The Founding of Entsu-an Zen
In 1962, Rinzai Zen came to America in the person of Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, Roshi (Zen Master). Shozan (Marc Joslyn) and Myodo (Hajni Joslyn) became students of Sasaki Roshi in 1964 and 1967 respectively. Together with several other people, Shozan helped establish the first Rinzai Zen center on Cimarron Street in Los Angeles. In 1970, Shozan together with Dan Sunada (chief landscaper & gardiner at Marineland, California) established Mt. Baldy Zen Center at a U.S. National Forest in the San Bernardino Mountains, east of Los Angeles. Shozan was ordained as a monk in 1972, and as an osho (priest and zen teacher) in 1982.
In 1986, Myodo and Shozan moved from Mt. Baldy to Bainbridge Island where they linked up with an already existing Soto Zen group. Then in 1995 they began building a zendo for Rinzai Zen practice in the tradition of Mt. Baldy. Finally on 14 January 1996, when the zendo was completed, they invited fellow islanders to a temple-warming party.
The name “En – Tsu – Ji” was selected from a book on Japanese Kanji calligraphy for its aesthetic appearance and for its meaning: En = circle, enclosure; Tsu (a rich multi-faceted word) = pass, pass something through, let in, admit, usher in, transmit, cut through, pierce, penetrate, permeate, pervade, be charged with, all over, total, together with, circulate, breathe, be well versed in, be understood, become intimate with, through the medium of; Ji = temple or place of spiritual practice. Our Roshi commented once that Entsuji means “free of human, free of God” (therefore free to manifest as either or neither human and divine).
Some years ago we were informed that in Kyoto, Japan, Entsu-ji is the name of a beautiful medieval temple and its gardens in the Soto tradition of Zen Buddhism. In 2013, we decided to change our name to Entsu-an, implying a hermitage (more fitting to our small zendo), than -ji, which denotes a temple.