The Sangha of the Silent Thunder Order traces its origin to Master Eihei Dogen, founder of Soto Zen in 13th-Century Japan. A few generations later Master Keizan popularized Dogen Zen throughout Japan. Dogen is often called the "father" of Soto Zen in Japan, while Keizan is called its "mother." We have chosen cloud, or "un" in Japanese, as the family name for members of our Order, after the dharma name his teacher gave to Elliston Roshi : Taiun, meaning "Great Cloud."
Our lineage founder, Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka Roshi, was born in 1912 and died in 1997. He came to the United States in 1939, when he was just 27 years old. He said his mother told him, "go die in America." He was tireless in propagating Soto Zen to Americans, first on the West Coast and later in the Midwest, and one of the first to promote the practice of Zen meditation for westerners. Sensei, as he asked his student to call him, was a student and friend of Daisetz Suzuki, the famous scholar who popularized Rinzai Zen in the West.
A black-belt in Judo, he was very active in the martial arts, adviser to the Chicago Police Department Kyokushinkai Karate Association and National Karate Association, promoting the practice of zazen.
By the 1960s when Elliston Roshi - founder of the Order - first met him, Matsuoka Roshi had established the Chicago Zen Buddhist Temple, where he conducted his lay ordination...
Read the Full Article - with a slide show - about our Silent Thunder Order Lineage and Legacy.