.C.) zazen (sitting meditation) practice was called Dhyana. Later in China it was called Chan, and in Japan Zen. Soto Zen has a long ancestral lineage. True Buddhism is beyond denominationalism. Anyone is welcome.

The founding teacher and abbot of Ryumonji is Rev. Shoken Winecoff. He is the disciple of the late Dainin Katagiri Roshi. Katagiri Roshi was the founder of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center in Minneapolis, MN. Rev. Winecoff received dharma transmission from Katagiri Roshi in 1989, then practiced for three years in Japan at Zuioji Senmon Sodo.