Dogen’s Three Minds of the Tenzo
A Three Class Series (on Zoom) Led by Reverend Jonathan Kaigen Levy

Saturdays, August 14, 28, September 11; 1:30-3:00 p.m.


In the thirteenth century, Zen master Dōgen, the founder of the Japanese Soto Zen sect, wrote a practical manual, Instructions for the Zen Cook, Tenzo kyokun, in Japanese. In this class series, we will explore what Dogen refers to as the Three Minds of the Tenzo (the monastery cook):

  • Joyful mind is one of gratefulness and buoyancy.
  • Parental mind loves and raises a child with care.
  • Magnanimous mind is like a mountain, stable and impartial.

Accepting everything just as it is, these three minds describe the internal world of the bodhisattva.

“When we live our life fully, using all the ingredients at hand, our life becomes what Zen Buddhists call “the supreme meal.” A person who knows how to plan, cook, appreciate, and offer the supreme meal of life, is called a Zen cook”. — Roshi Bernie Glassman, from Instructions to the Cook, A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life That Matters.

The classes will include readings from “Instructions of the Cook, and lots of opportunity for questions and discussion. A PDF of “Instructions for the Cook”, translated by Griffith Foulk, will be forwarded when you register.

(If you have any questions, please contact


$30 for Members (or $10 per class); $45 for Non-Members ($15 per class)


Reverend Jonathan Kaigen Levy is a ZCLA priest, Dharma-Holder and transmitted Preceptor. For many years he was Co-Steward of the ZCLA Tenzo Circle, which oversees and nurtures the preparation of the Sangha meals. He has been the Head Tenzo for many of the sesshins (week long retreats) and was the 2018-2019 Shuso (Head Trainee). He currently is the Co-Steward of the Introduction to Meditation classes and is one of the leaders of “Explore Your Practice” meetings on Wednesday nights.




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