Our School

The Kwan Um School of Zen is an international organization of more than a hundred centers and groups founded by Zen Master Seung Sahn, the first Korean Zen Master to live and teach in the West. The School's purpose is to make this practice of Zen Buddhism available to an increasing number of students throughout the world.

Dharma Talk

The heart of the Kwan Um School of Zen is the daily practice that goes on in its Zen centers and groups, which are spread throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Students and visitors eat together, work together and meditate together, gradually attaining a clear compassionate mind which moment to moment is able to help all beings.

We offer training in Zen meditation through practical instruction, daily morning and evening practice, public talks, teaching interviews, sittings, retreats and workshops. Our programs are open to anyone regardless of previous experience and are often offered at no cost.

The founding teacher of our School was Zen Master Seung Sahn, the 78th Patriarch in his line of transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism. In 1972 he came to the USA and started the Providence Zen Center, the first in what is now the Kwan Um School of Zen. He and his students have founded over a hundred temples, centers and groups around the world.

Zen Master Seung Sahn gave transmission to Zen Masters and inka (teaching authority) to senior students called Ji Do Poep Sa Nims or Dharma Masters. He died on 30th November 2004.

On this site you will find information about our traditions and practice forms, biographies and Dharma talks of our teachers, and information and links for all the centers and groups and coming retreats of the Kwan Um School of Zen in Europe. KUSZE members will find information and announcements on Latest News and the Abbot's Page, and social network discussions in our Virtual Sangha.