The Gendronnière Zen temple was founded thirty years ago in 1980 by Master Deshimaru and his disciples within the IZA.
It is located in an area of 80 hectares in the Valaire commune, ten kilometers south west of Blois. There is a 400m² dojo, built by members of the sangha and this is the heart of the temple. It is here that a large number of people gather to practice zazen and ceremonies during sesshin. Next to the dojo is a smaller dojo in which the residents of the Gendronnière practice on a daily basis and where training sessions take place in the tradition of the Soto Zen School.
An old manor house and its outbuildings were converted in order to accommodate practitioners and for everyday life. A large refectory with a modern kitchen and two floors with bedrooms increased accommodation capacity.
This permits the accommodation of a large number of people for the summer and winter sessions, for the sesshin that take place all year round, for conferences on the place of spiritual practice in the modern world, and the major commemorative ceremonies that gather together the practitioners of Soto Zen in Europe and Japan.
The vegetable garden provides organic vegetables and a field produces wheat flour for oven-baked bread. The forest produces wood for heating. All this ensures we have a certain amount of autonomy regarding energy and good quality, natural food. Above all, the Gendronnière allows us to practice samu regularly, that is, work done for the community, which is the practice of meditation in action, and living Zen in daily life.
The Gendronnière temple is a place where one can deepen the practice of Soto Zen; it is a meeting place where teachers and practitioners can talk and discuss; it brings people together beyond their differences and in so doing it fulfills its vocation to be open to the world as an expression of the Way.