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 full-time residential monastic practice, Korinji offers frequent events including sesshin (intensive retreats) as well 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.

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




Sesshin refers to a period of 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 opportunity to go deeply into your spiritual practice, and to emerge with a transformed understanding of your life. Korinji offers eight one week-long sesshin (called dai-sesshin, that is, "great sesshin") a year at the monastery, and several other sesshin in Europe. Partial attendance is often permitted at these for beginners or those who cannot commit to the full week. You may see our full sesshin schedule on the Events page.

Before attending sesshin with us we recommend that you first receive basic instruction at one of our groups, or during an Intro to Zen day at the monastery. We also offer shorter Introduction to Zen Life weekend retreats that are ideal for beginners. Please see our Events page for dates.



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). 


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.


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.



Aside from Rinzai Zen training Korinji also houses Korinji Shugen Dojo, a center for Shugendo practice recognized by the Headmaster of the Mt. Koshikidake Shugendo tradition. The Zen and Shugendo paths are not mixed at Korinji, but students have the opportunity to pursue either path - or both - as suits their needs and interests. Regarding Shugendo ordination, there is also a path of study leading to this overseen by the headquarters temple in Japan (ordination is required in Shugendo to learn various practices).

Please see www.shugeninternational.org
for more information about Shugendo. Our Events page also contains opportunities to begin Shugendo practice, including both introductory and more advanced trainings.


Korinji welcomes visitors with a sincere interest in the Buddhist path. 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


© 2019 by The Korinji Foundation