Ven. Eshu Martin has been the guiding force behind the Victoria Zen Centre since his arrival in Victoria in 1995. Ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in January 1999, Eshu was affirmed as Abbot by the board of directors and membership of the Victoria Zen Centre in November 2005, at which time he became the Centre's first full-time teacher.
Born in Pointe Claire, Quebec in 1972, Ven. Eshu was raised near Toronto, Ontario. Deeply impacted by his mother's death when he was nine years old, his path to Zen Buddhism guided him out of an angry teenage life and wove through the world of theatre and martial arts. In 1995, Eshu made the move west to find a teacher.
From 1995-2008, Ven. Eshu studied and trained with Hoju Eshin Osho, and Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi. In February 2008, Ven. Eshu ended his affiliation with Joshu Sasaki Roshi, and with Rinzai-ji Inc., Joshu Roshi's organization. Ven. Eshu has trained (2008-2011) with Kozan Gentei Osho, Abbot of the North Carolina Zen Center, and is currently continuing his training with Kokan Genjo Marinello Osho, Abbot of Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji in Seattle Washington.
Ven. Eshu lives with his wife Niki and their two children at the Victoria Zen Centre's main Zendo in Sooke, BC.
Ven. Eshu is committed to increasing awareness of, and creating more opportunities for, Buddhist practice on Vancouver Island. He served as Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Victoria's Interfaith Chaplaincy (2004-2010), is the past chair of the World Interfaith Education Association (BC) and has served as a committee member on the Vancouver Island Health Authority's Spirituality in Mental Health and Addictions Initiative.
If you are interested in finding out more about Ven. Eshu, you may enjoy reading this interview, published on the website Sweeping Zen.