Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944, and grew up in California. He started formal Zen training under Taizan Maezumi Roshi at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1972. In 1980, Genpo Roshi received Shiho (Dharma Transmission) from Maezumi Roshi and in the following year he began to conduct sesshins in several European countries. He founded Kanzeon Sangha in 1984 which includes all his students in the United States and Europe. Roshi has given Dharma Transmission to many successors including Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi, Anton Tenkei Coppens Roshi and Malgosia Jiho Braunek Roshi.