Zen Dojo Zürich

Zen does not have any taste, thus do not give it any taste.
It is without scent, hence do not give it any scent.
It is without colour, thus do not give it any colour.
Zen is music without tones played on a flute without holes.
It has no form, hence do not give it any form.

Then its taste, its scent and its colour are of the autumn’s beauty and of the arid tree’s. Its music spreads out into the whole universe and penetrates even into the ear of a deaf person.
Its form encompasses the whole cosmos and its wisdom radiates into eternity.

Michel Bovay was born 1944 in Monthey in Switzerland. During his youth he was a successful musician, compositor and producer and he played in several bands, of which especially the rock band “The Sevens” made quite a splash in the sixties. He met the Japanese Zen master Taisen Deshimaru in 1972 and followed him soon after to Paris. As a close disciple, intimate collaborator and organiser he helped Master Deshimaru a great deal to spread the Zen in Europe. In this daily contact with this exceptional personality he was to experience Zen in everyday life in the purest, original meaning.

After Taisen Deshimaru had passed over in 1982 Michel became one of the main people in charge of the transmission of Deshimaru’s teaching. He was approved, together with three other close disciples, to receive the dharma transmission by the abbot of the temple of Eihei-ji, but he only accepted it in 1998 from Yuko Okamoto Roshi of the temple of Teishoji, who had been himself a disciple of Kodo Sawaki and a great supporter of Deshimaru at all times.

Following the wish of his master, Missen Michel Bovay returned to his native country, Switzerland, in 1985. Here he concentrated his teaching in the Zen Dojo of Zürich, directed Zazen Days, Sesshin and summer camps. He was the president of the Association Zen Inernationale founded by Taisen Deshimaru from 1993 until 2003. Michel Bovay was the author and co-publisher of the book “Zen” (practice and teaching, history and perspective) and created a theatrical performance named “Zen Stories”, which he performed with great success in the German and French speaking parts of Europe.

As a consequence of a serious illness he handed the responsibility for the Dojo over to his eldest disciple, Zen-nun Monika Leibundgut. Missen Michel Bovay supported her and the Zen Dojo Zürich until he passed over in 2009. One of his very last messages to his disciples, which he repeated over and over again, was: “Don’t bother your heads too much about things, do, what deeply fulfils you, but always use your wisdom”.

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