Reverend Daito Zenei Thompson- Osho—the SZC spiritual and executive director—has spent over four decades living and preaching the Buddha-dharma. Daito Zenei Osho received the special Ke Chi Myaku Transmission and was ordained in 1975 by the late Zen Master Reverend Dr. Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka-roshi, the first Archbishop of Soto Zen, North America who is recognized as one of the most country’s most notable Japanese Zen masters. After coming to this country from Japan 1939, the Reverend Dr. Matsuoka-roshi founded a number of Zen centers, including the Chicago Zen Center. He was supervisor of the country’s largest such center, the San Francisco Zen Center (formerly S.F. Zen Temple).
Daito Zenei's Zen Priest Ordination spiritual name has several meanings. The late Rev. Dr. Soyu Matsuoka-roshi explained that whereas traditionally its meaning is "advance guard cloud dragon that protects the dharma", it also has another meaning of "a magnanimous protector of the buddha-dharma". Daito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated three times each for a total of six characters and has the meaning of "the appearance of a dragon in flight"). It is also a ligature formed from 䨺 (tai) and 龘 (tō). It has also been pronounced daito (だいと) and otodo (おとど), and has been used in Japanese surnames. Zenei- Advance guard | 前衛 | zen’ei. Oshō- (和尚 oshō) is a Buddhist priest (in charge of a temple); honorific title of preceptor or high priest (esp. in Zen or Pure Land Buddhism).
Daito studied at various monasteries and temples both here in America and in Asia under the spiritual guidance of certified and authentic masters. He has twice met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Daito has lectured at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad and continues to instruct others in the way of Zen Buddhism at various civic, community and religious groups and is the resident spiritual and executive director of the Sarasota Zen Center.