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The Five Ranks of Tozan: An Online Zen Study Offering with Gerry Shishin Wick Roshi

Wednesdays, September 14th – December 21st, 2022, from 4:15 pm – 7:15 pm ET

The Five Ranks of Tozan

DATES: Sept 14th  |  Sept 21st  |  Sept 28th  |  Oct 12th  |  Oct 19th  |  Oct 26th |  Nov 2nd  |  Nov 9th  |  Nov 16th  |  Nov 23rd  |  Nov 30th  |  Dec 14th  |  Dec 21st

In this exciting study and practice course, we will plunge into one of the most profound and esoteric teachings of Zen study – The Five Ranks of Tozan, with Senior Zen teacher Gerry Shishin Wick Roshi. 


Chinese Zen Master Tozan (Tungshan) created two sets of five ranks that are honored and studied in both Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen. Tozan composed a verse for each of the ranks. In this course, we will examine and appreciate each of Tozan’s ranks, including the title and the verses.


You will learn

  • The life and times of Zen Master Tozan in 9th century China
  • Perspectives on the absolute
  • Perspectives on the relative
  • Relationship between the absolute and the relative
  • Essential stages of Zen practice
  • Elements of Koan study
    Poetic images of Zen and their use in Koan study


Throughout the course, you will gain an appreciation for the depth of Zen practice, how to apply oneself through zazen practice to penetrate the teachings of Zen, how to embody the profound insights of Chinese Zen Master Tozan (Tungshan), and how you can apply these teachings to your everyday life.


Through talks, discussion, writing, and contemplative practice, we will collaboratively bring the insights of these rarely encountered sutras and koans to our contemporary lives.


This course offers inspiration to continue and deepen one’s meditation practice and hold a deep appreciation of the nuances and subtleties of Zen practice.

Gerry Shishin Wick is President and Spiritual Leader of the Great Mountain Zen Center in Berthoud, Colorado. He is a Dharma Successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, founder of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. He did rigorous training in both schools of Zen, Soto and Rinzai. He received inka and the title Roshi from Bernie Glassman in 2006. His latest books include The Book of Equanimity, Illuminating Classic Zen Koans and The Great Heart Way: How to Heal Your Life and Find Self-fulfillment (co-authored with Ilia Shinko Perez).


September 14, 2022
4:15 pm - 7:15 pm
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