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Kwan Um School of Zen



The Kwan Um School of Zen is an international organization of Zen centers and groups founded under the direction of Zen Master Seung Sahn, the first Korean Zen master to teach in the West. The School began with the establishment of its international head temple, the Providence Zen Center Center in Cumberland, Rhode Island, U.S.A. in 1972. Over the years, Zen Master Seung Sahn and his students established several centers and groups around the world.

In 1983, this growth led to the formal organization of the Kwan Um School of Zen, with the purpose of providing cohesion and administrative support to all of its centers. Kwan Um means “perceive world sound,” to compassionately hear the cries of the universe.

The Kwan Um School of Zen of Europe was formed in 1984, with its head temple at Wu Bong Sa in Falenica, Poland, one of the earliest established Zen centers in Europe.

Musangsa, in South Korea, is the regional head temple for the Kwan Um School of Zen in Asia.

The heart of the Kwan Um School of Zen is in the daily practice. Zen Master Seung Sahn very simply taught, “What am I? - don’t know”. The mission of the School is to provide Zen training to an ever growing number of practitioners around the world, to attain their true selves, access their innate wisdom and compassion and help this world. Kwan Um Zen centers offer meditation through instruction, daily morning and evening practice, public talks, kong-an interviews, retreats, workshops, and community living. Our programs are open to anyone regardless of previous experience.

To visit the international Kwan Um School of Zen, go to www.kwanumzen.org

Kwan Um Korea


The teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn and meditation practice opportunities following the international Kwan Um School of Zen tradition is also available at the following groups in Korea:

Find the Zen center nearest you

Can't find a Kwan Um Zen center near you? Check out the Kwan Um Online Sangha program
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