Muhō Noelke

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Muhō Nölke (ネルケ無方?)
Religion Zen Buddhism
School Sōtō
Born 1968
Berlin, Germany
Senior posting
Title Priest
Religious career
Teacher Miyaura Shinyu

Muhō Nölke (ネルケ無方?) (born 1968) is a German Zen monk. Presently, he is the abbot of Antai-ji, a Japanese Soto Zen temple. He has translated works of Dōgen and Kōdō Sawaki, and has authored one book 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.

After six months though, 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.


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