Zen Center in Cuba

Initiative for the creation and financing of a Zen Center in Cuba promoted by the Zen Sangha of Bárbara Kosen (Spain) and the Zen Sangha of Michel Tai Hai (Cuba)

Dear friends, monks and nuns, practitioners, bodhisattvas and sympathizers: we need your collaboration to help the Sangha at Cuba.

This last year has been difficult for everybody. The pandemic has left a trace of pain, fear and precariousness in many people, and in Cuba this has been especially hard. Since many years, I visit Cuba to give ordinations and to celebrate sesshins, following the steps of master Kosen Thibaut, who founded the Cuban Sangha in 1996. Today it is managed by Master Michel Tai Hei, to whom I transmitted the Shiho at Shorin Ji temple in 2108. The Sangha at Cuba has been practicing in private homes or in lent spaces, not having a fixed location where to get together and celebrate sesshins.

We now have the opportunity to help them to acquire a center for the practice of the Way. It is a house in the city of Matanzas. A building that barely needs improvements and for which a very low price is asked, being located in a secondary city. There, the intention is to create a Buddhist Zen Center, with a dojo, a library and accommodations for the masters visiting Cuba.

As a house with all the installations in working order, we think it constitutes an excellent buying opportunity. Even so, they need our economic collaboration to get together the amount needed to buy it (28.000 €/34.153 CUC convertible Cuban pesos). So, we have opened a bank account dedicated solely to this initiative. Followingly, we’ll give you all the details about it as well as the name of a contact person in our Sangha who will furnish you with all the details you may need.

When we will have reached our monetary goal, I will travel to Cuba accompanied by several monks to hand over the funds. On this occasion, we shall celebrate a sesshin in appreciation to which all of you who have helped with this initiative are invited. It shall be a trip and a sesshin of gratitude for the end of the pandemic and for the consolidation of our practice and of the Way in Cuba. Something we will have made possible between all of us.

Maestra Barbara Kosen sello
Master Bárbara Kosen


Objective: Zen Center in Cuba

To create a Zen Center in Cuba which, besides being a dojo for the practice of Zazen, will make possible to celebrate the sesshins in Cuba in the Sangha’s own space and to lodge practitioners during that time.

– To date, there isn’t any dojo in Cuba.

– The dojo at La Habana is located in a private apartment.

– The dojo at Matanzas is itinerant, it has not a locale and zazen is made in parks and in spaces lent by the Comunidad Metropolitana Church and by the Pharmaceutical Museum.


  • Besides being the dojo of the city of Matanzas, it would have a library, a conference hall and another one dedicated to sewing and calligraphy.
  • Constitute the urban temple for the development of sesshins celebrated in Cuba (until now, spaces have to be rented, they are scarce and do not have the needed conditions for the practice of the Way).
  • Also, it would be a convergence center for those visiting the island (masters as well as general practitioners).
  • In the future, there would be a small boutique to raise funds with the creations made by the Sangha members.
  • The Cuban Zen Center will have a capacity for 30 people.

How to achieve our goal

Confronted with the need to have a Zen center for the practice of the Way in Cuba, it was thought that it would be easier to find a space in the city of Matanzas (130 km from La Habana), since prices are significantly lower than in the capital.

Once the location was decided, we looked for a house that would have the necessary characteristics at an affordable price. Several houses and plots of land were visited until the ideal house was found in 2020.

Through this initiative, the Sangha of master Michel Tai Hei and the Sangha of Bárbara Kosen have joined to get the financing needed for the purchase of the building. For this, we need the economic collaboration of as much people as possible.

Many “littles” make “a lot”. We invite all practitioners of the Way and sympathizers to participate in this co-financing project.


Geographic location

The building is situated in the city of Matanzas west borough, Capital of the province with the same name.
This province has an extension of 11.798 km2 and an approximate population of 690.000.
It borders in the west with the province of Mayabeque, to the east with Cienfuegos and Villa Clara.

Mapa de Cuba Mapa de Cuba - provincia de Matanzas

One of its identity features is the beautiful beach of Varadero, 30 km form the province capital. It is also known as the Athens of Cuba due to its weight in the development of national culture.

The city of Matanzas has an extension of 761 km2 and an approximate population of 145.000. Its geography is gifted with many beautiful landscapes.
It is located at a distance of 130 km from the province of La Habana. In spite of the short distance which separates them, the real estate prices are a half of those in the capital.
Since the last few years, sesshins in the island are celebrated at different locations in the city of Matanzas.

Description of the house

Dojo en Cuba - Características del inmueble - planta

  1. Hall;
  2. Small hall;
  3. Rooms in the ground floor plus 1 room in the second floor with wood mezzanine;
  4. Bathroom;
  5. Toilet;
  6. Corridor;
  7. Dining room with an access to the second floor;
  8. Kitchen, access to service patio;
  9. Second floor with wood mezzanine;
  10. Lateral corridor and small roofed exterior storage room, service patio.


Building of 243 m2, practically all usable space except for the area of the service patio and the lateral corridor.


Building condition:

Needs painting, light general maintenance work and another bathroom. (However, excepting for the bathroom issue, it can be occupied immediately).


At the center area of the city but not in a main artery.
In the sidewalk in front there is a catholic church and an office building with an apartment. The adjacent buildings are family homes.


28.000 € // 34.153 CUC (convertible Cuban pesos)

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Donations – Fuse

We invite all practitioners of the Way and sympathizers to participate in this co-financing project.

Donations must be made to the following bank account number:

IBAN: ES32 2038 1179 4160 0077 4554

. DO NOT MENTION THE WORD “CUBA” in the transfer reference / description, to ensure a successful donation and avoid misunderstandings that may block the bank transfer.

Bank and address:: Bankia; C/ Pez 6, Madrid 28004
Account holder: Asociación Zen Taisen Deshimaru



Contact person: Belén B.

.(+34) 662 164 082

. dojo.zenkan@gmail.com


Asociación Zen Taisen Deshimaru (AZTD).

National Associations Registry nº: 145061

Date: 25 of April, 1995

Ministry of justice, Spain.