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Why do STO Members Come to Atlanta in July?

For many returning to the Atlanta Soto Zen Center is like a home-coming.
Even if you have never been you will find your lineage's heart spirit here.

We invite you to join us for our Fifth Annual Sesshin and Silent Thunder Order Conference, July 8 through 12, 2015
There will be time for traditional Zen training and activities including walks in an urban forest-Green Dragon Trail just outside our doors at ASZC.
And importantly, you will get to know your Dharma brothers and sisters from many of STO's fifteen affiliate Sanghas around the US and Canada.

In Sangha we teach each other the Dharma and this is a wonderful time and place to do so.

We look forward to seeing you in July.
Please register early. Click HERE to register now.

mokurai calligraphy

Taiun Michael Elliston-roshi
Abbot, Silent Thunder Order and Atlanta Soto Zen Center
Zenku Jerry Smyers
Chair, STO Board of Directors

Last Updated (Thursday, 14 May 2015 15:28)


Matsuoka Documentary Kickstarter Campaign

Kickstarter Campaign

Matsuoka quote lifht of universe

STO is announcing a Kickstarter fund raising effort to produce a documentary on the life of our founder Soyu Matsuoka Roshi. The Documentary will be filmed this fall during our Pilgrimage to Japan.

Our Kickstarter Fund Raising Page for the documentary has launched. Please go to the link below to get more information and help us make this a reality. Spread the word far and wide! 

The link is :


Last Updated (Friday, 01 May 2015 07:28)


Founders Pilgrimage to Japan

Matsuoka RoshiImportant News!

We are planning a STO Founders Pilgrimage to Japan for the month of October, 2015. Our primary purpose is to honor our lineage Founder Soyu Matsuoka Roshi, trace his history and visit important sites such as Sojiji, Komazawa University in Tokyo, and his home Temple near Hiroshima. We will also visit several Temples important to our Japanese Soto Zen Founder, Dogen Zenji. This trip will serve to deepen and broaden our understanding of our rich Zen history and Zen practice in Japan, and Japanese culture. We plan to stay at temples and monasteries, where possible, and participate in retreat schedules there. We are making arrangements to stay at the Soto Zen Headquarters at Eiheiji, for sesshin, at the conclusion of our trip. We will document our travels and share our experience with our STO Sangha and all interested. If anyone is interesting in more information about the trip or in joining the trip contact Zenku (below).

I share this news with everyone so we can all participate and draw inspiration from the experience. For those who would like to support our efforts on this important trip we are starting a fund raising effort. We are looking to raise $10,000 by October to help cover Taiun Roshi's travel expenses and aid our efforts to create a trip documentary upon our return. All donations are welcome. For everyone making a donation of $100 or more we will bring back a special gift to express our deep appreciation.

These special donations can be made online by directing the contribution to STO and indicating in the transaction comment message, "For 2015 STO Founders Pilgrimage to Japan". If you would like to give via check please make it out to STO and add the comment above on the check comment line and send it to Zenku Jerry Smyers, 25364 Old US Highway 93, Dayton MT 59914.

If you have any questions please contact me via email or phone at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 847-721-0665.

Thank you in advance for your help in making this Founders Pilgrimage possible.

Last Updated (Friday, 06 February 2015 12:02)

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