Photo by Ken Miller
Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi was a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher who made significant contributions to the dissemination of Zen Buddhism in the West. He was known for his teachings on meditation, mindfulness, and the integration of spiritual practice into everyday life. He encouraged individuals to find wisdom and presence in all things.
Through his connection to Naropa’s founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, he helped contribute to and shape the contemplative curriculum that is the cornerstone of the university. He taught meditation and Zen practice to students and faculty, introducing them to the principles of mindfulness and the experiential aspects of spiritual exploration. Both Chino Roshi and Trungpa Rinpoche shared a vision of integrating Eastern contemplative traditions with Western education, and their combined efforts created an environment where students were encouraged to explore both intellectual inquiry and personal transformation as a holistic approach to learning. His gentle demeanor, combined with his insights into Zen practice and mindfulness, inspired students and faculty to cultivate compassion, awareness, and authenticity in their interactions and endeavors.