Open Gate Zendo
Enter through the Open Gate
One of the seminal texts of Zen is entitled Mumonkan, which translates into English as The Gateless Gate or what we Westerners would think of as an open gateway without doors. Unlike a gate with doors that can be bolted shut to prevent free passage, a gateless gate is an opportunity to pass through without restrictions.
It is through Zen practice that we approach the gateless gate of our own self restricted minds. Every one of us is capable of accessing the boundless mind and passing freely through the mental barriers created by our fears and preconceptions. By letting go of our preconceptions, dualistic thinking and communal delusions, we discover the previously unrealized potential of our own unlimited consciousness and become self liberated. This is the fundamental tenet of Boundless Mind Zen.
Open Gate Zendo is a practice and training facility originally conceived in 1994. It was founded to promote the original Zen principles of self-realization through varied individual approaches and disciplines. As expressed by Zen Master Mumon;
Thus, Zen practice and training at Open Gate Zendo is focused on the core philosophy and practices of Zen without reliance on any specific nationalistic or ethnic practices. Remaining nonsectarian allows for a multiple disciplinary approach that encompasses all Zen traditions and allows for a wider range of personalities to benefit from Zen practice and training.
Open Gate Zendo is open to anyone who wishes to practice or experience Zen training and/or the Zen arts regardless of their experience, spiritual beliefs or religious affiliations. First time practitioners are always welcome and are encouraged to participate without being burdened with undue obligations or expectations. Anyone who regularly attends practice sessions, receives training or otherwise contributes to the sangha is considered a member of the Open Gate Sangha. There are no requirements for sangha members to become members of the religious order.
The Zendo and entrance hall are constructed in traditional Japanese Zen style on the grounds of the adjacent teacher's residence (Hojo), known as Koro An (Lone Wolf Hermitage). Together, these structures are the beginnings of a multidisciplinary training center and residence for those who prefer a multifaceted approach to Zen training. Construction continues as the facilities are realized through dedication to practice and volunteer efforts. The facilities at Open Gate include an outdoor Kyudo (Zen Archery) Range and an authentic Japanese Tea House (currently under construction), for continued lessons in these Zen art forms, and other related disciplines.
Koro Kaisan Miles has been practicing and training within the Zen Buddhist tradition for 50 years, beginning with Chinese Master Hsuan Hua at Gold Mountain Monastery (San Francisco, 1973). His interests in the martial arts also led him to train with Danko Tsuniyama Sensei, student of Japanese Rinzai Master Omori Sogen Rotaishi. He was subsequently introduced to Korean Zen practice by Master Don Gilbert (Dae Sa Ta Hui), whom he greatly admired. Miles later went on to practice in the Japanese Soto tradition for many years before returning to the Chinese Chan school. He was given the name Fa Lang (Fa Lohng), and received full transmission from Chuan Zhi, in the lineage of Chinese Grand Master Hsu Yun. Currently, Miles is honored to continue his practice under the guidance of the Most Venerable Thich An Giao Roshi, and is fully ordained as a Dharma Teacher in the Lam Te lineage, as Thich Tam Phap. Miles was gifted the name Koro Kaisan by his peers and students at the dedication of Koin-An Zen Dojo and the formation of the Order of the Boundless Way (2002), which consists of Zen practitioners and martial arts students from multiple lineages and traditions. While mostly modeled after the Japanese Zen traditions, the Order was specifically founded on the principles of universal practice methods and remaining non-sectarian. Koro Kaisan Miles has been the resident priest and teacher at Open Gate Zendo, Olympia, Washington since 2006. Miles also teaches regularly at the Mount Adams Buddhist Temple, in Trout Lake Washington, and the Desert Zen Center (Chùa Thiên Ân) in Lucerne Valley. California.
Open Gate Zendo / Koro An is located in West Olympia on Biscay Street NW, just north of The Evergreen College on Cooper Point. For those from out of the area, road signs and directions to Evergreen College will get within a few blocks of Open Gate.
From Cooper Point road turn left on 36th Avenue NW and then right on Biscay Street. From Evergreen Parkway/Kaiser, turn left on Cooper Point Road, left on 36th Avenue NW then right on Biscay. Each turn is about a half mile from the last. Our driveway is on the left, diagonal across the intersection of Biscay and 41st Way NW.
Open Gate Zendo Practice Schedule
Monday Evening (In Person & Zoom)
(Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom invitation)
6:45-7:00 pm - Log on to Zoom
7:00 pm - Call to Meditation
7:00-7:30 pm - One Period Meditation
7:30-8:00 pm - Short Ceremony & Dharma Talk
Wednesday Evenings (In Person & Zoom)
Opening Liturgy 7:00 to 7:15
Meditation 7:15 to 7:45
Walking Meditation 7:45 to 7:55
Closing Recitations 7:55 to 8:00
Please plan to arrive well before Meditation begins.
If you should arrive late, simply take your seat as
quietly as possible.
For further information contact:
Koro Kaisan Miles
Open Gate Zendo
4123 Biscay St NW
Olympia WA 98502