Evelyn Reiko de Smedt
After several years spent studying and practicing Sanskrit and yoga, Evelyn de Smedt became interested in Eastern spirituality and collaborated on various publications that focused on personal development, notably Planet, in January 1972.
In January 1973 she met Master Deshimaru at a workshop in Paris’ 15th arrondissement, where he was teaching the Buddha-Way: zazen.
The practice found a natural place within her and became the source of her daily life and existence. An increasingly solid and intimate connection was established with her master and, in March 1975, she received the nun's ordination. She also helped him edit and publish most of his works in French.
Since her master’s death, she has continued to spread his teaching through books, including Zen and Christianity and The Light of Satori (Albin Michel), the Zen album illustrated in collaboration with M. Bovay and L. Kaltenbach, Les Patriarches du Zen (in French) and through the sesshins she directs.
She is one of the leaders of the Paris Zen Dojo, and teaches the experience that connects us directly to our profound nature, the mind of Buddha, the mind of God that is in each of us.
In 2005, she founded Mokuonji, the Silent Melody Hermitage, located in the Causses du Quercy, in the centre of the Lot region. She holds sesshin there once every season.
In May 2009, she did the shusso (first monk) ceremony with Genshu Imamura Roshi in Japan, at the Kongo-in temple.