© 2019 by The Korinji Foundation


 臨済宗 • 祖的山 光林禅寺



Begun in 2009 and 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

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


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

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.



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


Please note that a rigorous monastic schedule is observed at Korinji. Due to the demanding nature of this, residence at Korinji may not be appropriate for beginners.

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, 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 practice periods of approximately 3.5 months each called ango. Between ango there are shorter periods of less strict practice called seikan. There are four Dai-Sesshin, intensive retreat weeks, in each ango; these are bracketed by Sho-sesshin weeks which are slightly less rigorous.

2019 SUMMER Training Period (Ge-ango)​​​

April 1:  Beginning of the summer training period

April 2-8: Sho-Sesshin

April 8-14:  Dai-Sesshin

April 14-20: Sho-Sesshin

April 30-May 6: Sho-Sesshin

May 6-12: Dai-Sesshin

May 12-18: Sho-Sesshin

June 4-10: Sho-Sesshin

June 10-16: Dai-Sesshin

June 16-22: Sho-Sesshin

July 2-8: Sho-Sesshin

July 8-14: Dai-Sesshin

July 14-20: Sho-Sesshin

July 14:  Ceremony for the deceased (Urabon-e)

July 20:  End of the summer training period​

SEIKAN (interim period of less formal practice)


July 21- September 30

2019-20 WINTER Training Period (Setsu-ango)​

October 1:  Beginning of the winter training period

October 1-7: Sho-Sesshin

October 7-13: Dai-Sesshin

October 13-19: Sho-Sesshin

October 29-November 4: Sho-Sesshin

November 4-10: Dai-Sesshin

November 26-December 2: Sho-Sesshin

December 2-8: Rohatsu Sesshin

December 8-14: Sho-Sesshin

December 31-January 6: Sho-Sesshin

December 31:  Year-end Ceremony

January 1:  New Year Ceremony

January 6-12: Dai-Sesshin

January 12-18: Sho-Sesshin

January 18:  End of the the winter training period​​​

SEIKAN (interim period of less formal practice)


January 16 - March 31

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