The Kwan Um School of Zen is a international Zen Buddhist organization founded by the Korean Zen master Seung Sahn. The organization is named after the Kwan Um ("Perceiving the World") Zen lineage, which Seung Sahn transmitted to his students. The Kwan Um School of Zen has temples, centers, and groups in more than 30 countries around the world.
The Kwan Um School of Zen teaches a form of Zen Buddhism that emphasizes the practice of Zen meditation (zazen) and the cultivation of a clear, open, and compassionate mind. The school also places a strong emphasis on social action and engagement, and encourages its members to bring their Zen practice into the world and to work for the benefit of others.
The Kwan Um School of Zen offers a variety of resources and programs to support the spiritual growth and development of its members. These include:
Zen Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China and has spread to other countries in Asia and beyond. Zen emphasizes direct experience and personal realization through meditation and other spiritual practices, rather than relying on scriptures or other external sources of authority. The goal of Zen Buddhism is enlightenment, or understanding one's true nature and attaining liberation from suffering. This is typically achieved through the practice of zazen, or seated meditation, which is said to help practitioners develop concentration, clarity of mind, and insight into the nature of reality.
Zen practice also often includes other spiritual practices such as koans, chanting, and physical disciplines such as martial arts or gardening. Zen teachings often emphasize the importance of living in the present moment, practicing compassion and kindness towards others, and finding one's own path to enlightenment rather than following a prescribed set of beliefs or practices.
The Kwan Um School of Zen was founded by the Korean Zen master Seung Sahn, who was born in 1927 in what is now North Korea. Seung Sahn began studying Zen Buddhism as a young man and later received dharma transmission (formal recognition as a Zen teacher) from his own teacher, Ko Bong. Seung Sahn went on to establish the Kwan Um School of Zen in the 1980s, and over the course of his career he transmitted the Zen lineage of the Kwan Um School to hundreds of students around the world.
Seung Sahn was known for his direct and unconventional teaching style, and his teachings emphasized the importance of cultivating a clear, open, and compassionate mind through the practice of Zen meditation. He also placed a strong emphasis on social action and engagement, and encouraged his students to bring their Zen practice into the world and to work for the benefit of others.
Seung Sahn passed away in 2004, but the Kwan Um School of Zen continues to thrive and has temples, centers, and groups in more than 30 countries around the world. The school is headed by a council of senior teachers who were appointed by Seung Sahn before his death. The Kwan Um School of Zen is a non-profit organization and is supported by the contributions of its members and supporters.
The Kwan Um School of Zen has temples, centers, and groups in more than 30 countries around the world. These centers and groups provide a place for members and the general public to learn about and practice Zen Buddhism, and offer a variety of resources and programs to support the spiritual growth and development of practitioners.
Here is a list of some of the activities that may be offered at a Kwan Um School of Zen center or group:
Below you will find the places around the world, that practice this path.