Our Teachers and Sangha
A pair of California pioneers, Gengo and Yoshi Akiba lead the Kojin An Sangha with a global innovative vision. For decades they have created various settings for 'good people' to meet and come together. Thanks to the Akibas, Kojin An has a warm extended community and the atmosphere is rigorous and deep yet open and friendly.
Rev. Gengo Akiba is an Eiheiji-trained Soto Zen priest who has participated in and supported Zen practice across the US, Japan, and Europe. He currently holds the position of Sokan, or 'Archbishop' the head representative of Japanese Soto Zen in North America.
Ms. Yoshi Akiba is a spiritual-interpretive dancer, a multidisciplinary artist, a licensed teacher in the Omotesenke Way of Tea, the eponymous founder of Yoshi's jazz club, and co-founder of the educational nonprofit 51Oakland.
We are an open and affirming community, we value inclusivity and diversity and do not discriminate on any basis.
We welcome explorers, beginners, and long-time practitioners.
Our teaching style is organic and inter-relational, rather than linear or regimented, this may best suit people who practice without a need for frequent formal instruction. This free-form style is possible because we are a small family temple rather than a training monastery or a large 'Zen Center'.
Our small size and family-run nature allow us to be creative and flexible. However, we may not have the resources to accommodate the needs of every individual. The traditional Japanese design of the buildings means that much of the site is not readily accessible to wheelchairs, and access may be difficult for those with impaired mobility. It is possible to sit in a chair during zazen and other events, but shoes must be removed before entering. Natural-wood-based incense is used according to the Soto Zen practice, however the Zendo is naturally well ventilated.
Not all residents on the property are involved in temple activities, and their privacy at home is respected. Because we are not a 'public place' we ask that new visitors contact us prior to their first visit.