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Our Roots & Branches

SokukoJi History

SokukoJi is a Japanese name which translates to “Temple of Immediate Light.”

SokukoJi traces its origins to a dharma study group in 1975 and officially became SokukoJi in 2007. Our campus is in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, with the temple and community facilities in the primary building and additional residential and meeting facilities in two other buildings. 

SokukoJi Buddhist Temple Monastery is under the guidance of our Founding Abbot, Kyoun Sokuzan, a transmitted priest in the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen Buddhism.   We offer daily sitting meditation and services. 

As a spiritual meditation community, SokukoJi works to support the community. SokukoJi is particularly active in working with people in drug rehabilitation centers and volunteer work in Michigan Department of Corrections prisons, but also extends its support to whomever needs it, regardless of background or religious affiliation.


Our guiding principles are Communication, Cooperation, and Collaboration in all that we do.

Order of Immediate Light

On November 18, 2020, Sokuzan formally established Sokukoji Buddhist Temple Monastery as a separate order known as the Order Of Immediate Light. This order acknowledges Sokuzan’s unique background and style of teaching, which emphasizes using various modalities to understand the nature of the mind. The Order of Immediate Light brings together elements of the Tibetan Kagyu tradition and the Sōtō Zen lineage of Japan, along with other methods of understanding consciousness.

With the establishment of the Order of Immediate Light, Sokuzan created three guiding tenets.

SokukoJi Mission

We endeavor to create and maintain a space for people to practice meditation and study the Buddhist teachings.

We also:

  • Conduct weekly meditation and study periods

  • Facilitate group retreats

  • Host seminars on meditation and the arts

  • Hold traditional Sōtō Zen style sesshins

  • Host an annual Ango meditation retreat practice

  • Host solitary meditation retreats


We offer daily individual practice, interviews with Sokuzan, guidance, and encouragement in your spiritual practice.

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