|Muhō Nölke (ネルケ無方)|
March 1, 1968 |
Berlin, West Germany
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Muhō Nölke (ネルケ無方) (b. March 1, 1968, as Jens Olaf Christian Nölke)  is a German-born Zen monk who is presently the abbot of Antai-ji, a Japanese Sōtō Zen temple in Shin'onsen in the Mikata District of Japan's Hyōgo Prefecture. He has translated works of Dōgen and Kōdō Sawaki, and has authored two books in German and several books in Japanese.
At age 16, Muhō was introduced to zazen by one of his high school teachers and soon had the wish to become a Zen monk. To prepare for his stay in Japan, he studied Japanese at the university in Berlin, along with philosophy and physics. During his studies, he spent one year at Kyoto University and learned for the first time about Antai-ji. At age 22, he spent six months there as a lay practitioner.
Three years later, after graduating from university, Muhō was ordained as a Sōtō Zen monk under the abbot Miyaura Shinyu Rōshi. Apart from Antai-ji, he has trained for one year at the Rinzai monastery Tōfuku-ji in Kyoto, and one year at Hosshin-ji in Obama, Fukui.
After obtaining the transmission of dharma (shihō) from his teacher Miyaura Rōshi, Muhō decided to live as a homeless monk in a park in central Osaka, where he led a zazen group in 2001. Six months later, in February 2002, he learned of the sudden death of his teacher and was called back to Antai-ji. He succeeded his teacher as the ninth abbot in the spring of that year. Apart from his responsibilities at Antai-ji, he is also teaching at Chigen-ji, a Sōtō Zen priest seminary in Kyoto prefecture.
Muhō has published numerous books and translations in both Japanese and German. He has also featured in several short films, including documentaries by director Takeshi Kitano and broadcaster Peter Barakan's "Begin Japanology", as well as Werner Penzel's feature film "Zen for Nothing".
- Abt Muho: Zazen oder der Weg zum Glück. Rowohlt, 2007, ISBN 3-499-62203-3.
- Muho: Ein Regentropfen kehrt ins Meer zurück. Berlin-Verlag, 2016, ISBN 978-3827013385.
- Mayoeru mono no Zen shugyou. Shincho-shinsho, 2011, ISBN 4-10-610404-0.
- Hadaka no Bousama. Sanga, 2012, ISBN 4-905425-12-3.
- Tada suwaru. Kobunsha-shinsho, 2012, ISBN 9784334036928.
- Ikiru hint 33. Asahi-shinsho, 2012, ISBN 9784022730992.
- Otona ni naru tame no yatsu no shugyou. Shodensha, 2013, ISBN 4396113153
- Mayoinagara ikiru. Daiwa-shobo, 2013, ISBN 9784479012108
- Dogen wo gyakuyunyu. Sanga, 2013, ISBN 978-4905425472
- Nihonjin ni shukyo ha iranai. Best-shinsho, 2014, ISBN 978-4584124321
- Yomu dake Zen shugyou. Asahi-shinbun-shuppan, 2014, ISBN 978-4-02-331321-7
- Mayoi ha satori no dai-ippo. Shincho-shinsho, 2015, ISBN 978-4-10-610603-3
- Ari no mama demo ii, ari no mama de nakute mo ii. Best-shinsho, 2015, ISBN 978-4584136317
- Kokoro ni hibiku Bukkyou no kingen 100. Takarajima-sha, 2015, ISBN 978-4800240248
- Naze nihonjin ha gosenzo-sama ni inoru no ka. Gentousha-shinsho, 2015, ISBN 978-4344983816
- Bukkyou no tsumetasa, Kirisutokyou no ayausa. Best-shinsho, 2016, ISBN 978-4584125090
- Magenai Doitsujin, kimenai Nihonjin. Sanga, 2016, ISBN 978-4865640557
- Kyou wo shinu koto de, ashita wo ikiru. Best-shinsho, 2017, ISBN 978-4584125489
- Information about Muhō Nölke at Antaiji homepage
- Sweeping Zen: Life at a Japanese Zen monastery (Muho Noelke interview)
- "A German Zen Master" Interview by Japan National Tourism Organization
- "Happy and hard" Interview by Maymagazine.eu
- Muhō Noelke on IMDb
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