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Madoka Chase Onizuka

Madoka has been practicing zazen under the instruction of Kenichi Matsumoto since 2015, and is now working with him to provide zazen instruction in English.


She has worked in politics, education, human rights and environmental advocacy, and yoga therapy. She began meditation in 1996 as a practice to develop compassion and peace of mind. Her interest in enlightenment was sparked when a meditation teacher defined it as "liberation from suffering." She studied yoga, meditation, and Zen under several teachers, thinking they were all different paths to the same mountain top. But after attending Matsumoto-san's zazenkai, she realized that Zen was actually radically different from anything she had heard before. She knows now that she has found her path.

Madoka's first year of zazen practice with Matsumoto-san included hours of intense questioning and struggling to spite of being told repeatedly that enlightenment would never happen through intellectual understanding! Thus, Madoka knows from personal experience all the mental blocks that Zen practitioners often trip over, and how easy it can be to confuse Zen with meditation and other spiritual practices. These experiences and her skills as an interpreter put her in a good position to convey Matsumoto-san's  instructions in ways that help English speakers avoid some of the same pitfalls that Madoka fell into (and overcame). She is also able to give recommendations to Matsumoto-san regarding the kinds of explanations that are more effective for English speakers. 

Hoping to someday be able to instruct zazen herself, until then she is happy to be a linguistic bridge so that English speakers can also learn to sit without doing anything, and become free from the illusion of self.





(All dates and times are Japan time. We find this time converter site easy to use.)

  • May-July Zazenkai with Matsumoto-san
    May 13, 2024 (Mon) 8:00-noon (N/S America is Sunday, March 31)
    May 26, 2024  (Sun) 18:00-22:00
    June 10, 2024 (Mon) 8:00-noon (N/S America is Sunday, March 31)
    June 23, 2024  (Sun) 18:00-22:00
    July 8, 2024 (Mon) 8:00-noon (N/S America is Sunday, March 31)
    July 21, 2024  (Sun) 18:00-22:00

       Click here for reservations

  • Weekly sitting (1 hour) with Madoka on Wednesday nights, 21:00-22:00. Reservations can be made here 

  • Please reserve early. Reservations close 24 hours prior to the start of zazenkai.

  • Reservations for online zazenkai twice a month and private sessions. Feel free to contact us with questions too.




  • ​Please do not use, reproduce, modify, and/or divert any content of this website.

  • Please understand that it may take a few days to respond to your inquiries, requests or comments. 

  • ​Please be timely in making reservations or cancellations.

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