• Jitei White

  • My name is Rev Jitei White, a Zen Buddhist Priest in the White Plum Lineage of Soto Zen. I have been a practising Buddhist for 35 years and a teacher of mindfulness meditation, loving kindness meditation and shikan-taza meditation for over 20 years.

    I am a designer and teacher of the Zen Garden, a Zen Priest garden designer; one who sees the essence of the garden, the heart of each stone and plant. Everything is life. So much beauty. I am the only Ishi-tate-so (Zen priest garden designer) practising in England. I accept commissions from all over the world to design a sacred garden that invokes contemplation, meditation and joy.

    I've been a Master Craftsman Gardener for 35 years and feel incredibly humbled and fortunate to have worked the soil over the years. My fingers are the soil, my blood, sweat and tears are the living ground. The earth that I work with is alive, actually alive. Billions upon billions of lives make up our world. The bodies of countless insects, trees and humans regenerate and compost into soil. Rocks are made from the bodies of fish and shellfish, rocks are alive.

    Great mountains are sentient beings.  Great rivers are sentient beings.

    I started living the Dharma, the Buddhist Precepts, in 1982 at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, a monastery in the Zen tradition. Under the guidance of Rev Master Jiyu Kennett and Rev Master Daishin Morgan I recieved the Buddhist Precepts in the ceremony of Jukai. After many years of the stillness of meditation, of experiencing the deep joy that comes from a quiet mind and an open heart, I finally met my true teacher in Genshin Roshi and received Shukke Tokudo [Priest ordination].

    It is incredible to think that I am the 83rd generation to have worn these robes, the Robe of the Buddha. Eighty Two Great Priests, spanning 2500 years have lived these teachings. From India to China, from China to Japan, from Japan to America and now to England, this lineage has seen some of the greats of Buddhism. From Nagyaharajunya [2ndC], to Bodhidharma [6thC], to Hui Neng [8thC], to Eihei Dogen [13thC], to Keizan Jokin [14thC], to Koun Taizan [Maezumi Roshi 20thC].

    My ordination name, Jitei, means Compassionate Gardener, I am interpreting it as Cultivating Compassion, in others and in myself.

    Of cultivating open-ness and humility.

    Of sharing my life as a humble monk in the service of the world.

    Of sharing this Truth :

    Love is the universal breath of the universe,

    We are the expression of that Love,

    Meditation is the act of that Love.