Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi was born near Grenoble, France, and lived for much of her youth in Paris. After studying art history at the Sorbonne, she pursued a career in various Parisian galleries and museums.
Beginning in 1978, she began traveling throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America, India and Nepal, where she first encountered the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and began practicing in that tradition.
Upon returning to Paris in 1982, she met the American Zen master Dennis Genpo Merzel Roshi, who became her teacher. For the next 10 years, she practiced Zen with him in Europe and America, and after completing her formal koan study, she received transmission from him in 1992. On January 16th, 2005, her teacher gave her the final seal of approval ("inka" in Japanese). She teaches the practice of "just sitting" (shikantaza) and koan practice.
Genno Roshi has given Dharma-transmission to seven successors: Amy Hollowell Roshi, Frank De Waele Roshi, Corinne Frottier Sensei, Michel Oltheten Sensei, João Rodrigues Sensei, Tania Turner Sensei and Scott Williams Sensei.
"The practice of zazen is about opening our hearts. Opening our hearts to a limitless space... It's also very much about accepting this space within us. There are no limits to what we can do for ourselves and others.
It's also about our deep fear of that immeasurable space. The fear of disappearing into it. We can feel that entering into this space is like dying to us. An emptiness into which our self is lost. But this limitless space is our true nature".
Catherine Genno Pagès Roshi