Zen Buddhist Temple of the Japanese Sōtō-shū School
Shinnyoji Temple (真如寺, lit. “Temple of Truth, as it is”) was founded in September 2004 by Rev. Anna Maria Shinnyo Marradi and officially recognized by Rev. Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi, the 72nd Abbot of the Daijōji Monastery (大乗寺) in Kanazawa in Japan who sealed the title with a calligraphy writing upon a wooden Board (pictured left): "Shinnyoji Daijōji Italy Betsuin" which in English means, “Temple of Truth, as it is, Italian Branch of the Daijōji Monastery”. For the 17th anniversary of Shinnyoji, Rev. Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi reinforced the link between Shinnyoji and Daijōji by calligraphing a new script. The translation of the calligraphy can be found in EkiZen n.46 Spring 2021.
Sōtō-shū (曹洞宗) is one of the two major schools of Japanese Zen Buddhism. It embodies the transmission of a Lineage and of the Teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha who, through the Chinese school Caodong, were brought to Japan through the works of the Japanese monk Eihei Dōgen in 1227, is the progenitor of the Sōtō Zen School and founder of the Eiheiji Temple. The co-founder of the Sōtō School is Keizan Jōkin, founder of the Sōjiji Temple and 2nd Abbot of Daijōji. Rev. Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi is the 72nd Abbot of the Daijōji Monastery in Kanazawa, Japan, belonging to the Sōjiji Lineage, it is one of most noted and followed representatives of the Sōtō School in the world.
Rev. Anna Maria Iten Shinnyo Marradi (伊天真如) recieved the Shihō – the Transmission of the Dharma – by Rev. Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi at Daijōji Monastery on June 2th, 2008. The latter, titled to Abbot, recieved during the Zuise Ceremony at the Eiheiji Monastery on June 21st, 2008 and at the Sōjiji Monastery on June 22nd, 2008 and with this achievement, became part of the Nitōkyōshi level on February 8th, 2010, authorizing Rev. Shinnyo Marradi to Ordain followers into entering the official Lineage.
Rev. Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi
Rev. Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi (天籟 東 隆眞 老師)
- Since March 30, 2006 member of the Council of the Monastery of Sōjiji.
- On April 5, 2006 appointed Gōndai Kyōsei, penultimate degree in the Sōtō-shū hierarchy, lower only to the degree of zenji, title reserved to the Abbot of the Monastery of Eiheiji and the Abbot of the Monastery of Sōjiji. Out of more than 20,000 enrolled in the Japanese Zen School Sōtō-shū only 30 religious have reached the rank of Gōndai Kyōsei.
- On June 5, 2006 he received the authorization to wear the blue-violet Kesa that belongs to the rank of Gōndai Kyōsei.
72nd Abbot of the Tōkōzan Daijōji Monastery in Kanazawa, Japan. Rev. Anna Maria Shinnyo Marradi’s Teacher, lives in Kanazawa Japan, Hishikawa Prefecture, at the Daijōji Temple
As the Abbot of the Monastery and Teacher of the Temple’s Teachings, he regularly holds Teishō, Dharma lessons to the monks in training at Daijōji at the lay people that draw many people to the Temple to practice Zazen and receive teachings.
He is appreciated in all of Japan as one of the scholarly of the fundamental texts of the Sōtō Zen School: the Shōbōgenzō by Eihei Dōgen zenji, who spread deep awareness and faith in his Teishō.
2014-2016 He traveled to China, Taiwan and Holland to give “Seppō”, Dharma Teachings as founder of the Sekai Zen Senta.
2013 In the ancient Tōkōzan Temple of Daijōji, he founded the Sekai Zen Senta - WZC ( World Zen Center) with the purpose of unifying the Teaching and the Practice of Zen within one Universal Center (Sangha) where anyone, irrespective of creed, age, political beliefs and gender can practice and study Zen.
2008 Nominated President of the Sōtōshū Sanzendojo Association, of which more than seven hundred Japanese Sōtō Zen Temples belong.
2008 He organized the 700th Anniversary of the death of Tettsu Gikai zenji, Founder of the Daijoji Monastery, planning the restoration for the Monastery building and preparations for Commemorative celebrations.
2006 Appointed Gōndai Kyōsei, penultimate degree in the Sōtō-shū hierarchy, lower only to the degree of zenji, title reserved to the Abbot of the Monastery of Eiheiji and the Abbot of the Monastery of Sōjiji. Out of more than 20,000 enrolled in the Japanese Zen School Sōtō-shū only 30 religious have reached the rank of Gōndai Kyōsei.
2003 Named Dōchō (Teacher of Instruction in a training monastery) at the Daijōji Monastery.
2002 Named the 72nd Abbot of the Daijōji Monastery in Kanazawa.
2001 Council Member of University of Komazawa.
1995-2002 Provost of the Women's University for Buddhist Studies in Komazawa.
1996-2002 President of the Japanese Association for Buddhist Studies: Nihon Bukkyōgakkai.
1996-2002 President of the Association for Indian Buddhist Studies in Japan: "Nihon Indogaku Bukkyōgakkai" Japanese Society for Indian Studies.
1995 Received the prize "Tokyo to Korosha kyoiku bumon" from the Tokyo Prefecture on Education, for whom they have dedicated a lifetime of youth education.
1987 Ph.D Doctorate in Research in Buddhist Literature from University of Komazawa.
1969 Received the prize from the Association of Indian Buddhist Studies in Japan: "Nihon Indogaku Bukkyōgakkai".
1965 Published "Studies on Kanjin-in hon Denkōroku" and later published many books on Buddhist themes.
1964 Received the Shihō (Passage of the Dharma) from Rev. Matsumoto Ryūtan Roshi, 68th Abbot of the Daijōji Monastery in Kanazawa.
1962 Completed Masters in Buddhist Studies from the University of Komazawa.
1960 Graduated in Zen Buddhist Studies from the Buddhist Studies at the University of Komazawa.
1954-1955 Practiced in the Sōtō Zen School of Sōjiji.
1935 Born in Kyoto in a Shingon School Temple.
Rev. Anna Maria Iten Shinnyo Marradi
Rev. Anna Maria Iten Shinnyo (伊天真如) Marradi
Lives and works in Florence where she is the spiritual guide at the Shinnyoji Temple, named by her Teacher, Rev. Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi "Daijōji Italy Betsuin", the Italian branch of the Daijōji Monastery in Kanazawa, Japan.
2018 In January was registered in the Ministry of Religion of UBI as number 012.
2013 On April 1st, she received the title Kokusai Fukyōshi for Europe, assignment as authorized missionary Teacher to spread Zen Buddhism outside of Japan.
2013 On June 9th, she was named the Director of the European Section of the Sekai Zen Senta – World Zen Center – Association founded by Rev. Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi at the ancient Tōkōzan Daijōji Monastery, with aim to unite Zen teachings and Practice in a Universal Center and Sangha. Within this project, Rev. Shinnyo Marradi, along with her students, annually join her Teach in the International Conference circle for WZC.
2010 On Feb. 8th, she was conferred the Nitōkyōshi level allowing to perform Ordination.
2008 In June she received the Shihō, the Transmission of the Dharma – Dempō – form her Teacher Rev. Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi, officially becoming a Zen Teacher in the Japanese Sōtō Tradition.
2008 On June 21st, at Eiheiji the Zuise Ceremony was held, then on June 22nd, at Sōjiji – the two main Temples in the Sōtō Zen Tradition in Japan.
2007 On April 16th, upon the Hossen Ceremony, she became Shusso, reaching the Zagen level in Sōtō-shū Japan.
2004 On August 6th, she received the monastic vows at the Tokudo Ceremony from her Teacher Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi, Abbot of the Daijōji Temple in Kanazawa, Japan, reaching the Jyōza level and officially entering the Japanese Sōtō Zen School with the Buddhist name Iten Shinnyo: I meaning Italy, Ten Sky, Shin Truth and Nyo “as it is”, therefore: “Sky of Italy, the Truth as it is.”
2002 In August at the Daijōji Monastery in Kanazawa, Japan she met her Teacher Rev. Tenrai Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi who was then the Vice-Abbot of Daijōji. This meeting determined for Shinnyo to begin the training that brought her two times per year to Daijōji for long periods of practice and training under the loving guidance of her Teacher.
1995-2000 She practiced Zen under the guidance of Teacher Tetsugen Carlo Serra at the Circle of Milan Ensoji Monastery, receiving the Vows of the Boddhisattva at the Jukai Ceremony on September 25th, 1999.
Bibashi Butsu Daioshō
Shiki Butsu Daioshō
Bishafu Butsu Daioshō
Kuroson Butsu Daioshō
Kunagonmuni Butsu Daioshō
Kashō Butsu Daioshō
Shakyamuni Butsu Daioshō
Taisō Eka Daioshō
Kanchi Sōsan Daioshō
Daii Dōshin Daioshō
Daiman Kōnin Daioshō
Daikan Enō Daioshō
Sekitō Kisen Daioshō
Yakusan Igen Daioshō
Ungan Donjō Daioshō
Tōzan Ryōkai Daioshō
Ungo Dōyō Daioshō
Dōan Dōhi Daioshō
Dōan Kanshi Daioshō
Ryōzan Enkan Daioshō
Taiyō Kyōgen Daioshō
Tōsu Gisei Daioshō
Fuyō Dōkai Daioshō
Tanka Shijun Daioshō
Chōro Seiryō Daioshō
Tendō Sōkaku Daioshō
Secchō Chikan Daioshō
Tendō Nyojō Daioshō
Eihei Dōgen Daioshō
Kōun Ejō Daioshō
Tettsū Gikai Daioshō
Keizan Jōkin Daioshō
Meihō Sotetsu Daioshō
Syugan Dōchin Daioshō
Tessan Shikaku Daioshō
Keigan Eishō Daioshō
Chūzan Ryōun Daioshō
Gisan Tōnin Daioshō
Shōgaku Kenryū Daioshō
Kinen Hōryū Daioshō
Taishitsu Chisen Daioshō
Kokei Shōjun Daioshō
Sessō Yūho Daioshō
Kaiten Genju Daioshō
Shūzan Shunshō Daioshō
Chōzan Gen-etsu Daioshō
Fukushū Kōchi Daioshō
Myōdō Yūton Daioshō
Hakuhō Genteki Daioshō
Gesshū Sōko Daioshō
Manzan Dōhaku Daioshō
Chitō Shōgen Daioshō
Itsunyū Kakumon Daioshō
Donzui Zenmyō Daioshō
Bukkai Tenryū Daioshō
Tengan Donryū Daioshō
Kōzan Kakuryū Daioshō
Gettan Shunryū Daioshō
Hongyō Genshū Daioshō
Sogetsu Ryūtan Daioshō
Tenrai Ryūshin Daioshō
Iten Shinnyo Daioshō
At Shinnyoji, the Temple is always open to anyone regardless of orientation or belief and for any level of commitment. Anyone may meditate on the scheduled days and times of practice: a zafu – cushion for meditation – is always available for whomever, at any moment of their life, decides to sit in Zazen.
The Cultural Association Florence Zen Center, is a volunteer lay association and is non-profit. The main goal is to promote the Meditation, study, awareness, development and practice of Zen regardless of religious belief, race, sexual orientation, nationality and social class.
Promoting the study and awareness of Eastern Culture and Art in connection with Zen Philosophy such as Haiku poetry, Calligraphy, Ikebana and Martial Arts.
In order to follow its mission, the Association organizes various seminars, cultural events, study sessions, exhibits, and shows to deepen the awareness of the Religion, Culture and Philosophy of Zen Buddhism. It may also collaborate with other Schools of various orders and ranks, with the Universities and researchers, to promote the translation, the printing and distribution of original texts about Zen Philosophy. The Florence Zen Center Association is registered with the Florence Revenue Agency Office, its Statute and activities conform with current norms and laws, including those regarding the respect for privacy.
Monday | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday | 6:00 am - 6:30 am
Thursday | 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Once per month
ANNUAL INTENSIVE RETREATS
Every six months
During every Retreat the Teacher Maestro Shinnyo Marradi holds a Teishō
L'Inno di Shinnyoji
A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. Flying on the wings of Zazen, Lineage of Daijōji. From the Heart of Japan, Azuma DochoRoshi. Into the city of Dante. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. The Origin, Tettsu Gikai founded, Keizan Zenji followed. We take steps along their Way. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. We see the living footsteps of the Buddha. Lineage of Daijōji. The Way of Dōgen Zenji brightly blooms. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. The silent space welcomes the heart, Lineage of Daijōji Intense Practice, deepens the harmony. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. I Ten, the Sky of Italy, with rigor, on the purple lilies will open The Compassion of the Buddha diffused in hearts. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. A Sangha in harmonious movement, sacred forge of ardore. Constant Practice, shown in service. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. Zazen reigns supreme at Shinnyoji, the Dharma is manifested Candles are always lit, incence’s pleasant scent. All is One and here. A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. The echo of the Way at Shinnyoji resonates from the valleys. By the touch of who knocks, the door opens The Dharma unfolds. All is One and here. Gedatsumon hiraku.
Text by Rev. Iten Shinnyo Marradi
Music by M° Volfango Dami
Arrangement by M° Carlo Ippolito
The Ode of Shinnyoji
A Zen Temple in Florence: Shinnyoji. Flying on the wings of Zazen of the Ancient Lineage: Daijōji. From the Heart of Japan, Azuma Docho Roshi. Into the city of Dante, Botticelli e Cellini. The Origin, Tettsu Gikai founded, Keizan Zenji followed. Upon their Way, our steps. The footsteps of the Buddha embody vividly The Way of Dōgen brightly flowers. Silent space, with the heart welcomes. Intense Practice, deepens the harmony. In the Sky of Italy, I Ten, with rigor The Buddha’s Compassion is diffused. A Sangha in movement. The Practice of Awareness. A candle is lit, an incense burns. Zazen, reigns supreme. The door of the Dharma, the door of the Temple, are always open at Shinnyoji Gedatsumon hiraku.
Text by Rev. Iten Shinnyo Marradi
Music by M° Carlo Ippolito
Soprano: Silvia Lombardi François; Viola: Irene Lodone.
The piece was specifically composed for the Convention: Zen in Japanese Culture: the Teacher Dōgen and his times, held April 5, 6, and 7, 2019.
Music by M° Carlo Ippolito, flute, classical guitar and piano.
Flute: Cecilia Valentini.
How we are funded
The Shinnyoji Temple, Italian Seat of the Japanese Daijōji Monastery, is economically supported by everyone who participates through the Florence Zen Center Cultural Association that is a non-profit. All of the prices listed are for necessary funds, hence, any further donation, even if occasional, is welcome with great thanks.
The first visit to the Temple for Zazen practice is free.
The second visit asks:
- Filling out the mandatory registration form with a form of identification (drivers license, passport, etc.)
- Assigning the Frequenter Card.
Each time a new frequenter participates in Zazen, he or she must pay the participation donation of 5 euros.
For those who decide to enrol as an Ordianry Member, a request is required, which if accepted, will give access to the CZF Ordinary Member Card with the monthly fee due at the beginning of the month to the Temple’s bank account: Centro Zen Firenze, IBAN: IT22 K086 7302 8030 3300 0332 968 or in cash directly to the Temple and recording the payment to the spreadsheet.
Membership (to be renewed every year):
Ordinary Membership: 10€
Frequenter: 5€* each participation in Zazen is to be paid at the beginning of Practice.
Ordinary Membership: Between 30€ and 50€* monthly.
Ordinary Membership: 40€/20€
* Those without a stable job and students that cannot pay the participation fee have the possibility of making an exception with the Teacher for a reduction of the fee, paying the fee with consistant service to the Temple, or in extreme cases, participate without dues.
For anyone who wishes to make a donation, the bank coordinates are:
Bank account via ChiantiBanca of Piazza Savonarola, 12 a Firenze titled to: Centro Zen Firenze
IBAN: IT22 K086 7302 8030 3300 0332 968 in Italy
Code BIC: ICRAITRRIP0 (The last digit is zero) for Europe and abroad.
This bank account can be used for future donations and monthly membership payments. (through RID)
To make a donation with credit car or with a PayPal account, you can use the links below:
Meditation Hall with sacred furnishings belonging to our Sōtō Zen Tradition and the Ritsu Tradition, among them:
Kakejiku from Tettsū Gikai Zenji
Drawn on silk, donated by Rev. Ryūshin Azuma Rōshi, 72nd abbot of Daijōji on October 14, 2008 at the Daijōji Monastery in Japan at the end of the fifth day of Goonki, the solemn Funeral Celebration of the 700 Anniversary of the death of the founder and first Abbot of Daijōji: Tettsū Gikai Zenji.
Statue of Ganjin Wajō
Wooden sculpture donated to Shinnyoji Temple on June 6th, 2013 by Rev. Matsuura Shunkai Kanshu, Abbot of the Mibudera Temple in Kyoto, created by a famous scupltor of Buddhist images in Kyoto.
Monthly opening schedule
The Library, which is open exclusively for onsite use of materials, offers texts about Zen and shelves publications about Buddhism in Italian, English, French, Japanese and Chinese. The comfortable and welcoming Room faces the Zen garden and the silence and special atmosphere of the location will accompany every moment spent in the Libarary.
A Practitioner will always be present to give information about the medtitation Practice that is regulary scheduled at the Temple and to accompany the guests for any future visits within the Center, Temple and Meditation Hall.
The Library is open to everyone, we ask that guests stay quieta s in every place of worship or study.
The visitor must fill out a “guest card” upon entrance with the Florence Zen Center Cultural Association.
Services offered by the Shinnyoji Library:
- Consultation of sheduled meetings
- A practitioner present and available for information.
The Shinnyoji garden is not just a backyard with trees, plants and flowers, but it is a true and genuine little Temple in the open air. It itself includes, as in tradition for Zen monasteries in Japan, the Tea Room, Myōshin-an, “Little house of infathomable Truth”, as well as a small Temple, six little stone statues of Jizō Bosatsu, and a stone stele displaying the name of the Temple in calligraphy. A tiny corner of peace and silence where one can pause for meditation, for reading, or simply breath harmony.
Rules for staying at the Shinnyoji Temple Guesthouse
To be followed by guests:
- Make an agreement with the Teacher regarding the time and arrangements for your stay.
- Make an offering to the Temple upon arrival.
- It is not allowed to bring other guests, unless authorized by the Teacher.
- Keep the space clean and tidy. Specifically, tidy up the bathroom by emptying the waste baskets, put away your personal items, do not leave your towels and wash clothes around.
- Avoid loud noises and keep a gentle behavior along with the location, always following the courtesy rule of the Temple.
- Do not intake any intoxicating substances, it is prohibited to smoke even in the garden as it is in every part of the Temple.
- Bring your own items: sheets and towels. If you use those belonging to the Temple, take care of them and return them clean before leaving the Guesthouse, or leave an offering for laundry.
- Make your bed as soon as you wake up, this honors the Tradition of Zen Temples and Monasteries where, upon awakening, they rolled up their futon upon which they slept.
- The Guesthouse curfew is 11:00 pm.
Following the spirit of our School, remember that care and order shown in respect to the place that welcomes us in itself represents a form of Practice and understanding of the Way.
According to tradition, the Mibudera Temple was founded by order of Emperor Shomu, who reigned from 724 to 749, for a Chinese monk known as Ganjin in Japan, Jianzhen in Chinese, (688-763). Ganjin introduced the Ritsu Buddhist School (Lü in Chinese) to Japan from China. It is most notably famous for his attempts to reach Japan by sea, many of which resulted in disastrous failures, but in the end, he arrived in 753 at the age of 66 and blind. The most famous Ritsu School temple is Tōshōdaiji in Nara, founded in 759 by Ganjin.
The true founder of the Mibudera Temple was Kaiken, the monk of another temple in the Mibu district, in 991 a chapel was built for the Jizō Bodhisattva, at the ancient site Ganjin’s residence. This chapel, just east of its current seat, was completed in 1005. The mounted statue was sculpted by Jocho (?-1057), the best sculptor of Buddhist images in Kyoto during the Heian Period. The only surviving work by Jocho is kept at the Byodo’in Temple in Uji.
In 1077 the Emperor Shirakawa (1073-87) conferred the Mibudera Temple the Chokuganji status, the temple in which prayers were offered for the well-being of the Imperial Family and for peace in the country.
At the beginning of the Period Kamakura (1185-1392), Taira no Munehira rebuilt the Mibudera Temple in its current position, after the Jizō statue by Jocho was destroyed by a fire in 1257.
Dogyo, also known as Engaku-juman Shonin, raised funds to rebuild the Mibudera Temple. Dogyo also promoted the yuzu-dainenbutsu-e ceremonies at the Mibudera Temple and at the Hokongo'in and Seiryoji Temples. During these meetings, the faithful followers recited the name of the Amida Buddha out loud. The gestures of the Kyogen theater that was developed at the Mibudera Temple is an evolution of the ceremonial meetings of Yuzu-dainenbutsu-e from Dogyo.
During the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), the Jizō, known as one of the Roku (six) Jizō, was a cult object and attracted many followers. In the Edo Period (1615-1865) the Mibudera Temple was known as the “Temple of shows” it was mentioned in the guides of that time, making it famous throughout Japan.
The whole Temple was again destroyed by a fire in 1788. When it was rebuilt, the Main Hall was facing East, as it is today, the Kyogen-dō (stage) was built as a separate structure, just North of the Main Hall. The following restauration occurred in 1825. In 1962 another fire burnt the Main Hall. It was rebuilt in 1967 by contributions of followers. The current Jizō (important cultural property) comes from the Tōshōdaiji Temple.
The cherry blossoms are the symbol of the Mibudera Temple.