What is the Vine of Obstacles?


This online program offers Zen practice under the guidance of Zen teachers Dōshō Port Rōshi, Tetsugan Zummach Osho (see bios here, listen to talks here), and assistant teacher, Ed Gōshin, a longtime student of Katagiri Rōshi and Dōshō. 

The Vine is designed for those who are determined to awaken (kensho) and actualize the great matter of life and death (post-kensho training). And who aren’t shy about it.

Our primary avenues for cultivating verification are daily zazen, study, and engagement in the Vine forums and in the world. Students who have some history of in-person practice tend to acclimate best to the Vine environment. 


  • Zazen: One-hour of daily sitting is recommended, usually focused on the breath or the keyword method of kōan introspection 
  • Practice meetings with one of the teachers
  • Participation in the Engagement forums offer us the important opportunity to engage with each other as a practice group
  • Study selected works, emphasizing classical teaching sources, through group study practice 


Tuition is $125 a month and includes the study practice on the Vine and weekly meetings with one of the teachers.

Application or more information

Contact Dōshō at doshoport@gmail.com for more information and for an application.

    Available courses

    This twelve-week session is for students who aspire to fully awaken, and can make and keep practice commitments.

    This forum highlights the most important aspect of Vine work - living congruently with our dharma intentions and insight. 

    This workshop has resources for beginners and more "advanced" students. You are invited to play into it. 

    The Letters of Chan Master Dàhuì Pǔjué:

    Summer Study

    June 1 - August 25


    • one hour of daily zazen five days a week. 
    • read the daily selection from "Awesome Presence of the Active Buddha" and student reflections
    • comment on at least one student reflection each week
    • set aside other dharma reading and focus on "Awesome Presence of the Active Buddha"
    • find ways to make the teaching alive in your life

    This is a foundational course for Vine of Obstacles Zen, the recommended starting point in study (along with the Zazen Workshop).

    The Heart Sutra is a great torch that lights the darkest road, a swift boat that ferries us across the sea of suffering,” said Fa-tsang.

    This course is designed to help you pick up the torch and enter the boat. 

    We will use Red Pine's The Heart Sutra: The Womb of the Buddhas and Hakuin's Acid Comments on the Heart Sutra. 

    Tuesdays, April 14 - May 26, 7:00-8:00pm (seven sessions)

    The class includes:
    • Seven Tuesday night sessions via Zoom
    • Four practice meetings (individual meetings online with a teacher)
    • Access to an online study portal for the teachers and class members

    In this course we will study Dogen's "Bodhisattva's Four Methods of Guidance," developing fluency in giving, kind speech, beneficial action, and identity action.