History and Vision


SokukoJi Buddhist Community is a 501 c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to help others through the practice of meditation supported by study of the Buddhist teachings.

“SokukoJi” is a Japanese name which translates to “Temple of Immediate Light”. SokukoJi Buddhist Community is under the guidance of head teacher and community founder Kyoun Sokuzan, a transmitted priest in the Soto Zen school of Buddhism. SokukoJi traces is origins to a dharma study group in 1975 which officially became SokukoJi in 2007. Our main campus, SokukoJi Buddhist Temple Monastery, is in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, with daily practice and study in the primary building and practice residents in additional buildings. There are number of people that travel from Northern Michigan to practice regularly at our main campus. To learn more about SokukoJi Temple Monastery visit sokukoji.org


Sokuzan has been visiting regularly to teach in Traverse City since 2009. In 2012, Sokuzan directed one of his close students, Kozan Karen McLean, who would later become fully ordained in his lineage, to facilitate a weekly dharma study group in her home which has grown to become a recognized extension of SokukoJi Buddhist Community. We are a small but growing community.

SokukoJi Buddhist Community-Traverse City offers local support of meditation, dharma study and meditation retreats several times a year. Our current outreach includes preschool children and parents, students in K-12, colleges and universities, inmates of Michigan Department of Corrections, and those of various religious and non religious backgrounds who are interested in learning about meditation or Buddhist study and practice.

Our guiding principles are communication, cooperation, and compassion. Our vision is to develop a practice retreat center in the Traverse City area and are looking for real estate and funding to help realize this vision.

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