Hyon Ja SSN, (Jo-Alma Potter) was born in Arizona USA in 1954. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in clinical nutrition from Arizona State University.
Her meditation practice started when she was seventeen years old. She traveled to India in the early 1980s, where she studied Zen and Buddhism. In 1986, she moved to Berlin Germany, living there for 27 years. Together with a core group of Zen students she built the Berlin Zen Center. She was the abbess of the Berlin Zen Center for 11 years. She met Zen Master Seung Sahn in the early 1990s and has been a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen since then.
In 2008, she received the title Ji Do Poep Sa and Inka — the official seal of approval to teach kong-an — from Zen Master Wu Bong. 26th September 2020 she received Dharma Transmission from Zen Master Bon Shim and got new name – Hyon Ja (Deep Love).
She moved to Vienna in 2012. She guides the Kwan Um Zen Centers and groups in Vienna Austria, Palma de Mallorca Spain, Budapest and Szeged Hungary and the Vrazne Zen Center in Czech Republic. She is travelling worldwide leading and teaching Zen retreats.