The International Zen Association was founded in 1970 by Master Taisen Deshimaru. In the beginning, it went under the name of “The European Zen Association”, its purpose being to give an official structure to his mission and to help spread Zen practice. The latest version of the statutes were approved in december 2012.
Today, it is the oldest and largest Zen association in Europe. It brings together many teachers – most of whom were close disciples of Master Deshimaru – and practitioners. All work together, in various capacities, to firmly root Sôtô Zen Buddhism in the West. Thus they follow through on the momentum given by its founder.
The International Zen Association brings together several hundred places of practice (temples, Zen centres, dojos and groups). One of its main activities is to help and support these centres for which they are responsible.
It manages and maintains the Gendronnière Zen temple, organising there sesshins, summer sessions, training periods, conferences and events that gather together practitioners from all over the world.
For its members, the IZA publishes the magazine Zen (yearly) and the news bulletin Sangha (three issues a year), both of which are translated into several languages.
Members of the board:
President: Pierre Dokan Crépon.
Vice-Presidents: Roland Yuno Rech, Raphaël Doko Triet, Olivier Reigen Wang-Genh.
General Secretary: Hosetsu Laure Scemama.
Assistant General Secretary: Brigitte Seijo Crépon, Begoña Kaido Agiriano.
Treasurer: Gérard Kenku Laurent.
Assistant Treasurer: Reiho Jesse Haasch.
Spiritual council representative for dojo affairs: Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure.