Jay Rinsen Weik, Sensei, the Abbot of the Great Heartland Sangha will be the next guest speaker for the University of Findlay’s Religious Studies Lecture Series. The free, public event will be held Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in Old Main’s Ritz Auditorium.
Rev. Rinsen received full Dharma Transmission as a recognized Zen teacher by Rev. James Myoun Ford Roshi in the Harada/Yasutani Koan Introspection and Soto Zen traditions.
He began his Zen studies in 1987 at Zen Mountain Monastery with John Daido Loori Roshi. In 1998, he received the sixteen buddhist precepts and the Dharma name Chikyo. In 2001 he moved to Toledo and co-founded the Toledo Zen Meditation Group with his wife Rev. Karen Do’on Weik. In 2004 he continued his zen study with Bonnie Myotai Treace Sensei, Daido Roshi’s first dharma heir, and what began as the Toledo Zen Meditation Group evolved into the Toledo Zen Center. In 2007 Myotai Sensei acknowledged him as Shuso (head monk) for the winter training period, and his Dharma Talks began being podcast as “The Drinking Gourd Podcast.” In 2008 he received the Dharma name Rinsen and founded the Drinking Gourd Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization that evolved from interest in supporting the podcasts and connecting its listeners with Jay and each other.
Rev. Rinsen has also studied with Fr. Kevin Hunt Sensei, OCSO from 2006 to 2009, and in 2009 he became a shoken student of James Myo’un Ford Roshi who is the primary center of gravity for his continued study of the Dharma today. In June 2009 James Ford empowered Jay to meet with students in a private interview, and in July of 2009, Jay was confirmed as a Senior Dharma Teacher by James Myo’un Ford Roshi, Melissa Myozen Blacker Sensei, and David Dayan Rynick Sensei. He was ordained a Zen Buddhist Priest in the Soto lineage on Feb. 28, 2010 by Melissa Myozen Blacker Roshi. He received Denkai Transmission from James Myo’un Ford Roshi on Jan. 4, 2014, and Denbo Transmission on March 19, 2015.
Rinsen Sensei has a Masters in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory and is a professor of Classical and Jazz Guitar at the University of Toledo. He plays with Crosscurrents and is the leader of the Zen Arts Ensemble. He was given the rank of fifth degree back belt in Aikido by Bill Gleason Shihan and is the Guiding Sensei at Shobu Aikido of Ohio.