Practice Council

As described in the Bylaws of the Zenwest Buddhist Society, the Zenwest Practice Council is a committee comprised of the Zenwest Abbot/Abbess, and Zenwest members in good standing who have completed the Jukai Ceremony (“receiving the precepts”) and have thereafter been authorized by the Practice Council to hold a seat on the Practice Council.  Members of the Householder path are also welcome to attend Practice Council meetings but have no obligation to do so.

The Zenwest Practice Council has the authority to:

  • confer spiritual titles, ranks, and positions upon members of Zenwest;
  • determine processes for supervision of Practice Council members in the performance of their religious duties; and
  • take corrective action to address conflicts relating to Practice Council members’ religious responsibilities.

Practice Council members

The following is a list of members who comprise the Zenwest Practice Council and a short biography introducing them.

Abbot – Kosen Eshu, Osho

Kosen Eshu Martin, Osho has been the guiding force behind Zenwest since his arrival in Victoria in 1995. Ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in January 1999, Eshu was affirmed as Abbot by the board of directors and membership of the Zenwest Buddhist Society in November 2005, at which time he became Zenwest’s first full-time teacher. In September of 2013, Eshu was affirmed as a Dharma Teacher (Zenji) and Full Priest (Osho) in the Hakuin Rinzai Zen tradition by Kokan Genjo Marinello, Osho.

Born in Pointe Claire, Quebec in 1972, Eshu was raised near Toronto, Ontario. Deeply impacted by his mother’s death when he was nine years old, his path to Zen Buddhism guided him out of an angry teenage life and wove through the world of theatre and martial arts. In 1995, Eshu made the move west to find a teacher.

From 1995-2008, Eshu studied and trained with Hoju Eshin Osho, and Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi. In February 2008, Eshu ended his affiliation with Joshu Sasaki Roshi, and with Rinzai-ji Inc., Joshu Roshi’s organization. Eshu trained (2008-2011) with Kozan Gentei Osho, Abbot of the North Carolina Zen Center, and is currently continuing his training with Kokan Genjo Marinello Osho, Abbot of Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji in Seattle Washington.

Eshu Osho lives with his wife Niki and their two children at Zenwest’s main Zendo in Sooke, BC.

Eshu is committed to increasing awareness of, and creating more opportunities for, Buddhist practice on Vancouver Island. He served as Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Victoria’s Interfaith Chaplaincy (2004-2010), is the past chair of the World Interfaith Education Association (BC) and has served as a committee member on the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Spirituality in Mental Health and Addictions Initiative.

If you are interested in finding out more about Eshu Osho, you may enjoy reading these interviews, published on the website Sweeping Zen.

Interview 1

Interview 2

Reverend Doshu Rogers

Reverend Doshu Rogers grew up in Toronto, and began practising Zen in Victoria in 1975 with the group that would become Zenwest. From 1986 to 1993 Rev. Doshu practised with sensei Zenson Gifford at the Toronto Zen Centre, and later homesteaded on a small island on the BC coast with his wife (Rev. Soshin) and two children.

In 2003, having moved back to Victoria, Rev. Doshu re-established his connection to Zenwest and became a student of Kosen Eshu, Osho. He received the precepts (Jukai) in January 2007 and was ordained a junior priest (Shuso) in July 2012. Rev. Doshu, now retired, has worked as a technician, researcher, entrepreneur, construction worker and tree planter, and is currently exploring life as a monk.

Rev. Doshu is a director on the Zenwest Buddhist Society board, head of the Zendo team, and participates in the Sangha Support team, the Practice Council, and the Dana group.

Reverend Soshin McMurchy

Reverend Soshin McMurchy, MSc. was born in Edmonton, Alberta into an Air Force family, and grew up in Alberta, Ottawa, France, and Toronto. In 1981, she married Rev. Doshu, and together they are the parents of two adult children. Their family homesteaded near Sointula, BC from 1987-2002, when they relocated to Victoria, BC.

Rev. Soshin first practiced Zen as a member of the Toronto Zen Centre 1986. Soshin began practising with Zenwest in April 2007. She received the precepts (Jukai) and became an Elder of Zenwest in January 2009, and was ordained as a novice priest (Tokudo Shiki) in August of 2011.

Rev. Soshin currently serves as the Buddhist Chaplain for the University of Victoria’s Multifaith Services, is a director on the Zenwest Buddhist Society board, and participates the Zendo and Sangha Support teams, the Practice Council, and the Dana group.

Elder Seishin Susanne Ledingham

Originally from Tsawwassen, Elder Seishin Susanne Ledingham spent 15 years living overseas and across Canada before moving to Victoria in 2004. Having explored Buddhism and Buddhist groups since being a university student, Seishin began settling into serious Buddhist practice with Zenwest in 2006. Seishin received the precepts (Jukai) in January 2009 and became an Elder July 2009.

Since her return to the West Coast, Seishin has been overjoyed at rediscovering her roots on the Gulf Islands and spends as much time as possible playing with her 3 children, gallivanting around Mayne Island, enjoying family and friends, creating art and doing yoga. Seishin works as an art facilitator and educator as well as creating her own art.

Elder Seishin is the head of the Sangha Sunday team, participates on the Sangha Support team, the Zendo team, the Practice Council, the Dana group, and has represented Zenwest on the Board of the Victoria Multifaith Society.

Yushin Charles Rose

Yushin Charles Rose was born in Durham, North Carolina and grew up in Virginia near Washington, DC. Professionally, he has been part of the tech sector since the mid 1980’s. He has been a software developer, senior technical editor, and has authored two books on network programming and network management, and numerous articles for various publications. Yushin has owned and sold several technology companies, most recently Universal Commerce, which provided e-commerce services to software authors.

Yushin began Zen practice with Zenwest in March 2006, and received the precepts (Jukai) in January 2009.

Yushin is a past director on the Zenwest Buddhist Society board, and participates on the Zendo, and Marketing / Engagement teams, the Practice Council, and the Dana group.

Hoyu Linda “Tommi” Boulter

Hoyu Linda “Tommi” Boulter was born in Vancouver, BC and grew up mostly in Prince Rupert, BC. Hoyu is the mother of three children, and has one grandchild. Since receiving a diploma in Broadcast Communications in 1979, she has worked as a copy writer for radio and advertising, and currently works for the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper. Hoyu is also an enthusiastic yoga practitioner, and writer.

Hoyu began Zen practice with Zenwest in March 2007, and received the precepts (Jukai) in January 2009. Hoyu participates on the Practice Council, Zendo team, Sangha Support team, and the Dana group.

Kozan Andrew Norimasa Nishigaya

Kozan was born in Seattle to a Nichiren Buddhist priest and his wife. Surrounded by the Seattle Nichiren Buddhist Temple sangha, buddhism was a part of his life starting at a very young age. Moving to Alaska with his family when he was 3 years old, Kozan grew up enjoying the sun, snow, camping, hiking, fishing and all that Alaska had to offer.

Heading off to Oregon for university, Kozan spent five years pursuing a degree in Business Economics and Japanese. After University, Kozan headed off to have adventures in Japan for seven years, and then moved to California for another seven years before finally winding up in Victoria BC. Here he started to read more and more books on Zen and began a modest home practice. After a while, he decided that he should join a formal Zen group and became a member of the Zenwest Buddhist Society.

Kozan currently participates on the Board of Directors, the Zendo Team, the Marketing Team, the Peer Support Team, and the Dana group.