Barbara Kosen was born in Paris in 1951. At the age of 22 she met Master Deshimaru (the first Great Zen Master to arrive in Europe from Japan). She remained his disciple until his death in 1982. She was ordained a zen nun in 1975, receiving the name Kosen, meaning "Perfume of the Wise". During this time with her master, she assisted him in his mission to develop true Zen. After the death of her master she lived in Switzerland, where for eight years, she led the Dojo of Geneva.
In 1993 Barbara Kosen received the transmission of the Dharma - Shiho (title of spiritual master) - from Master Kosen Thibaut in the temple of the Gendronnière. In this way began the lineage of transmission of european Zen, just as Master Deshimaru had wanted. Barbara Kosen was the first western woman to receive the Shiho. She is one of the few persons currently alive to have received this recognition.
In 1994 she founded the Mokusan Dojo in Madrid and the Zen Association Taisen Deshimaru. In 2001 she founded the Zen Temple Shorinji in Villanueva de la Vera, in the forests of the Sierra de Gredos. There, along with her disciples she spreads the spirit of zen and explores in depth the Way, during retreats and periods of intensive practice.