One Sangha

Interview with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold Sensei and
Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Sensei

Bethany Senkyu Saltman, MRO

Featured in Mountain Record 29.3, Spring 2011




Editor’s Note: The death of the founder of a religious order is a unique event never to be repeated in the life of a community. Here, Senkyu Saltman speaks with Mountains and Rivers Order teachers Shugen Sensei and Ryushin Sensei on this important period of transition.


Senkyu: What has been the most pleasant surprise that you have encountered in the transition since Daido Roshi’s death?

Shugen Sensei: I would say that there haven’t been too many surprises. Along with my own feelings that went with Daido’s passing, there was a sense of naturalness about this whole time—both of his passing, and of the transition that has followed.

Ryushin Sensei: That was the first thing that came up in my mind—just how well prepared we have been by him. In a sense, part of the transition was happening organically over the last ten, fifteen years, so this period feels encouraging and confirming of who we are as a sangha and what we’re trying to do.

S: Do you feel like you’ve been trained to be an abbot?

SS: The answer is yes, we were trained, in the same sense that the training evolves for every student. What’s happened for me is that in certain moments I began to realize in a visceral way the training I had actually received and was not always aware of.