Materialien zum Neobuddhismus


Wilhelm II.: "Völker Europas, wahrt Eure heiligsten Güter!"

4. USA und Hawaii

10. Koreanischer Buddhismus in den USA

von Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Materialien zum Neobuddhismus.  --  4. USA und Hawaii. -- 10. Koreanischer Buddhismus in den USA. -- Fassung vom 2005-07-09. -- URL: . -- [Stichwort].

Erstmals publiziert: 2005-06-19

Überarbeitungen: 2005-07-09 [Ergänzungen]; 2005-06-20 [Ergänzungen]

Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung Neobuddhismus, Univ. Tübingen, SS 2005

Copyright: Dieser Text steht der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung. Eine Verwertung in Publikationen, die über übliche Zitate hinausgeht, bedarf der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Verfassers.

Creative Commons-Lizenzvertrag
Diese Inhalt ist unter einer Creative Commons-Lizenz lizenziert.

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Buddhismus von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

0. Übersicht

Hintergrund: Korean Americans

"A Korean American is a person of Korean ancestry who was either born in or is an immigrant to the United States.

Although there were earlier immigrants to the U.S., Korean immigration to the U.S. is widely accepted as having begun January 13, 1903, when laborers arrived in Hawaii to work on sugar plantations. More began arriving after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965.

As of 2000, Korean Americans numbered some 1.1 million, with large concentrations in California, New York, and New Jersey. In addition, about one-tenth of Korean Americans are adoptees who are or have been raised by mainly white families; they may be found anywhere in the country, and in most cases they do not have Korean names.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade counted 2,157,498 ethnic Koreans living in the U.S. in 2003.

Jay Kim is the first Korean who was elected as U.S. congressman in 1993, and Chang-rae Lee is the first Korean writer who got PEN/Hemingway Award."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-19]

Hintergrund: Der Korea-Krieg

"The Korean War (Korean: 한국전쟁), from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, was a conflict between North Korea and South Korea. It was also a Cold War proxy war between the United States and its United Nations allies and the Communist powers of the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union (also a UN member nation). The principal combatants were North and South Korea. Principal allies of South Korea included the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, although many other nations sent troops under the aegis of the United Nations. Allies of North Korea included the People's Republic of China, which supplied military forces, and the Soviet Union, which supplied combat advisors and aircraft pilots, as well as arms, for the Chinese and North Korean troops. In the United States, the conflict was termed a police action (as the Korean Conflict) under the aegis of the United Nations rather than a war, largely in order to remove the necessity of a Congressional declaration of war. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-19]

Hintergrund: Koreanischer Buddhismus

"Korean Buddhism is distinguished from other forms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve what it sees as inconsistencies in Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. Early Korean monks believed that the traditions they received from China were internally inconsistent. To address this, they developed a new holistic approach to Buddhism. This approach is characteristic of virtually all major Korean thinkers, and has resulted in a distinct variation of Buddhism, which Weonhyo [원효,  元曉] (617–686) called the Tongbulgyo [통불교, 通佛敎] ("interpenetrated Buddhism"). Korean Buddhist thinkers refined their Chinese predecessors' ideas into a distinct form. Korean Buddhism then went on to have strong effects on Buddhism in Japan and the West. Several Buddhist lineages in Japan trace their roots through Korean teachers.

As it now stands, Korean Buddhism consists mostly of the Seon [선, 禪 ] lineage. Seon has a strong relationship with other Mahayana traditions that bear the imprint of Chinese Ch'an teachings, as well as the closely related Japanese Zen. Other sects, such as the Taego, and the newly formed Won, have also attracted sizable followings."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-19]

"The Seon [선, 禪 ] school is a Korean branch of Buddhism that shares its origins and many characteristics with Chinese Chan [禪, 禅] and whose influence orignated aspects of Japanese Zen [禅].

Chan was gradually transmitted into Korea during the late Silla period (8th and 9th centuries) as Korean monks of predominantly Hwaeom 華嚴 and Consciousness-only 唯識 background began to travel to China to learn the newly developing tradition. Then this tradition was passed on to Japan by Korean monks.

The first transmission of Chan into Korea is attributed to a monk named Peomnang 法朗, but he was soon followed by a throng of Seon students, who later returned to Korea to establish the "nine mountain" 九山 schools, with "nine mountains" becoming a nickname for Korean Seon which survives down to the present. Korean Seon received its most significant impetus and consolidation from the Goryeo [고려, 高麗] monk Jinul 知訥, who established the Songgwangsa 松廣寺 [송광사] as a new center of pure practice.

It is from the time of Jinul that the predominant single meditational sect in Korea becomes the Jogye 曹溪, which survives down to the present in basically the same status. Toward the end of the Goryeo and during the Joseon period the Jogye school would first be combined with the scholarly 教 schools, and then be relegated to lesser influence in ruling clas circles by Confucian influenced polity, even as it retained strength outside the cities and among the rural populations, and ascetic monks in mountain refuges.

Nonetheless, there would be a series of important teachers during the next several centuries, such as Hyegeun 慧勤, Taego 太古, Gihwa 己和 and Hyujeong 休靜, who continued to developed the basic mold of Korean meditational Buddhism established by Jinul. Seon continues to be practiced in Korea today at a number of major monastic centers, as well as being taught at Dongguk University [동국대학교, 東國大學校] which has a major of studies in this religion."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-0619]

"Won Buddhism [원불교 원 불 교] is a modern Buddhist movement based in South Korea. The Korean word Won means circular.


Founded in 1924 by venerable Seo Tae San, Won Buddhism combines aspects of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Christianity.

Beliefs and Rituals

Combining Zen, Seon, Chan [선, 禪 ] Buddhist teachings with some Christian influence, Won Buddhists believed that practice meditation should be practiced upon a black circle within a field of white (the black circle is the source of the name Won).

Sotaesan is unique among founders of Buddhist sects in that he found enlightenment through Korean folk religious practices, and when seeking to explain his experience, discovered that the Buddhist perfection of wisdom teachings (prajnaparamita) were most appropriate. Sotaesan summarized his doctrine in the “Verse of Truth,” which contains echoes of the Heart Sutra’s paradox, “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form”:

Being changes into Non-being And Non-being into Being, Turning and turning again; But in the ultimate Reality Being and Non-being are both Void, And the Void contains everything and is perfect.

Won Buddhist practice shares much in common with traditional Zen practice, emphasizing sitting meditation and eschewing the bells-and-whistles of Buddhist devotionalism. Sotaesan broke new ground, however, in his insistence on the equality of men and women in Buddhist practice, and the need for properly organizing spiritual life in the context of science and technological development."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-19]


1950-06-25 - 1953-07-27



Kyingbo Sunim kommt in die USA und lehrt an der Ostküste.


Abb.: Main Dharma Hall, Providence Zen Center
[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-08]

Gründung des Providence Zen Center, des Haupttempels der Kwan Um (관음) Schule des Zen von Seung Sahn (1927 - 2004)

Webpräsenzen: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-18; -- Zugriff am 2005-06-18

Siehe auch unten!

Abb.: Seung Sahn

"The Story of Seung Sahn

Seung Sahn Soen-sa was born in 1927 in Seun Choen, North Korea. His parents were Protestant Christians.

Korea at this time was under severe Japanese military rule, and all political and cultural freedom was brutally suppressed. In 1944, Soen-sa joined the underground Korean independence movement. Within a few months he was caught by the Japanese police and narrowly escaped a death sentence. After his release from prison, he and two friends stole several thousand dollars from their parents and crossed the heavily-patrolled Manchurian border in an unsuccessful attempt to join the Free Korean Army.

In the years following World War II, while he was studying Western philosophy at Dong Guk University, the political situation in South Korea grew more and more chaotic. One day Soen-sa decided that he wouldn't be able to help people through his political activities or his academic studies. So he shaved his head and went into the mountains, vowing never to return until he had attained the absolute truth.

For three months he studied the Confucian scriptures, but he was unsatisfied by them. Then a friend of his, who was a monk in a small mountain temple, gave him the Diamond Sutra, and he first encountered Buddhism. "All things that appear in this world are transient. If you view all things that appear as never having appeared, then you will realize your true self." When he read these words, his mind became clear. For the next few weeks he read many sutras. Finally, he decided to become a Buddhist monk and was ordained in October, 1948.

Soen-sa had already understood the sutras. He realized that the only important thing now was practice. So ten days after his ordination, he went further up into the mountains and began a one-hundred-day retreat on Won Gak Mountain (the Mountain of Perfect Enlightenment). He ate only pine needles, dried and beaten into a powder. For twenty hours every day he chanted the Great Dharani of Original Mind Energy. Several times a day he took ice-cold baths. It was a very rigorous practice.

Soon he was assailed by doubts. Why was this retreat necessary? Why did he have to go to extremes? Couldn't he go down to a small temple in a quiet valley, get married like a Japanese monk, and attain enlightenment gradually, in the midst of a happy family? One night these thoughts became so powerful that he decided to leave and packed his belongings. But the next morning his mind was clearer, and he unpacked. A few days later the same thing happened. And in the following weeks, he packed and unpacked nine times.

By now fifty days had passed, and Soen-sa's body was very exhausted. Every night he had terrifying visions. Demons would appear out of the dark and make obscene gestures at him. Ghouls would sneak up behind him and wrap their cold fingers around his neck. Enormous beetles would gnaw his legs. Tigers and dragons would stand in front of him, bellowing. He was in constant terror.

After a month of this, the visions turned into visions of delight. Sometimes Buddha would come and teach him a sutra. Sometimes Bodhisattvas would appear in gorgeous clothing and tell him that he would go to heaven. Sometimes he would keel over from exhaustion and Kwan Se Um Bosal would gently wake him up. By the end of eighty days, his body was strong. His flesh had turned green from the pine needles.

One day, a week before the retreat was to finish, Soen-sa was walking outside, chanting and keeping rhythm with his moktak. Suddenly, two boys, eleven or twelve years old, appeared on either side of him and bowed. They were wearing many-colored robes, and their faces were of an unearthly beauty. Soen-sa was very surprised. His mind felt powerful and perfectly clear, so how could these demons have materialized? He walked ahead on the narrow mountain path, and the two boys followed him, walking right through the boulders on either side of the path. They walked together in silence for a half-hour, then, back at the altar, when Soen-sa got up from his bow, they were gone. This happened every day for a week.

Finally it was the hundredth day. Soen-sa was outside chanting and hitting the moktak. All at once his body disappeared, and he was in infinite space. From far away he could hear the moktak beating, and the sound of his own voice. He remained in this state for some time. When he returned to his body, he understood. The rocks, the river, everything he could see, everything he could hear, all this was his true self. All things are exactly as they are. The truth is just like this.

Soen-sa slept very well that night. When he woke up the next morning, he saw a man walking up the mountain, then some crows flying out of a tree. He wrote the following poem:

The road at the bottom of Won Gak Mountain
is not the present road.
The man climbing with his backpack
is not a man of the past.
'fok, tok, tok - his footsteps
transfix past and present.
Crows out of a tree.
Caw, caw, caw.

Soon after he came down from the mountain, he met Zen Master Ko Bong, whose teacher had been Zen Master Mang Gong. Ko Bong was reputed to be the most brilliant Zen Master in Korea, and one of the most severe. At this time he was teaching only laymen; monks, he said, were not ardent enough to be good Zen students. Soen-sa wanted to test his enlightenment with Ko Bong, so he went to him with a moktak and said, "What is this?" Ko Bong took the moktak and hit it. This was just what Soen-sa had expected him to do.

Soen-sa then said, "How should I practice Zen?"

Ko Bong said, "A monk once asked Zen Master Jo-ju, 'Why did Bodhidharma come to China?' Jo-ju answered, 'The pine tree in the front garden.' What does this mean?"

Soen-sa understood, but he didn't know how to answer. He said, "I don't know."

Ko Bong said, "Only keep this don't-know mind. That is true Zen practice."

That spring and summer, Soen-sa did mostly working Zen. In the fall, he sat for a hundred-day meditation session at Su Dok Sa monastery, where he learned Zen language and Dharma-combat. By the winter, he began to feel that the monks weren't practicing hard enough, so he decided to give them some help. One night, as he was on guard-duty (there had been some burglaries), he took all the pots and pans out of the kitchen and arranged them in a circle in the front yard. The next night, he turned the Buddha on the main altar toward the wall and took the incense-burner, which was a national treasure, and hung it on a persimmon tree in the garden. By the second morning the whole monastery was in an uproar. Rumors were flying around about lunatic burglars, or gods coming from the mountain to warn the monks to practice harder.

The third night, Soen-sa went to the nuns' quarters, took seventy pairs of nuns' shoes and put them in front of Zen Master Dok Sahn's room, displayed as in a shoe store. But this time, a nun woke up to go to the outhouse and, missing her shoes, she woke up everyone in the nuns' quarters. Soen-sa was caught. The next day he was brought to trial. Since most of the monks voted to give him another chance (the nuns were unanimously against him), he wasn't expelled from the monastery. But he had to offer formal apologies to all the high monks.

First he went to Dok Sahn and bowed. Dok Sahn said, "Keep up the good work."

Then he went to the head nun. She said, "You've made a great deal too much commotion in this monastery, young man." Soen-sa laughed and said, "The whole world is already full of commotion. What can you do?" She couldn't answer.

Next was Zen Master Chun Song, who was famous for his wild actions and obscene language. Soen-sa bowed to him and said, "I killed all the Buddhas of past, present, and future. What can you do?"

Chun Song said, "Aha!" and looked deeply into Soen-sa's eyes. Then he said, "What did you see?"

Soen-sa said, "You already understand."

Chun Song said, "Is that all?"

Soen-sa said, "There's a cuckoo singing in the tree out- side the window."

Chun Song laughed and said, "Aha!" He asked several more questions, which Soen-sa answered without difficulty. Finally, Chun Song leaped up and danced around Soen-sa, shouting, "You are enlightened! You are enlightened!" The news spread quickly, and people began to understand the events of the preceding days.

On January 15, the session was over, and Soen-sa left to see Ko Bong. On the way to Seoul, he had interviews with Zen Master Keum Bong and Zen Master Keum Oh. Both gave him inga, the seal of validation of a Zen student's great awakening.

Soen-sa arrived at Ko Bong's temple dressed in his old patched retreat clothes and carrying a knapsack. He bowed to Ko Bong and said, "All the Buddhas turned out to be a bunch of corpses. How about a funeral service?"

Ko Bong said, "Prove it!"

Soen-sa reached into his knapsack and took out a dried cuttlefish and a bottle of wine. "Here are the leftovers from the funeral party."

Ko Bong said, "Then pour me some wine."

Soen-sa said, "Okay. Give me your glass."

Ko Bong held out his palm.

Soen-sa slapped it with the bottle and said, "That's not a glass, it's your hand!" Then he put the bottle on the floor.

Ko Bong laughed and said, "Not bad. You're almost done. But I have a few questions for you." He proceeded to ask Soen-sa the most difficult of the seventeen-hundred traditional Zen kong-ans. Soen-sa answered without hindrance.

Then Ko Bong said, "All right, one last question. The mouse eats cat-food, but the cat-bowl is broken. What does this mean?"

Soen-sa said, "The sky is blue, the grass is green."

Ko Bong shook his head and said, "No."

Soen-sa was taken aback. He had never missed a Zen question before. His face began to grow red as he gave one "like this" answer after another. Ko Bong kept shaking his head. Finally Soen-sa exploded with anger and frustration. "Three Zen Masters have given me inga! Why do you say I'm wrong?!"

Ko Bong said, "What does it mean? Tell me."

For the next fifty minutes, Ko Bong and Soen-sa sat facing each other, hunched like two tomcats. The silence was electric. Then, all of a sudden, Soen-sa had the answer. It was "just like this."

When Ko Bong heard it, his eyes grew moist and his face filled with joy. He embraced Soen-sa and said, "You are the flower; I am the bee."

On January 25, 1949, Soen-sa received from Ko Bong the Transmission of Dharma, thus becoming the Seventy-Eighth Patriarch in this line of succession. It was the only Transmission that Ko Bong ever gave.

After the ceremony, Ko Bong said to Soen-sa, "For the next three years you must keep silent. You are a free man. We will meet again in five hundred years."

Soen-sa was now a Zen Master. He was twenty-two years old.

From Dropping Ashes On The Buddha: The Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn
edited by Stephen Mitchell (Grove Press, New York, NY, 1976) "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-18]

"Activities and Schedule

Walk-In Public Night: Wednesdays, 5:30 P.M. Dinner, 6:30 P.M. Meditation Instruction, 7 P.M. Chanting.
Sunday and Daily Programs and Practice (Free and Open to All).
Monthly retreats, biyearly intensive retreats, talks, workshops, and periodic celebrations (See extensive online schedule).


The Providence Zen Center's history began when its founding teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn (Dae Soen Sa Nim), immigrated from Korea to America in 1972. Having no money and no knowledge of English, he was hired as a washing machine repairman in Providence. There, then-Brown University buddhologist Professor Leo Pruden invited Seung Sahn to give some talks—-after which several students asked him to teach them full-time from his apartment. Gathering more followers, the newly-formed Providence Zen Center (PZC) moved to its current site in Cumberland in 1979, with many of the students helping to build its new center. In 1985, Seung Sahn officially founded the Kwan Um School of Zen, from which time it began to spread nationally and internationally to its current scope of 34 centers in the United States and 57 centers worldwide, headquartered in Cumberland, RI. Zen Master Seung Sahn also authored several books.

The PZC and the Kwan Um School practice a unique form of Zen Buddhism interpreted by Seung Sahn that blends Korean and American aspects. In addition to its daily schedule, the center holds numerous one-, two-, and three-day retreats and intensive biyearly winter and summer retreats called Kyol Che. The PZC conducts a Public Night every Wednesday with dinner and meditation instruction, as well as talks and workshops, a children's program, and major ceremonies for Buddha's Birth and Enlightenment Days and its Guiding Teacher's Birthday. When not in use by the center, the Diamond Hill Zen Monastery is available for use by outside groups.


The main building of the center is a renovation of an existing structure, and contains a large dharma room, a smaller dharma room, a kitchen and dining room, 25 resident and guest rooms, several lounges, administrative offices, and a gift shop. Attached to it is a 65-foot pagoda with a small dharma room inside, and nearby are the abbot's house and the Diamond Hill Monastery. The center differs from its Korean precedents in that it allows both monastic and lay, male and female practitioners to live there. The grounds also include a small pond, a vegetable garden, and a small fruit orchard.

The center maintains an elaborate website, and publishes a monthly member newsletter, guides to contemporary Zen practice, and the quarterly magazine of the Kwan Um School, Primary Point. It also produces other publications such as its guide, Chanting (with English Translations) and Temple Rules. The PZC ministers to the Adult Correctional Institution of Rhode Island and participates in interreligious dialogue by co-sponsoring Christian-Buddhist retreats and accepting invitations to discuss Zen Buddhism at local churches and schools. It associates with university practice groups at Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Rhode Island, and Wheaton College (in Norton, MA).

Location and Directions

From Interstate 295 take Exit 10 to Route 122. At the ramp's end take a right. Go straight and pass under a walking bridge. Take a right onto Pound Road. The Center is on the right.

Date Center Founded

Religious Leader and Title
Zen Master Dae Kwang, Guiding Teacher

Membership/Community Size
20 residents (5 monastic and 15 lay), 100 formal members and many affiliates

Ethnic Composition
Asian and European American

Affiliation with Other Communities/Organizations
Kwan Um School of Zen (International Head Temple)

Prepared by Student Researcher Gregory McGonigle
Updated on August 22, 2002

[Quelle: Gregory McGonigle. -- -- Zugriff am 2005-07-08]


Abb.: Chang Sik Kim (김창식, 金昌植)
[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-07]

Gründung von American Buddhist Shim Gum Do

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-07

"Shim Gum Do's founder, Zen Master Chang Sik Kim [김창식, 金昌植], was born in South Korea in 1944. When he was thirteen met his teacher Zen Master Seung Sahn Lee. He gave young Zen Master Kim a koan. "A great Zen Sword Master saw the reflection of the moon in a pool of water. He drew out his sword and cut the reflection in half and the two halves separated. How is this possible?" Zen Master Seung Sahn Lee told Zen Master Kim that he could find out the answer to the koan and attain martial art enlightenment if he came to live at his temple and follow his teachings. Following this meeting, Zen Master Kim entered the Hwa Gye Sa temple in Seoul, Korea. At the temple, Zen Master Kim's days were filled with practice. The Dharma was taught through the experiences of the daily life of the temple. Zen Master Kim's temple work of cleaning and cooking symbolized the importance of clearing the mind, taking care of the basic necessities of life and not wasting food or energy. Throughout practicing and working, Zen Master Chang Sik Kim always kept the seed that he would one day attain martial art enlightenment. When Zen Master Kim was 21, his teacher sent him on a 100 day meditation retreat. During this retreat the art of Shim Gum Do was revealed to Zen Master Kim through his meditation and he attained Mind Sword enlightenment.

In 1971, Shim Gum Do Founding Master Zen Master Chang Sik Kim officially introduced Shim Gum Do [ 심검도 ] with the Proclamation of Shim Gum Do. This proclamation is the doctrinal explanation of Shim Gum Do, the Mind Sword Path as a Zen Buddhist practice and path. Zen Master Kim established the Korean Shim Gum Do Association and began teaching Shim Gum Do in Korea. In 1974, Zen Master Kim came to the United States and began teaching Shim Gum Do. In 1978 he established the American Buddhist Shim Gum Do Association and in 1991 he established the World Shim Gum Do Association unifying all of the worldwide Shim Gum Do Associations.

Currently Zen Master Chang Sik Kim lives and teaches at his temple Shim Gwang Sa, the Mind Light Temple in Brighton, Massachusetts. Zen Master Kim is also accomplished in other Zen arts - the art of calligraphy and of poetry - through which he continues to express the power of the moment. He is a published author of four books: "The Art of Zen Sword" a history of Shim Gum Do"; "The Pillow Head Collects Your Dreams", a volume of Zen poetry; "Happy Birthday to You", a book of birthday poems, name poems, marriage poems and memorials; and "The Sky Is Blue, The Water Is Clear", a volume of Zen poetry."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-07]

"The entire art of Shim Gum Do [ 심검도 ] is composed of hundreds of forms of Sword, Shin Boep (which translated to mean Body Dharma and is a weaponless art like 'karate'), Ho Shin Sul (which translates to mean 'self defense' and is a system of breaking grabs, pressure points and counter moves), Long Stick, Two Sword and Short Stick. One begins in the study of Sword or Shin Boep. As one advances they may also learn the other arts of Shim Gum Do.

Basic forms are learned first. The basic forms help to develop basic strength and flexibility. Then one begins to learn Shim Gum Do forms. Each Shim Gum Do form is a sequence of blocking and attacking techniques. Each form introduces new techniques and balance points and there is an overall energy, movement pattern and meaning to each form as a whole. Shim Gum Do practice is very much about mind and body energy alignment. Sitting meditation is an integral part of Shim Gum Do training. Practicing Shim Gum Do strengthens the body, brings clarity to the mind, and conditions the body's organs and systems. Training Shim Gum Do goes beyond the realm of 'martial arts' by putting 'Zen' into action. The training is an avenue towards getting enlightenment.

In the words of Shim Gum Do Founding Master Zen Master Chang Sik Kim:

"Why train Shim Gum Do? Training is all action. Shim Gum Do has clear forms. To have clear form you have to move clearly each moment by moment, that is action, that is the highest light. Follow that light. That is why you have to train everyday for one hour, to make correct action appear. You make it, it appears and you have to practice. That makes your thinking clear, your mind clear; it makes all clear. If you train and follow the forms for one hour, you don't make any 'thinking'. Of course you have thinking. You make your thinking and mind all clear automatically by following the Shim Gum Do forms. It is the same as if you have some dirty dishes. You put them in soapy in water, wash them and automatically those dishes are clear. The universe's highest light is action. You have to do correct action everyday. What is correct action? Eat clearly, work clearly, be polite to your parents, help your friends, help your sister and brother, help your own country - that is the highest action. Every moment by moment if you do that way, that is the universe's highest light. You can get the highest universal light. That is correct action. You have eyes, you have a nose, you have a mouth, you have ears, you have hands and feet. Move correctly, then the universal kingdom is yours."

Excerpted from a Dharma Talk given at Shim Gwang Sa on November 1, 1996"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-07]


Gründung des Moo Moon Sa Temple in Michigan

"Research conducted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn Pluralism Project.


The Mu Mun Sa Temple, which means "gateless," was founded in 1979 in Novi, and then moved to a location was in Troy. In 1989, it acquired its present place of worship in Rochester Hills. All are middle-and upper-middle-class suburbs located in Oakland County, north of the city of Detroit. The present location, in a quiet and relatively unpopulated part of the community, was chosen for its relative isolation. The center itself was designed to be a place of meditation and retreat, yet within the metropolitan area.

Activities and Description

There are two structures on the property: a temple for meditation, and a main house that has a kitchen, dinning room, nursery, and an area for socializing. Major festivals that are celebrated are the Buddha's birthday and the Lunar New Year. However, the center is as much a social center as it is a place of worship, and maintains a strong sense of traditional Korean customs. There are frequent social activities, although not on a weekly basis, for those affiliated with it. These include sponsoring holiday parties and attending Korean language films that are offered in the metropolitan area. There are no separate programs or activities for men and women.


The total number of families that regularly participate in the center's activities is about 50. Approximately one hundred and fifty other families participate on a less regular basis. Most are recent immigrants of Korean descent. There are, however, others who attend (non-Korean Americans), and membership has grown in recent years. There are two times of meditation each week: one on Sunday morning for those who speak Korean and one on Wednesday evening for those who speak English. Korean is the language most commonly used in informal communication

In the Community

The center is not actively involved in metropolitan interfaith activities or community activities. This is unlike what happens in Korea, where the temples are much more involved in the life of the community. Consequently, this center is more intimately involved in the lives of its affiliates. It does, however, maintain contact with other Korean centers in Korea and the United States.

Contact Phone/Fax Number
248-650-2999- center phone

Date Center Founded

Membership/Community Size
200 Families

Ethnic Composition
Mostly Korean

Prepared by The University of Michigan-Dearborn Pluralism Project
Updated on July 22, 2002"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-07]


Jim Wilson alias Tundra Wind bricht mit Seung Sahn (1927 - 2004)

"Wilson was a disciple of the Korean Zen master Seung Sahn—also known as Soen Sa Nim—and says that he was given permission to teach by him (though he did not receive inga/inkd). This was in the late 1970s, I think. Wilson was trying to remain celibate, as Buddhist precepts require, and finding it very difficult. When he asked Seung Sahn what he should do, he was told that he should simply satisfy his sexual desire and then forget about it. Wilson found this remark, which implies that sex is a purely physical matter with no emotional or spiritual component, too much to take and shortly afterwards he left Seung Sahn and set up as a teacher on his own. He says that Eastern teachers simply do not understand sexuality in Western culture and that Westerners will have to provide a spiritual account of it on the basis of their own understanding and not just accept what Eastern traditions say about it. Shortly after his break with Seung Sahn, Wilson had a visionary dream in which a wolf appeared to him. He recognized this wolf as part of himself and it bestowed on him the name Tundra Wind. So now Jim Wilson is Zen Master Tundra Wind.

I, Tundra Wind, announce a new manifestation . . .
I, Tundra Wind, proclaim a new speaking, creating a new worlding . . .
The primary truthing of the multiverse resides in the relentless/unstoppable/ utterly free and freeing becoming/begoning/fluxing/rivering worlding. This truthing (not this truth) transcends any and all realms and any and all experiencing . . . Therefore, abandon 'being' and enter 'outshining', the ever present Wind. (Proclamation, undated—but some time in the mid-1980s)

Tundra Wind's fundamental view is that everything traditional will have to be reformulated. For example, he gives the third of the ten traditional precepts (rendered by Aitken as 'Not misusing sex') as 'Express the sacredness of sexuality.' And for him, this includes homosexuality. Few people would deny that Eastern Zen has been noticeably reticent about conventional sexuality and completely silent about homosexuality. The reason for this is obviously cultural; and equally obviously, Western culture is neither reticent nor silent about these matters. It was therefore only a matter of time before someone asked how Westerners should approach them. Zen Master Tundra Wind is not the only one who has raised the issue—Robert Aitken and Issan Dorsey have also done so—but he was the first to do so having left the tradition that he originally espoused. This in itself raises basic questions about tradition and how it can be transmitted. And anyone who makes us ask questions is valuable."

[Quelle: Rawlinson, Andrew <1943 - >: The book of enlightened masters : western teachers in eastern traditions. -- Chicago : Open Court, ©1997.  -- xix, 650 S. : Ill. ; 25 cm..  -- ISBN: 0812693108. -- S. 574f.]


Es kommt heraus, dass der zölibatäre Mönch  Seung Sahn (1927 - 2004) und Barbara "Bobby" Rhodes (1948 - ) von Kwan Um (관음) fünf Jahre lang eine sexuelle Beziehung hatten.

"In 1972, a Korean monk called Seung Sahn (usually referred to as Soen Sa Nim; 'Sa Nim' means 'monk') arrived in America. In many ways, he was (and is) typical of Eastern teachers who have had an impact on the West: independent and something of a maverick in his own country. His parents were in fact Christians but he became a Buddhist monk in 1948 at the age of 21. He says he received Dharma transmission from his teacher, Ko Bung—but in a dream, not in a public ceremony. He had his own monastery but taught mostly lay people. He also spent nine years teaching in Japan and Hong Kong before going to Rhode Island in 1972.

Despite the fact that he was completely unknown and did not advertise himself as a Zen teacher, he soon gathered a group of students. One of the first was Barbara Rhodes. She was born in 1948, the daughter of a Navy officer. She had abandoned the Episcopal Church in which grew up, tried LSD and found that it promised more than it delivered, and had just read a book by D.T. Suzuki that had convinced her that Zen was what she was looking for, when she met Soen Sa Nim (in 1972). She was looking for a room and he was living in the basement.

That initial small group was the beginning of the Providence Zen Center. Gradually, they learned Soen Sa Nim's Zen, which was fairly different from the traditional form practised in Korea. Rather than long monastic retreats that consisted mainly of 'sitting meditation', he advocated a far more active approach that combined sitting, chanting and prostrations. Together, these develop mindfulness that can be applied to life as it naturally arises. He does use traditional koans/kung-ans but the real kung-an is always 'What is this?' And the mind that asks it is the one that does not 'know' the answer—what Soen Sa Nim calls 'Don't Know Mind'. (See his book, Only Don't Know [San Francisco, 1982].)

In 1977, after five years of practice, Barbara Rhodes was given inka/inga by Soen Sa Nim, which meant that she was authorized to teach, to guide others in kung-an practice and to lead retreats. The requirements for receiving inga are threefold: to have successfully passed the principal kung-ans (usually the Ten Gates, Mumonkan, and the Blue Cliff Record); to have had awareness of one's Buddha-nature that is empowering; and to have integrated practice into everyday life. Barbara Rhodes was the first of Soen Sa Nim's students to receive inga (though in 1977 these requirements were not so formally defined as they are now). She was known as a Master Dharma Teacher—the title has since been changed to 'Ji Do Poep Sa Nim'—and it is roughly equivalent to 'Sensei' in the Japanese Zen tradition. It is not exactly the same as Dharma transmission, since in the Korean tradition this is given only after a student who has already received inga has been formally tested and acknowledged by several Zen masters. But there are very few Korean Zen masters in America and it seems that this requirement will have to be dropped.

And generally speaking, Soen Sa Nim is developing a form of Zen that is independent of Korea. In 1983, after a number of disagreements with the parent Chogye Order, he founded the Kwan Um School of Zen: "a lay order of Bodhisattva monks and Dharma teachers who are married householders" (this wording taken from Zen Buddhism in North America, Zen Lotus Society, Toronto, 1986, 24). Hardly traditional. In effect, this makes the Kwan Um School an independent order. (However, it does keep its connections with Koreans in America and with Korea itself.)

Barbara Rhodes was a founding member of this order and is still a leader in it (while working as a nurse with the terminally ill). But she has had her share of difficulties. She is now divorced from her husband, Lincoln (also a Master Dharma Teacher/Ji Do Poep Sa Nim), and in 1988 it came out that she and Soen Sa Nim had had a sexual relationship for five years before her marriage. This whole issue has been covered by Boucher, who interviewed several women in the Kwan Um School. The essential question is whether this relationship was in accordance with Dharma. Some of the women interviewed by Boucher say that it was not—mainly because it was kept secret and because Soen Sa Nim gave the appearance of being a celibate monk when he wasn't. Barbara Rhodes herself says that the relationship was mainly asexual and that she was not hurt or exploited by it. She was quite frank about it when I spoke to her but said she was uneasy about the matter being mentioned in a book because she preferred to choose whom she told about it and whom she did not.

Everyone agrees that she is a dedicated and caring woman who has done a lot to help others. Yet in the end I agree with Boucher: when someone is offering themselves as a spiritual teacher, the sort of person they are is relevant to the sort of teacher they are. So it is better that people know these things and make up their own minds than that others decide for them that they do not need to know (Boucher, 234). And if someone decides, unfairly, perhaps, and without paying any real attention to the facts, that this is not acceptable behaviour, then that's the way it goes. (It's a bit like democracy: it is quite pointless bewailing the fact that someone will vote for or against a candidate for trivial or mistaken reasons; that's how democracy works and one has to accept it.) I am not saying that condemning someone unreasonably and self-righteously for what she or he has done is alright; simply that this is bound to happen, people being what they are, and trying to control information will not, in the end, prevent it. Barbara Rhodes says, "We all make mistakes. The important thing to me is that we learn from them" (Boucher, 361).

It must be somewhat dispiriting that over 20 years of dedication to the spiritual path should be overshadowed by what appears to have been a fairly minor 'affair'—something which literally millions of people have done. But one of the lessons to be learned from this "mistake', perhaps, is that the truth will out, like it or not. This may sound schoolmasterish and finger-wagging. It isn't meant to be."

[Quelle: Rawlinson, Andrew <1943 - >: The book of enlightened masters : western teachers in eastern traditions. -- Chicago : Open Court, ©1997.  -- xix, 650 S. : Ill. ; 25 cm..  -- ISBN: 0812693108. -- S. 493 - 495]


Gründung des Detroit Zen Center

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-08

"Research conducted by The University of Michigan-Dearborn Pluralism Project.


Located in Hamtramck Michigan, the Detroit Zen Center brings Korean Buddhism to a city long associated with Polish Roman Catholics. The city now, however, is home to various immigrant groups from India and the Middle East. Therefore, the introduction of Korean Buddhism to Hamtramck reflects the changing religious and ethnic landscape of metropolitan Detroit.

The Detroit Zen Center traces its origins to 1989 and the leadership and efforts of the Venerable Sahn Bul Sunim, and was the first of its kind in the Detroit metropolitan area. The original location of the Zen Center was on Casper Street in southwest Detroit, an area popularly known as Mexican Town. The center opened in Hamtramck in 1993 in a former duplex residential dwelling attached to a Polish wedding hall, both built in the 1930s. Purchased in a dilapidated state, the structures were rehabilitated with the help of a volunteer workforce, and now includes a Korean-style garden, a meditation hall, and a residence which serves the center's members.


Approximately 100-150 individuals are associated with the center. They consist of 30 dharma students and 70-120 lay people. Three students live on the premises of the Zen Center, along with the resident monk, while several other students live in a nearby house owned by the Zen Center. Most members of the Zen center tend to be young, under age 30. The majority are white Americans, with blacks and Asians making up the remainder. During meditation, students at the Zen Center wear the traditional gray robe associated with the Korean Chogeye order, to which the Zen Center belongs. It is also a part of the Roshi (Japanese) order, and members take part in an annual Roshi retreat at Mount Blade in California.

Activities and Schedule

The center conducts services open to the public on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. For members there are daily Zen meditation sitting services each weekday from 5:30-7:30 a.m., Saturday from 6:30-9:30 a.m., and Sunday from 6:30-7:30 a.m. There are Yoga classes on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and Yun-do classes on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:00 a.m. On Saturdays at noon, the center offers s an organic lunch. At various times throughout the year the center organizes introductory programs to Zen Buddhism, and the community comes together as a whole to celebrate special occasions, including the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Buddha's birthday, and the day of the Buddha's Enlightenment. Finally, weekend and week-long retreats are offered intermittently throughout the year, giving students a chance to strengthen their Zen practices while living simply and communally.

In the Community

Members of the Zen Center work in programs started by the center, such as the "Our Homes" Program, a non-profit organization that assists home owners with limited incomes to renovate, reconstruct, and make small repairs on their homes. The Program has ties to Matrix Services (formerly the League of Catholic Women) which houses runaways and operates a daycare center to assist single working mothers. The center has an organic food program and distributes organically grown produce to those interested. The Zen Center's leader is a member of the board of the Hamtramck Human Relations Commission

Date Center Founded

Membership/Community Size
150 Members

Ethnic Composition
Mostly white Americans, with African American and Asian American making up the rest

Affiliation with Other Communities/Organizations
"Our Homes" Program, Matrix Services and Hamtramck Human Relations Commission

 Prepared by The University of Michigan-Dearborn Pluralism Project
Updated on July 22, 2002"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-08]


Abb.: Joan Halifax
[Bildquelle: -- Zurif am 2005-06-23]

Joan Halifax gründet das Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-23

"Joan Halifax Roshi is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She has worked in the area of death and dying for over thirty years and is Director of the Project on Being with Dying.

For the past twenty-five years, she has been active in environmental work.

A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focused on engaged Buddhism.

She is Founder and Director of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners.She is founder of the Ojai Foundation, was an Honorary Research Fellow at Harvard University, and has taught in many universities, monasteries, and medical centers around the world.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School.  She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, her work and practice for more than three decades has focused on engaged Buddhism."

[Quelle: -- Zuriff am 2005-06-23]


Abb.: Bobby Rhodes
[Bildquelle: Friedman, Lenore.: Meetings with remarkable women : Buddhist teachers in America / Lenore Friedman ; photographs by Catherine Allport. -- Boston : Shambhala ; [New York] : Distributed in the U.S. by Random House, 1987.  -- xi, 288 S. : Ill. ; 23 cm. ISBN: 087773366X. -- S.146. -- {Wenn Sie HIER klicken, können dieses Buch  bei bestellen} ]

Barbara "Bobby" Rhodes alias Zen Master Soeng Hyang (1948 - ) erhält von Seung Sahn (1927 - 2004) Dharma Transmission

"Zen Master Soeng Hyang (Barbara Rhodes) is the School Zen Master and Guiding Dharma Teacher of the Kwan Um School of Zen. She received dharma transmission from Zen Master Seung Sahn on October 10, 1992. She was one of Zen Master Seung Sahn's first American students and studied with him since 1972. She was given inka in 1977. A registered nurse since 1969, she works for Hospice Care of Rhode Island. She helped found Providence Zen Center, and lived there for seventeen years, serving in a number of administrative capacities. She also initiated Providence Zen Center's ongoing series of Christian-Buddhist gatherings. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-30]


Das Won Institute of Graduate Studies erhält staatliche Anerkennung vom Pennsylvania Department of Education für zwei Graduate-level Programme:

  1.  Won Buddhist Studies, leading to a Master of Won Buddhist Studies degree:

    "The thirty-six credit program in Won Buddhist Studies leads to a Master of Won Buddhist Studies (MWBS) degree. Won Buddhist Studies program provides a high-quality professional education to men and women preparing to be ordained as Won Buddhist priests (kyomunim) or to become a Won Buddhist lay leader. The program trains the student to integrate critical thinking, spiritual awakening, and active service into his or her ministry

    Students who have completed undergraduate work in Won Buddhism are eligible to apply. A student who has an undergraduate degree, but has not majored in the Won Buddhist studies, must take a one-year preparatory program."

  2. Applied Meditation Studies, leading to a Master of Applied Meditation Studies degree:

    "The program in Applied Meditation Studies is designed for professional development and leads to a Master of Applied Meditation Studies Degree. Within a framework of Buddhist spirituality, the program provides professionals with meditation-based tools and techniques that they can apply directly to their professional and personal growth.

    This 33-credit master's degree program is geared for the working professional. It combines classroom study with fieldwork and practical experience within one's own profession. Sitting and moving meditation practice is the central component of the program. Two intensive meditation retreats are built into the schedule to facilitate meditation practice.

    The Won Institute welcomes students from a variety of spiritual traditions to enroll in the Applied Mediation Studies program, as well as those who may feel no special connection with any tradition. The Won Institute honors all these paths, and through a compassionate community, seeks to find unity and help students deepen their personal spiritual experience." 

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-10

"The Won Institute of Graduate Studies was born 30 years ago with the vision of the Venerable Taesan (also spelled as Daesan), the Third Head Dharma Master of Won Buddhism. 

Master Taesan believed that cultivating spirituality through education and training would benefit society, by acting as a balance to society's increasing materialism and reliance on technology-based advances, especially in the more advanced West. 

Won Buddhism’s reliance on education led to the founding of the Won Kwang University in Korea, a full-scale university now serving more than 20,000 students and one of the leading universities in Korea. Won Kwang University has an undergraduate program in Won Buddhism that prepares students for the Won Buddhist ministry. Undergraduate education for the Won Buddhist ministry is also provided by Youngsan University, Korea. Won Buddhism requires a master’s degree for its ministers. Graduate Won Buddhist education in Korea is provided by the Won Buddhist Graduate School. 

Master Taesan's dream was to bring high-quality spiritual education to the United States to train the Won Buddhist ministry within the United States. With the strong support of Won Buddhist headquarters, Dr. Bokin Kim and Bok Hyae Koh, daughters of the Third Dharma Master Taesan, began several years of planning within the United States in order to fulfill the legacy of continued reliance on education as the keystone of spiritual change. Their work ultimately led to the establishment of the Institute."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-06-10]