Zen Monk Abbot Reding welcomes you at the Zen Academy in Switzerland. From the deepest heart I bow and thank all my teachers, free from east and west, for their teachings, may they flourish in the hearts of men. If wish you all the best on the way!

The dog chases the ball, the tiger bites the thrower!

zen monk reding founded the zen academy in switzerland.

Days of Youth

First you do a decent education and then you can do whatever you want. Kathrin Reding (mother)


Born and raised in Zurich, he enjoyed life with his older sister. Following the maternal condition, Reding completed his apprenticeship as a laboratory assistant of chemistry at Empa Dübendorf with a vocational certificate (BMS). Thanks to the additional achievement of the Matura at the KME (Cantonal Matura School for Adults), the University was also open to him. After a few semesters of philosophy and mathematics at the University of Zurich, it was time to give in to the pursuit of inner emptiness with all its consequences and embark on the path of Zen. This desire developed slowly and organically during puberty, when he first came into contact with the logos (Zen dialogues) thanks to his mother.

Training / Years of travel / Apprenticeship

If you really have to do it, then do it. Niklaus Reding (Father)


In Japan, he was ordained by Zen monk Noritake Kotoku. After formal training in the Zen monastery Empukuji near Kyoto, he wandered from temple to temple to find a suitable teacher. He earned his living with the traditional almsround on the streets of Japan and helped with ceremonies in the temples of his monk brothers and sisters. Following the instruction of his dharma father Zen monk Kotoku, he visited the Zen monks and nuns in South Korea and studied with them. His time as a wandering monk was in an instant over when the exchange with Zen Master Powha Sunim began. Whether in the Hermitage, in the temple, in the mountains and in the monastery, the battlefield of wisdom was omnipresent with the Zen Master. As a personal assistant and student, the logos was reexamined around the clock and life on the side of the teacher did not allow for any carelessness.

Itinerant & begging Monk

As a appreciation for the ten-year training, Zen monk Reding made a pilgrimage in Japan through traditional almsround. From Wakkanai in the north of Hokkaido to Ishigaki-Jima in the south of Okinawa (3000 kilometers), he needed eight months and lived from hand to mouth. Every day, heading south, not knowing whether the food is enough and where the next sleeping accommodation is, he examined the life and death with the inhabitants of Japan. During the time as a traveling and begging monk, the monastery and the market place became one.

Curse of the village priest
The Reding family and the village priest had a notorious relationship. As a welcome guest, he spent many evenings in their home, facing questions about God and the world. By chance, Reding met this truly good man and priest later on a street in Zurich. After patient listening, the priest finished the conversation with: "... then do it yourself!" When Zen Monk Reding held a ceremony for the villagers in the Zen Monastery in Japan many years later, he realized that he had become just as much a Pfaff as he never wanted to be. Remembering the words of the old priest back home in switzerland, he began to understand the meaning of the monks' robes and temples.
Switzerland - Japan - South Korea - Whole World

If there is no difference between the monastery and the marketplace, you are truly close to the Way.


Although he did not know how long his education would last, he promised his sister on departure that he would assist his father in his old age. So Zen Monk Reding decided to settle in Einsiedeln in Switzerland and from then on enjoyed the cooking skills of his father together with his wife and children.

Back to the roots

As a simple monk he found shelter in an old, barren and cold attic. Unexpectedly, the first visitors and guests arrived and together life and death was reexamined. The foundation stone was laid and in 2014 the Zen Academy was founded in mutual trust between the laity and the clergy. Independent and free from East & West, the monks and nuns are committed to sharing their quest for inner emptiness for the benefit of all.

Zen Monks & Zen Nuns in Switzerland
The first disciple and novice, Zen monk A. Lafon, waited on his knees in front of the temple gate for a week and asked for entry. Since then, the path of Zen in the Academy has been fearlessly and tirelessly studied and refined. The student becomes a teacher and the teacher becomes a student.
Mountain Monk

In the monastery and on the marketplace (Vita Contemplativa & Vita Activa), your travel- and templemonks, brothers and sisters, from where do you see all the coming and going of things? Fast fast! Give me an answer, for life and death are the important things, be watchful, everything is impermanent and passes swiftly away. Time waits for no one.

Welcome to the volunteer templestay switzerland program.

Here you can find more information about the ordination as Zen Monk / Zen Nun. For further questions about zen monk Reding contact us at any time via a contact form on the homepage or call. We would be pleased to welcome you in one of our Zen temples. Visit for a cup of coffee, an evening meditation, for a short or long term templestay. The temple gates are always open and the daily routine continues. Examine and share Life & Death with the Zen Nuns and Zen Monks in Switzerland.

Zen monk Abbot Reding  磨山道庵禪士