© 2019 by The Korinji Foundation


 臨済宗 • 祖的山 光林禅寺



Completed in 2018, Korinji is one of the few traditional Rinzai Zen Buddhist training monasteries in the West...and the newest. Located about 60 miles from Madison, Wisconsin the monastery is owned and 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 community and hosts many of its events.

Aside from Rinzai Zen training Korinji also houses Korinji Shugen Dojo, a place for Shugendo practice recognized by the Headmaster of the Mt. Koshikidake Shugendo tradition in Japan (for Shugendo information please see

We offer frequent events introducing both the Zen and Shugendo paths to beginners, which also serve as open house days when you can tour the monastery. See our Events page for upcoming dates.

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

Click below to take a virtual tour of Korinji's meditation hall and residence!




Residence at Korinji is open to a small number of persons wishing to devote themselves to intensive practice of the Buddhist path. Both lay and ordained practitioners are eligible to reside at Korinji (see our inclusivity statement). 


Zen monastic life is rigorous. Due to its demanding nature, residence at Korinji may not be appropriate for beginners. We are happy to speak to you regarding your goals and suitability for this practice.

If you are interested in exploring the opportunity of Buddhist monastic life, please read this information. Then, contact us.


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.​ The latter is for senior lay practitioners in our community wishing to express a fuller commitment to the Zen path, and to mentor others, while still fulfilling existing family and career obligations. Nyudo ordination does not require a period of 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. Please inquire).


If you are interested in learning more about Zen ordination in our community, please read this information. Then contact us.

Regarding Shugendo ordination, there is also a path of study leading to this overseen by the headquarters temple in Japan. Please inquire if you are interested.


The monastic year observed by residents at Korinji is divided into two formal practice periods of approximately 3.5 months each called ango.

  • Ge-Ango, the summer training period, runs from April 1 through mid-July.

  • Setsu-Ango, the winter training period, runs from October 1 through mid-January.


There are four dai-sesshin, intensive retreat weeks, in each ango. These are bracketed by sho-sesshin weeks which are slightly less rigorous.


The months between ango are periods of less strict practice called seikan. During seikan much of the day is unstructured, allowing for both exploration of personal practice interests and needed work projects. It is possible during seikan for residents to leave the monastery to visit their families, attend to personal matters, and so on.

Please see our Events page for dates of upcoming sesshin and other events in the USA and Europe.

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