The One Drop Zendo of Los Angeles, a small zendo able to hold nineteen sitters, was formally opened in September 1997 with a ceremony by Shodo Harada Roshi who visited for a couple of days our fledgling sangha (zen meditation group). We did not actually begin zen training with clappers and bells until January 1998. In the interim from September ’97 to January ’98, the space served as an oasis, per the Roshi’s suggestion, for people to gather in silence and to revitalize.

I was fortunate to meet Shodo Harada Roshi, Zen Master and Abbot of Sogenji Monastery, in Okayama, Japan when I visited in November of 1995 where I joined resident monks to participate in the November Osesshin (meditation retreat). I attended another osesshin in Seattle where the Roshi led the One Drop group that had established itself there.


I began Vipassana Meditation in June 1992 at the California Vipassana Center. It was the first time I was introduced to sitting long hours. The meditation schedule was from 4:30am to 9pm. That was a lot of sitting, especially for a first-time meditator like me. I remember only the intense pain and boredom and could think only about how I was going to escape the torture! The organizers were quite smart, though.  Upon entry, we were required to sign a contract that we would stay the entire ten days. I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out how to get out of there. No one would stay the entire time if they were given a chance to leave. I am so thankful to the Vipassana ten-day training for giving me the opportunity to strengthen my ability  to sit long hours. Without it, I would never have been able to withstand the Sogenji schedule. There are many, many details to the training, too involved to go into here.


One Drop Zen has four major monasteries (Sogenji in Japan, Hokuozan in Germany, Indozan in India and Tahoma on Whidbey Island, WA) with satellite groups all over the world.  


Visit us at

Sogenji Monastery
Sanzen Scroll