臨済宗 • 祖的山 光林禅寺



Korinji is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist training monastery (sodo) in North America, located on 17 forested acres about 50 miles from Madison, Wisconsin USA. The monastery is maintained by The Korinji Foundation, a federally recognized not-for-profit charity, and funded by a grassroots network of donors from around the world. Korinji is the spiritual center of our larger Korinji Rinzai Zen Community. 

Korinji is one of only a few Rinzai training centers in the West carrying a full traditional curriculum of koan practice (
shitsunai) and instructing the orally transmitted breath and internal energetic practices of the Rinzai Zen tradition. The annual and daily schedules at Korinji are modeled on those experienced by our lineage's teachers at Japanese monasteries, including Tenryu-ji in Kyoto.

There are eight intensive one-week retreats (sesshin) a year at Korinji, which are also open to guests. 
Aside from full-time residential monastic practice and retreats, Korinji offers many events such as open house days when you can tour the monastery. See our Events page for upcoming dates and to RSVP.

Visitors to Korinji are welcome by appointment. Please contact us to set up a visit and meet our abbot.


Sesshin refers to an intensive meditation retreat that is among the most important of Zen practices. During sesshin many hours of meditation - and frequent meetings with the Zen master - provide an unmatched opportunity to profoundly deepen your spiritual practice, and to emerge with a transformed understanding of your life.

Korinji offers eight one week-long sesshin (called dai-sesshin, "great sesshin") a year at the monastery, and several other sesshin in Europe. Partial attendance is often permitted for beginners or those who cannot commit to the full week. A typical dai-seshin daily schedule is here. See the Events page for dates, along with links to the sesshin application.

If you are new to Zen practice, we recommend that you first receive basic instruction at one of our groups, or during an Intro to Zen day at the monastery, before applying to attend sesshin. We also offer shorter Zen Life weekend retreats that are ideal for beginners, and will give you a taste of sesshin. See our Events page for dates.


Residence at Korinji is open to a small number of persons wishing to devote themselves completely to intensive practice of the Buddhist path. Both lay and ordained practitioners, of any sex and gender identity, are eligible to reside at Korinji (see our inclusivity statement below). Residents are asked to donate for their stay, but no one is turned away for financial reasons.


Monastic life is rigorous and exhausting. Due to its extremely demanding nature, residence at Korinji is generally not appropriate for Zen beginners. We are happy to speak with you regarding your goals and suitability for this practice.

If you are interested in exploring the opportunity of Buddhist monastic life (and to see our annual and daily monastic schedules), please read this information. Then, contact us for a residence application.


There are two types of Rinzai Zen ordination conferred in our community: monastic (shukke tokudo) and lay (nyudo).


The former is the traditional Rinzai Zen ordination. It generally requires a minimum period of residential practice at the monastery, and includes training in teaching, ministerial and ceremonial duties.​ The latter is for senior lay practitioners in our community wishing to express a fuller commitment to the Zen path while still fulfilling existing family and career obligations; nyudo ordination does not require monastic residence or the wearing of robes. (Note: neither of these is jukai, taking refuge in the Three Treasures and receiving the five lay precepts - also called zaike tokudo - which is available to almost anyone.)


For more information on ordination in our community, please read this information. Then contact us.


Korinji welcomes visitors with a sincere interest in Zen Buddhist practice. Because of our busy schedule we cannot accept visitors without an appointment, so please contact us to confirm and receive directions.

Persons wishing to be guests at the monastery outside of formal retreat times in order to experience our life may also be able to do so; please inquire.

Inclusivity Statement:


Korinji is an inclusive community welcoming all regardless of age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. 


Due to its natural terrain limitations and distance from available parking facilities, Korinji Monastery is not currently able to accommodate residents or guests using wheelchairs or those unable to navigate steep slopes and stairways