No Mind Zen offers a space for in-person and online Zen practice with Alexandra Mushin Gericke Sensei.
Alexandra Mushin Gericke received Dharma transmission (Shiho) in August 2022 from American Zen Master Soten Genpo Merzel, founder of the Kanzeon / Big Mind Sangha in Europe and the US. We are in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, who was one of the pioneers bringing Zen from Japan to the US.
She was born in Tegernsee in 1974 and grew up in this beautiful region of Southern Germany. In her youth she ski raced for the German national team. In 1994 she went to Salt Lake City in the United States to ski for the University of Utah and studied psycholgy, receiving a B.Sc.
Her first encounter with ‘Zen’ was through a flyer from the Kanzen Zen Center, Genpo Roshi’s place in Salt Lake City at the time. It included the following verse, attributed to Bodhidharma (6th Century):
“A special transmission outside the scriptures.
No dependence on words and letters.
Seeing directly into the mind.
Realizing true nature, becoming Buddha.”
Coming across this ancient practice as a living experience – here and now – was life-changing. It opened a new dimension to life that she didn’t know existed. In order to devote herself to the practice and directly study with Genpo Roshi, she lived in the Zen community of Kanzeon for eight years and came to retreats in Europe. In 1998 she received Shukke Tokudo (monk-ordination) and was Genpo Roshi’s jisha (attendant) for many years. She became a Dharma holder (Hoshi) in 2002 and a lineage holder (Denkai) in 2006.
Besides learning more traditional Japanese Zen form and ceremonies, shikantaza and koan study, she trained in the ‘Big Mind’ process, created by Roshi in 1999 and since then continuously evolving. As an additional ‘upaya’ (skillful means) it makes Zen insight very accessible, emphasizing freedom, exploration and playfulness. This teaching offers a view on awakening that embraces the self in all its aspects towards an integrated free functioning – being that manifests as love and compassion for oneself, others and the planet we live on.
Mushin Sensei moved back to Europe in 2006 and got married to Belgian Zen teacher Frank De Waele Roshi, founder of the Zen Sangha. Frank is a successor of Genno Pagès Roshi from Paris, who is Genpo Roshi’s first successor and thus the first woman successor in our lineage.
Alexandra and Frank live in Ghent and have two teenage daughters. Having spent most of her twenties and early thirties in a semi-monasitc way, she appreciates being a mother and works part-time as a certified Iyengar yoga teacher.