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SANGHA IN-SIGHT The International KUSZ Newsletter Autumn 2013

SANGHA IN-SIGHT The International KUSZ Newsletter

Autumn 2013 Founding Teacher Zen Master Seung Sahn International Council: School Head Zen Master Zen Master Soeng Hyang Regional Head Zen Masters Europe - Zen Master Bon Shim Asia - Zen Master Dae Bong SN Americas - Zen Master Wu Kwang Managing Editor Nancy Hedgpeth JDPSN Editor Katka Grofova

CONTENT News from the Sanghas...................................1 Dharma Projects & Success Stories..................36 Sangha Talents...............................................42 Residential Opportunities...............................48 Recipes from the best Sangha Chefs.................53

Cover photo by Sven Mahr

Invitations to special Sangha events.................57


News from the Sanghas

Hong Kong Sangha in South East Asia Retreats at Gaksu In Hong Kong, we are fortunate to have Su Bong Zen Monastery, a zen center in the heart of the city, and Gaksu Temple, a retreat site on a mountain in Luk Wu, where lay and monastic practitioners of over 30 temples have gathered in the past 100 years. On a mountain with such strong practicing energy, Gaksu is a wonderful place to do long retreats. In the past few months, we’ve had several multi-day retreats with our resident teachers Zen Master Dae Kwan and Andrzej Stec JDPSN, along with visiting teachers Zen Master Dae Kwang and Zen Master Dae Bong. At Gaksu retreats, we eat formal meals with four bowls twice a day, and, unique to Hong Kong, Myong Hae Sunim leads us in a set of stretches and exercise every morning and evening. This summer, participants from the U.S., Japan, Poland, Korea, Lithuania, Italy, and Hong Kong joined the retreats and sangha activities.

Retreats at Gaksu - happy group picture :)

Retreats at Gaksu - exercise led by Myong Hae Sunim

Food Offerings in Sham Shui Po On several occasions, our Hong Kong sangha went to Sham Shui Po, one of the poorest districts in Hong Kong, to pass out vegetarian rice boxes with fruit and water bottles to the homeless and the less fortunate. We were deeply touched by a restaurant owner named Ming whose good heart and strong dedication has made these food offerings possible. Ming collected donations of a little more than 3 USD for each rice box, and then his restaurant prepared the food. He led us to different locations in Sham Shui Po to pass out the rice boxes. We were saddened to see people living in cardboard boxes and the long lines that awaited Ming, but these sights helped us to appreciate Page 1

News from the Sanghas

Ming’s bodhisattva vow even more. We were glad that we had the opportunity to work with and learn from him.

Food Offerings to the homeless at Sham Shui Po

Food Offerings to the homeless at Sham Shui Po

Lotus Lanterns Every year at Su Bong Zen Monastery, we follow the Korean tradition of hand-making lotus lanterns for Buddha’s birthday. We held workshops where all were invited to learn the craft and share in the joy of together action. The lotus lanterns of different bright colors donned our ceiling for three months, during which we did daily Great Dharani kido practice. On the completion date, we dedicated the merits of the practice to all who supported this activity and to all beings.

Lotus lantern-making workshop

Dharma Talk with ZM Dae Kwan, ZM Dae Kwang and Andrzej Stec JDPSN

Contact: Address: 5/F, Starlight House, 32 Leighton Rd., Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

Boep Um Soen Won - Dharma Sound Zen Center in Vienna, Austria Opening Ceremony Opening a Zen Center is a fantastic potpourri of organization and chaos. But the day finally does arrive when the multitudes of the invited guests stream in the door all at once. That day was the 25th of September in Vienna, Austria. Zen Masters Soeng Hyang and Bon Shim and Oleg Ĺ uk JDPSN gave wonderful opening speeches and painted the OM in front of the Buddha. Children threw the Aduki beans in every corner of the place. Avital Sebbag from Israel prepared awesome vegan food which was cherished and devoured! Anna played exquisite violin for all of us. People from all walks of life shared the Dharma that evening. Our guests visited the new Zen Center and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Suddenly the evening came to an end and the Vienna KUSZ team waved goodbye. We loved every second of it! We especially thank the Bratislava KUSZ team for letting Zen Master Soeng Hyang come for the opening instead of doing a Dharma talk in their center as previously scheduled!

Opening Ceremony of the Vienna Zen Center

Congratulatory talk by the Israeli girls :)

Zen Master Soeng Hyang painting OM in front of the Buddha

Group picture after the ceremony

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News from the Sanghas

The Vienna Zen Center The Vienna Zen Center was in use the minute the doors opened… way before the opening ceremony. Many students have since then made it their home while on their way to and from other European countries and Sanghas. It is definitely a city zen center with its very central location. All night meditation events, retreats, regular practice, small kidos, Sangha get togethers, and Opera appreciation make up the Dharma program. Opera appreciation happens when the Vienna Staatsopera plays its live opera on a huge screen with huge loud speakers across from the Zen Center. At that time our chanting, Verdi and Mozart become one Universal Chant, one “Dharma Sound” which became our Zen Center name :) Additionally the Vienna Zen Center interacts with the Hridaya Center for Whole-hearted Living sharing programs and games. Plans are underway for a greater interaction between the two centers which occupy the same place and which will both.

New Zen Center in Vienna - Dharma room

New Zen Center in Vienna - Hallway

New Zen Center in Vienna - Office

New Zen Center in Vienna - Teacher’s room & Interview room

Contact: Address: Kärntner Straße 49, via Walfischgasse 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

The German Sangha Where do we come from? In August we celebrated the Founder´s Day in Zen Center Berlin for the third time now commemorating Zen Master Seung Sahn, Zen Master Wu Bong and also all the other Zen Masters of our lineage before them. It was very touching when we all recited together all the 80 names of the Zen Masters of this lineage, ending not anymore with Zen Master Seung Sahn but with Zen Master Wu Bong. Feeling how time goes on and on – without ever moving. How many lives. How many situations. Struggling – for us.

Founder’s Day - kido

Sangha picnic and relaxing in a park after the Ceremony

Contact: Address: Gottschedstraße 4, 13357 Berlin, Germany Email: Phone: (+49) 30 - 46 60 50 90 Website: Page 5

News from the Sanghas

Bratislava Zen Center / Slovakia What has been new since last spring? /^^\ Our great moktak master, Veronika Brúderová, supervizes the making of a brand new altar for Bratislava Zen Center. We also got a new golden statue of Buddha with the help of Dae Jin Sunim and a new taenghwa with a help of Warsaw Zen Center, namely Bon Shim Soen Sa Nim and Abbot of Opole Zen Center, Henryk Kulik. /^^\ Last April we had a big event organizing the Slovak Buddhist Schools Celebratiion of Buddha’s Birthday. Several Tibetan Schools (Karma Kagju, Jonang, Karma Thegsum Choling), Theravadan School (Sátí) and Zazen International Slovensko (Sótó) participated at this great occasion organized by Bratislava Zen Center with a visit of more than 100 people. All schools leaders agreed this must become a new tradition in Slovak Buddhist reality.

Group photo at YMJJ with Oleg Suk JDPSN / October 2013

Miso, Kombu and Shitake soup, baked pumpkin and potatoes, rice and vegetables, sweet rice with poppy seeds, tofu with mushrooms, 2 kinds of kimchee... masterpieces of our Kitchen Master for informal meal at the end of YMJJ

/^^\ We have our regular retreats in February, April, June, October and December led mostly by our National Treasure, Oleg Šuk JDPSN. We also participated at the retreats organized by sister sanghas Košice Zen Center (YMJJ led by Ji Kwan SSN in February) and Vrážné Zen Center (YMJJ led by Zen Master Dae Kwang Sunim in July). In June, we visited Piešťany Zen Group, our satellite for Barry Briggs PSN’s and Zen Master Dae Kwang Sunim’s Dharma Talks. Page 6

News from the Sanghas


Next year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bratislava Zen Center which was opened on May 17, 1994 by late ZM Wu Bong Sunim and we will try to make this a big Celebration with a lot of our teachers and students and friends involved. More details will come soon.


In August, we had a great Sangha Weekend at Surya Centrum, Moravske Lieskove, with a lot of together actions, morning practice, very strong Kido practice, together cooking, hiking, chopping fire wood, tournaments at table tennis and table football, with each evening spent around the bonfire singing Slovak folk songs. We agreed to make a new tradition of this as well. So the next Sangha Weekend will be at the same place around New Year’s Eve.


We’re in the process of finding a new place for a Zen Center to enlarge the capacity of practicing the place as more and more new students try to practice Kwan Um style in Bratislava. When a new place is found we will prepare a new Zen Center venue for the international Sangha.


This fall we started cooperation with the Homeless Theatre in Bratislava organizing together an event helping homeless people’s situations through realising public Tea Ceremony in the place of their theatre and collecting clothes for poor and homeless people in Bratislava.

Public Ceremony of Buddha’s Birthday with all Slovak Buddhist Schools

“Having a Tea with Buddha” - meeting and discussions of three Buddhist Schools

Contact: Address: Hanulova 5/A, 84101 Bratislava, Slovakia Email: Website: Page 7

News from the Sanghas

Sangha in Mexico in South America The Mexican Sangha of the KUSZ hosted a retreat with Zen Master Bon Soeng in May and a retreat with Jo Potter JPDSN in October. Both retreats were a big boost of Dharma energy for us! Our last retreat on October 11-13 was amazing. We arranged it one and a half hours drive from Mexico City in a beautiful retreat center called “Chintámani”, in the town of Morelos. Chintámani means ‘precious jewel that the boddhisatva avalokitesvara holds in hands’. During the daytime, we sat outside under a thatched roof, with butterflies and hummingbirds and bees swirling around. Kongan interviews were also outside! In the evening we sat inside a huge eight-sided Dharma Hall and included one period of yoga led by Alma Quintana which was a great help to our bodies. Jorge Macias was a wonderful head Dharma Teacher and Omar Orozco was the Moktak Master. Our Zen Center is in Mexico City, which is an intense place to practice with over 9 million people living in the immediate city and an additional 12 million commuting into the city.

Retreat with Zen Master Bon Soeng

Lunch after the retreat

Retreat with Zen Master Bon Soeng

We have been practicing in the private home of our Abbot, Pavol Lachkovic and his life-partner Blanca Naval and their son Jakub for the past 12 years. Our Sangha is extremely grateful to these two wonderful people who have given so much to us. Also, we sincerely hope that there will be more retreats and that more teachers will come to teach us :)

Delicious food in Chintamani (Mexican style)

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News from the Sanghas

Back row left to right: Jan Sendzimir, Alma Quintana, Jo Potter JDPSN, Jorge Macias, Blanca Naval Front row left to right: Sergio Ugalde, Aldo Flores, Pedro Lopez Martinez (with hat), Omar Orozco, Angeles Barboza

Jo Potter JDPSN with Alma Quintana in Chiapas shawls

After the retreat in Chintรกmani

Contact: Address: Tajin 617-1 Colonia Narvarte Mexico, Distrito Federal C.P. 03300 Mexico Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

North American Kwan Um School of Zen Transmission & Inka Ceremonies In April of this year, we had two special ceremonies at our Buddha’s Birthday Weekend. Judy Roitman became Zen Master Bon Hae at her transmission ceremony on Saturday, and Barry Briggs became Briggs JDPSN at his inka ceremony on Sunday. We are full of gratitude for these special people who have taken their lives in a direction to help all beings!

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News from the Sanghas

Dharma Teacher Retreat On October 12 & 13, the KUSZ | Americas hosted their annual Dharma Teacher Retreat at the Providence Zen Center in Cumberland RI. More than 65 dharma teachers attended a variety of workshops, including Zen Sword demonstrations, discussions on ethics and relationships in the sangha, Kwan Seum Bosal Zen Tea, Who’s Who in the Chants, Fielding Dharma Questions... and lots more! We also enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Seon Joon Sunim on being a nun in Korea. Thank you to all who participated and held workshops! Please mark your calendar for next year - the retreat will be held on September 20 & 21, 2014.

Opening session of the Dharma Teacher Retreat / Providence ZC / October 2013

Contact: Address: 99 Pound Road, Cumberland, RI 02864, USA Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

Cambridge Zen Center in Massachusetts, USA As the hot sunny days of August transition into refreshingly cool, clear autumn weather, we wish all our dharma brothers and sisters all over the world a peaceful season let us welcome the new energy. At our long house meeting in July, Zen Master Bon Haeng announced his impending resignation as guiding teacher of Cambridge Zen Center after 38 years. Although this was met with much sadness, we all support him in his new work as abbot of Providence Zen Center and his continuing work as North American abbot for KUSZ and guiding teacher of Open Meadow Zen Group. We are so grateful and fortunate to have had his teaching and presence here for these many years. So much has happened since the beginning of 2013, which we can see by looking around our increasingly beautiful Zen center. Under Abbot Tom’s direction, the heating project for the main house was completed, new wood floors were installed in our coatroom and hallways, as well as in several guest and resident rooms and, most recently, in the teacher’s room and office. They are really gorgeous! Soon, the third-floor bathroom will be overhauled for the first time in 30 years. We are keeping Zen Master Dae Jin SN in our hearts as we chant Kwan Seum Bol Sal during his medical treatments and wish him a speedy and full recovery. And we also support our European Sanghas in their grief over losing their head teacher, Zen Master Wu Bong SN. We appreciated reading all the heartfelt personal accounts in Primary Point. Our hearts are with you.

CZC Dharma Room

Swing Dance Party

Relaxing in the Zen Center garden

YMJJ with ZM Soeng Hyang - 07/2013

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News from the Sanghas

“Dancin’ in the Dharma Room” on June 29 was a big hit. We had a swing-dance party, complete with a professional dance instructor and wonderful snacks. Her inclusive style included line dancing and frequent partner switching, which created a comfortable ambiance even for the inexperienced! We are grateful for the inspiration of our guiding teacher, Zen Master Bon Yeon, and our abbot, Tom Johnson, who keep us on track. Thanks also to our many guest teachers, who make time in their full schedules and travel long distances to teach us and lead our retreats: Zen Master Soeng Hyang, and Ji Do Poep Sas Nancy Hedgpeth, Steve Cohen and Paul Majchrzyk. It was a special joy to host our farthest-traveling teacher, Oleg Suk JDPSN of Slovakia, and his wife, Zuzana. Along with dharma friend, Dusan Silvasi, they stayed with us for a week to lead a retreat at CZC and to attend our sangha weekend at the Providence Zen Center. We appreciated Oleg’s strong dharma energy and his humor, which was so powerful that even through his interpreter, we got it!

YMJJ with Jo Potter JDPSN - 10/2013

Oleg Šuk JDPSN with his wife and friend

We were also happy to host Jo Potter JDPSN recently, with her bright shining Dharma energy and loving approach to everyone. We deeply wish to continue sharing these gifts with all of you!

Contact: Address: 199 Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA Email: Phone: (+1) 617 576 3229 Website: Facebook:

YMJJ with Oleg Šuk JDPSN - 03/2013

YMJJ with Steve Cohen JDPSN - 08/2013

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News from the Sanghas

Mu Sang Sa International Zen Center in South Korea The leaves are changing colors on Gye Ryong San, surrounding Musangsa in red, orange and yellow. The summer retreat was good, with 85 people from 15 different countries coming together to become clear. Soon after the summer retreat finished, our abbot and guiding teacher, Dae Jin SN, was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Though the speed with which these events came to fruition was shocking, Dae Jin SN was immediately able to begin chemotherapy and his body’s response to the treatment has been excellent. His years of practice are helping him deal with this illness. This is great teaching for everyone. Now he is resting in a small place near Musangsa, where the Musangsa community can support him between treatments in the hospital. Zen Master Dae Bong has taken over many of the abbot’s duties, along with a strong team of directors led by Won Bo SN (Lithuania), who has been acting “Ip Sung” (Head Monk/Nun) for the past year. It takes many people working together to do the job that Dae Jin SN managed alone—giving everyone great appreciation for Dae Jin SN’s strength, practice and service to the community for so many years.

Valley below Mu Sang Sa in autumn colors

Summer KyolChe participants

Construction began this fall on a new office space. The building will initially be two floors, with space for storage, the office and a meeting area for temple members from the community. However, the structure allows for further additions, with another floor that serves as a library planned in the future.

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News from the Sanghas

Musangsa continues to be a place where people interested in monastic practice can begin their journey. Four haengjas, who started at Musangsa, are currently staying at Hwagyesa to complete their instruction: Won Gong HJN (Ukraine), Won Hyang HJN (Poland), Won Seong HJN (Malaysia), Won Il HJN (America). Hwagyesa houses the Jogye Order Foreign Haengja School, a place where haengjas receive guidance while going to university to learn the Korean language. Currently, Won Beop HJN (Poland) is practicing at Musangsa, with another HJN (Nozomi, Japan/Mexico) to begin training at the start of the winter retreat. Dae Bong SN will be the guiding teacher for this winter kyol che, assisted by different KUSZ teachers who will be visiting to practice together at various times during the retreat. If anyone is interested in joining the retreat, please check for information. All are welcome.

Gimjang (김장) Traditional Kimchi preparation

Construction of a new office space

Preparing lanterns for Buddha’s Birthday

Contact: Address: Chungnam, Kyeryongshi, Eomsamyon, Hyangjeoksankil 129, 321-917 South Korea Email: Website: Page 15

News from the Sanghas

Hwa Gye Sa International Zen Center in Seoul, South Korea Hello from Hwa Gye Sa International Zen Center! The sangha is doing well, as we keep try mind: moment to moment. Hwa Gye Sa International Zen Center is always exploring new ways to reach out to the world community. We continue to offer a space for monastic training as well as programs for laypeople with all levels of experience. Our Sunday meditation program and weekend retreats allow laypeople and monastics to practice sitting/walking meditation and listen to Dharma talks given by teachers in our school. Zen Masters Dae Bong SN and Dae Jin SN come often to give encouraging talks. Hye Tong Sunim JDPS regularly teaches the dharma to the community. The sangha is very grateful to have these teachers offering their guidance. Recently, we had Mu Sang Sunim visit from Los Angeles and give a talk. It was wonderful to hear Sunim share his experiences with Dae Soen Sa Nim. In May, the Zen Center and Hwa Gye Sa sanghas merged together to celebrate the birthday of the Buddha. Both sanghas walked in the Lotus Lantern Parade. It was a special time, as Buddhist temples from all over Korea marched and honored the Buddha’s birth in a sea of illuminated lanterns. Hwa Gye Sa also had its own celebration in which the Zen Center sold coffee and books as well as helped visitors make mala bracelets and paper lotus lanterns. It was wonderful together action between Sunims and laypeople from all over the world.

Hwa Gye Sah Int’l Zen Center Sangha

Hwa Gye Sah Int’l Zen Center - Zen Hall

Hwa Gye Sah Int’l Zen Center - exterior

We had six Sunims and one layperson sit summer Kyol Che in the Zen Center. It was Hye Tong Sunim’s second time to lead Kyol Che. Zen Masters Dae Bong SN and Dae Jin SN visited to offer their support. These teachers gave regular dharma talks and weekly kong an interviews to the sangha. Page 16

News from the Sanghas

At the end of October, Hye Tong Sunim JDPS went to South Africa to offer teaching and support to the sangha. Sunim stayed in the city of George and taught mostly at the Jung Shim Zen Center. There were additional opportunities to share the dharma in Johannesberg, Polokwane, and Knysna. Finally, we have a new ipsung (head monk) sunim at the center. His name is Won Tong Sunim (Poland) and he has been living in Korea for a long time now. Won Tong Sunim works very hard to maintain the daily operations of the Zen Center.

Buddha’s Birthday 2013 - Bosalnims with refreshments

Buddha’s Birthday 2013 at Hwa Gye Sa Int’l ZC

Buddha’s Birthday 2013 - Cheong Shim Sunim

Buddha’s Birthday 2013 - Hye Tong Sunim JDPS

Contact: Address: 487, Suyu 1 dong, Kangbuk-gu, Seoul, 142-875 South Korea Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

Jung Shim Seon Won the Kwan Um Sangha in South Africa As Spring arrived in the Southern hemisphere, the flowers flourished everywhere mainly due to good winter rains along the Southern Cape Coast, and the small orchard of King Proteas at the Centre came into flower.

Fields of protea flowers ready for harvest

Harvesting was well underway by the time our much awaited visitor, Hye Tong Sunim, arrived. Fortunately he was a very good student and very easily adapted to the export grading, selection and wrapping/ packing of individual flowers :) Hye Tong Sunim proved to be a popular helper in the pack shed and after his departure back home some of the regular staff enquired why Sunim had left so soon, whether he was not happy with this work or if he would return again soon. The season slowly draws to an end and we prepare for new growth, both in the orchard and also in the Zen Centre. We were very happy to host Hye Tong Sunim for a few weeks and amidst some wildlife sightseeings, beach visits and typical tourist site visits we managed to enjoy a wonderful 5-day retreat at Jung Shim Soen Won. In addition, we held several public talks and Dharma Talks at other venues in the area. We will nurture the Dharma Seeds which Hye Tong Sunim planted here in Southern Africa very carefuly. On his way to the Garden Route, Hye Tong Sunim JDPS stopped over in Johannesburg for one night with some of our friends from the Shanti Kaya Centre. An improvised Dharma Talk that evening was followed by a great dinner and the teachings were well received. Some successful contacts were made and older ones renewed.

Hye Tong Sunim JDPS helps with wrapping

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News from the Sanghas

After leaving the Southern Cape region, Hye Tong Sunim JDPS traveled to Polokwane in the northern part of South Africa where he led a short retreat and also delivered some Dharma talks and teachings with a Dharma Group in that region. Our precious guest proved to be a hit with everyone and we have already been asked to arrange a further visit by Hye Tong Sunim JDPS, perhaps in 2015.

HTSN with Jung Shim Zen Center Sangha

Jerry Botha at the coast of Indian Ocean

HTSN with Sangha on a mountain walk

Hye Tong Sunim JDPS helping with flowers

HTSN with Jung Shim Zen Center Sangha

HTSN enjoying the beach of Indian Ocean

Contact: Address: Jung Shim Seon Won, P.O. Box 690, Wilderness, 6560, South Africa Email: Website:

Mountain Tortoise visiting Jung Shim Zen Center

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The Israeli Sangha compiled from texts written by Yael Barlevy a Boaz Franklin

It has already been fifteen years since the Israeli Sangha community naturally appeared, inspired by the teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn. Then, in 2001, Zen Master Wu Bong officially became the Sangha’s Guiding Teacher. Over the past eleven years we have grown and strengthened through our regular weekly practice, our twice-yearly YMJJ retreats led by visiting teachers of our school, kidos, Dharma Talks, and through other together action events. Currently, there is one Zen Center and four Zen Groups in Israel: The Hod Hasharon Zen Center, the Givatayim group, the Tel Aviv group, the Pardes Hanna group, and the Haifa group. There are 25-30 people practicing regularly. Many of our Sangha members are very creative and talented people and we truly enjoy any opportunity that our practice offers us to be together and to have the chance to gain wisdom and experience from our sharing. These are some of the interests and outside jobs of a few of our members: Yuval Gill, the Sangha’s Abbot, is a lawyer and senior mediator who has a national mediation program for youth in Israel; Yael Barlevy is a Shiatsu practitoner and loves photography; Avital Sebbag is a highly-regarded organic food cook and nutritionist; Boaz Franklin is excellent in web design and development; Tom Vered is a graphic designer and has started his own business with spirulina-growing kits; Einat Rogel is studying and working in Chinese Medicine; Avichai Ornoy is a flute player and conductor, Alex Lurye and Valentina Poltorak are year-round mountain climbers; Ofer Grossman is a highly experienced stone mason.

Together meal during kido in the forests of northern Israel

Zen Master Ji Kwang giving talk at Anat Zahor’s Yoga studio

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News from the Sanghas

Besides regular formal practice, retreats and Dharma Talks, we love doing other fun things together like celebrating holidays. For example we celebrate our traditional Hanuka with a kido followed by good food and candle lighting. Just last Saturday we had a high-energy Kido in the woods of northern Israel, and members came with their families. It was a great day with good food and lots of laughter. In October 2013, we hosted Zen Master Ji Kwang who spent 6 days with us in Israel. His visit started with a traditional event that we call “Zen Around the Table”, organized by Avital in her home. It was a wonderful dinner followed by a relaxed Sanga meeting with Zen Master Ji Kwang. The next day, after a walking tour of the colourful and historically interesting old city of Jaffa, Zen Master Ji Kwang together with a teacher from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition gave a joint Dharma Talk. Both teachers answered similar questions but each from their own tradition and experience :) Our 3-day YMJJ took place at the Essene Farm which is situated in a truly unique setting in the Jerusalem Hills. The Essenes, who were deeply spiritual farmers and healers living in Israel 2000 years ago, were familiar with the secrets of good health and longevity. A good place to sit and meditate! As this was ZM Ji Kwang’s first YMJJ as our Guiding Teacher we are very happy that it was such a great success for us all. Wonderful teaching - wonderful practice - wonderful energy - wonderful place. Next year’s plans are already on the table for two retreats which have already been scheduled, and we are all looking forward to a really bright Zen in Israel in year 2014.

3D model of Jerusalem City (

Sunrise above Jerusalem (

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News from the Sanghas

3-day retreat with Zen Master Ji Kwang - formal meal

3-day retreat with Zen Master Ji Kwang - group photo

1-day retreat at Givataim, 2012

Zen Master Wu Bong SN in Israel in spring 2013

One of the many intro-talks for public & newcomers

“Zen Around the Table� with ZM Wu Bong

Contact: Email: (Rowena Gill) Website: Page 22

News from the Sanghas

Kwan Yin Chan Lin - Singapore Zen Center in South East Asia Off the vibrant chaos of Sim’s Avenue, which is a mere five minutes’ walk from the Aljunied MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) train station, and two lanes away from the bustling red light district, lies the quiet lane of Geylang Lorong 25. It is here that Kwan Yin Chan Lin, or commonly known in KUSZ as the Singapore Zen Centre, celebrated its 23rd anniversary. This year’s celebration was significant as it also marked its first year of operation in its new Zen Centre building. An oasis that breathes living Zen into the lives of many eager city dwellers, this eight storey building has been reaching out to both steadfast members and curious passersby. “This place is for everyone, especially our elderly members who have patiently endured the stair climbing days of our Lavender centre and the long boat rides to our International Zen Centre in the countryside of Pengerang, Malaysia, both of which were far but charming. We welcome anyone who is interested in finding his true self, in discovering the true purpose of life. Through embracing love and compassion in our lives we can help our families, friends, country and this whole world - regardless of race and religion - to gain peace and happiness,” said the Abbot of Kwan Yin Chan Lin, Gye Mun Sunim JDPS, during the inauguration of the new Zen Centre building in 2012. As one of the few centres in Singapore that practice Zen Meditation, the centre’s cultural heritage extends to choir performances, adult and children Sunday Dharma classes, and calligraphy collections. Zen art and culture are deeply reinforced in the building’s interior, exterior, and in its occupants; home to introspection, meditation, and quiet quality time of self discovery through meditation retreats. The Enso (Zen circle) forewarns all visitors, “To enter this gate, do not attach to understanding and concepts.” The five-day celebration opened with the Zen Dust Art Exhibition by two accomplished Polish artists from Japan, Nyogen Nowak and Ewa Hadydon, in the Zen Centre building. This was followed by the Emperor Liang Jeweled Repentance Chanting (梁皇宝忏) led by Gye Mun Sunim and the Sangha, Page 23

News from the Sanghas

evening Dharma talks by Zen Masters and teachers, fundraising dinner, Zen cultural exhibition, vegetarian feast, design your own T-shirt workshop, and cultural and children’s music performances, in the outdoor marquee next to Aljunied MRT. With the esteemed presence of our Zen Masters and teachers in Asia, an International Zen Conference was held in the auditorium, with an audience of over 300 people. The celebration finale was a two-hour music concert by a Japanese ensemble of flute and harp music performers, Mr. Tsuyoki Fukui and Ms. Yumiko Ogawa, bringing stillness and harmony within our world. We are grateful for all help and support rendered for the success of the 23rd anniversary celebration. Kwan Yin Chan Lin has provided us an opportune place in which to practice together, with the treasury of merit of Buddha and with Gye Mun Sunim JDPS’s compassionate guidance. It is through reflection that each of us will slowly bear the fruit of sincerity and compassion, and by facing difficulties together, we can help ourselves realise understanding and harmony between people. Through encouraging and advising each other, we will learn the value of attainment. The past experience is the source of deep wisdom.

Gye Mun Sunim leading Repentance Chanting

Zen Art Exhibition Launch

Gye Mun Sunim JDPS, ZM Dae Kwan, Hye Tong Sunim JDPS and Andrezj Stec JDSPN leading the mass meditation for world peace

Hye Tong Sunim JDPS, Andrzej Stec JDPSN and Kathy Park giving Dharma Talks on the 23rd anniversary of Singapore ZC

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News from the Sanghas

Buddha in Singapore Zen Center

Walking meditation during Mass meditation for World Peace

Zen Conference 2013 - Speakers

Zen Conference 2013 - Audience

Gye Mun Sunim JDPS and Myong An Sunim with the Sangha at the Sound of Samadhi - musical performance by Tsuyoki Fukui & Yumiko Ogawa

One of the Sunday Children Dharma Classes: Chun Xi teaching children how to make their own T-shirts

Contact: Address: KYCL Zen Building, No. 21, Lorong 25 Geylang, Singapore 388299 Email: | Website:

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News from the Sanghas

Cold Mountain Zen Center in Alaska, USA On August 29 through September 1, Barry Briggs JDPSN came to Fairbanks, Alaska to lead a 4-day retreat at Cold Mountain Zen Center. It is the first time we have held a retreat at our center because it is so small. The large, beautiful place we have rented for retreats in the past has sold and though we looked at other venues they were quite expensive. So we decided to give this a try. We were very fortunate in borrowing a “pop-up camper” which was designated the “women’s sleep area” and a small motor home where we installed Barry PSN. Here he slept, and made space for our kong-an practice. The rest of the participants brought their sleeping bags and stayed in the dharma room and entryway. It was a wonderful experience and strong practice. Cooking, serving, having meals, walking and sitting meditation in our 600ft. cabin which includes kitchen and arctic entryway. (Ours is a “dry” cabin, which means no running water and an outhouse.) At any given time we had 10 people practicing. The energy was great!

On a hike on Denali with Barry Briggs JDPSN

Barry was able to come a couple of days before the retreat and some of us took the opportunity to take him hiking in Denali. The weather cooperated and we had a beautiful day in the park. We have our next retreat in January, and we are already working on plans to hold it at our center. It will be a challenge, but we already know that we can make it!

Contact: Address: P.O. Box 82109 Fairbanks, AK 99708, USA Email: Website:

YMJJ with Zen Master Bon Soeng, January 2013

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News from the Sanghas

Dharma Flower Zen Center in Chicago / USA For several months Dharma Flower Zen had been working closely with an individual who had offered the potential of donating her house to be used as a Zen Center for the midwest USA area, northwest of Chicago. Unfortunately the arrangement became too convoluted and the project fell apart. That hasn’t caused us to lose hope in still creating such a space. We are planning a meeting with representatives from the Isthmus Zen Center (Madison Wisconsin) Great Lakes Zen Center (Milwaukee) and Ten Directions Zen (Chicago and Indiana areas) to discuss the idea of forming a coalition of the groups coming together for joint retreats as well as the potential for a future zen center serving this area. Zen Master Seung Sahn expressed a strong interest in the Kwan Um School of Zen having such a center in the midwest and many of us have kept a mind for this intention. In the meantime, in an effort to create more opportunities for zen practice, Dharma Flower Zen is providing six different practice times weekly - three 6am mornings and three 7pm evenings each week. A few of the practices are held at our local Theravadan temple (in an effort to provide a broader outreach) and the others at the center in our Abbots home, which has spaces specifically allotted for holding regular practice and retreats.

Contact: Address: 861 Clay Street, Woodstock, IL 60098, USA Email: Website: Page 27

News from the Sanghas

Ten Directions Zen Community in Illinois, USA Ten Directions Zen Community is still figuring out the best schedule for us given our smaller size. In the past year we had a day of meditation complete with work practice at the Theosophical Society, a pot luck with Zen Master Soeng Hyang as she traveled to California and a day of practice at Open Circle in Indiana with Ken Kessel, JDPSN. We’re expecting even more creative practice opportunities in the year ahead.

Ken Kessel, JDPSN at Empty Circle / April 2013

Potluck with Zen Master Soeng Hyang / May 2013

Raking meditation - Theosophical Society / October 2012

Contact: Address: P.O. Box 2261, Glen Ellyn, IL 60138, USA Email: Website: Page 28

News from the Sanghas

Las Vegas Zen Center in Nevada, USA Greetings from the Zen Center of Las Vegas! We are in the final stretch of preparations for the West Coast Sangha Conference. Everyone is very busy attending to last minute details to make this year’s conference go smoothly. Several talks and workshops are scheduled over the three days of this event. This is the second large event we have hosted at our new center, and it is always exciting to see so many familiar faces and new ones! The weather here is great this time of year. It is a nice relief from the +100 degree days we have had to endure for months on end. Walking meditation outside in the garden is great; everything is beginning to turn to fall colors. Yes, we do have seasons here in Las Vegas! It’s not always just hot or not so hot, but every once in a while we get a taste of seasonal changes that everyone else is used to seeing. Our property is also undergoing some rework at the present. Since water is a valuable resource, we try to conserve as much as possible. We uncovered some leaks this year and are working to fix things and at the same time use a little creativity to change some things from the original configuration. Aside from the changes to the property, we still host retreats, of course, and host practice 6 days a week. Members are welcome to use the rear house for visits if space is available, come practice with us and visit the city we call home.

Contact: Address: 2461 E. Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121 Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

Sangha in Hungary / Europe Dae Soen Sa Nim taught that a bad situation is a good situation. The Sangha in Hungary has faced difficult years of turmoil and challenges. Definitely, what was once a thriving Sangha has now become a striving Sangha. In July, Dharma Teacher Tamás Mészáros made arrangements for a Zen day and Dharma talk in the Buddhist college which was founded--amongst others-- by Antal Dobosy. Antal also leads the Korean Zen based Dharma Gate Zen Community in Budapest. Many of his students attended the Zen Day which was led by Jo Potter JDPSN. It was a great Dharma event even though the weather was extremely hot: “Sitting silently, the sun shines and streams of sweat flow down the back.” :) Much gratitude to the Dharma Gate Zen Community in the Buddhist college for hosting the Kwan Um School practice!

Contact: Email: Tamas Meszaros / Website: Page 30

News from the Sanghas

Northern Light Zen Center in Maine, USA An exciting day came for the Northern Light Zen Center on September 29th, the day of our Opening Ceremony! As has been the case for other special events the weather cooperated and the day broke sunny and warm. We were joined by friends from the Kwan Um School of Zen, the Cambridge Zen Center, Open Meadow Zen Group, and Great River Zendo in West Bath and many other members and donors, all great friends of Northern Light. Zen Master Bon Haeng gave our Dharma speech. Wonderful! Three dedication addresses were given by Alyson Arnold of KUSZ, Barbara Feldman of CZC and Maria Chan of OMZG. It was a beautiful ceremony. This was a very auspicious moment for the Northern Light Zen Center in our new home. A delicious buffet was set up and we all gathered and enjoyed the food and each others’ wonderful company. Many thanks go out to all who participated and joined us in our celebration. It was a great day.

Contact: Address: 202 Meadow Road Topsham, ME 04086, USA Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

New Haven Zen Center in Connecticut, USA Founded by Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1975, Mu Gak Sah (No Enlightenment Zen Center) in New Haven, CT is, simply, the oldest, continually running, residential Zen temple in the Kwan Um School of Zen. Mu Gak Sah’s physical presence alone is, in and of itself, a great teaching. Known for its deep quiet and steady perseverance, the temple has served as a faithful teacher and servant of both the Kwan Um School of Zen and the larger community for nearly 40 years. It cradles and shelters those who decide to stay for extended periods and has housed countless guests of the Kwan Um School over the years such as the Venerable Maha Ghosananda, the monks and nuns of Plum Village and, most recently, Swami Prajnananda of Sri Lanka. Generations of practitioners have come to recognize and depend on Mu Gak Sah to always act with Great Faith for all. True to its name, the practice at Mu Gak Sah enables people to see their life situations clearly – “beyond ideas” - without any attendant gloss or ambivalence, engaging situations energetically in the best way possible and with their best self.

Contact: Address: 193 Mansfield Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA Email: Website:

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News from the Sanghas

Kansas Zen Center in Kansas, USA

At Kansas Zen Center we’re getting ready to rake leaves, winterize the pond, clean the basement (it seems like we are always cleaning the basement) and so on at our fall work day in November. We have a new outdoor Kwan Se Um Bosal statue (thank you, Barbara Taylor!) and a new gate at the northwest end of the property (thank you, Ben Graham!), so we now have four gates on our little property, which has to be some kind of record. We said goodbye this summer to old members Trevor Maxwell (now resident at Empty Gate Zen Center) and Justin Smith (now living in Santa Barbara) and welcomed both Alex Fennell as a house resident and brand-new human William Wilson, son of Blake and Shari Wilson, as our youngest sangha member --- his 100 day ceremony is November 24. Dharma activity in the last six months includes a two-day retreat with guest teacher Zen Master Bon Haeng (Mark Houghton) in March, a precepts ceremony and Buddha’s Birthday ceremony in April, a two-day retreat in June, and a one-day retreat in September. We look forward to another precepts ceremony and a Buddha’s Enlightenment Day ceremony in December and a two-day retreat in November. We’ve started another round of Compass of Zen classes in September (roughly once a month for 17 classes), had a Taoism and Zen class in July, a class on Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way in October, and an introductory Foundations of Zen class in September. Taking advantage of technology, members who live far away have been able to Skype in for classes; it’s great to get together that way. One new event added last year which we hope to continue annually is our 500 Prostrations for the New Year, which this year will begin at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day, followed by a 5 day retreat starting at 1:30 p.m. Events are always being added to our calendar --- if you’re interested, you can keep track on our web page.

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News from the Sanghas

Finally, we had a large turn-out at the April Buddha’s Birthday Ceremony at Providence Zen Center this year, when our guiding teacher, Judy Roitman, became Zen Master Bon Hae; with Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stan Lombardo), we now have two local Zen masters.

Contact: Address: 1423 New York Street Lawrence, KS 66044, USA Email: Website: Page 34


Sangha Projects & Success Stories

Prison Dharma written by Mark O’Leary

We arrive at the facility at 8:30 Saturday morning. An officer takes our IDs: myself, Mike Selva, Hari Pillai from Cambridge Zen Center, and Zen Master Bon Haeng, alias Mark Houghton. A sliding steel door. Remove your watch, belt and shoes. Turn out your pockets. Open your mouth. Flip up your collar. Walk through the metal detector. Pat search. Ever been convicted of a felony? Sign the consent form. Next.

Photo Courtesy Prison Mindfulness Institute

Another sliding steel door. Three electronic gates. Twenty-foot-high chain link topped with razor wire. Uniformed guards. Cameras. Towers. More razor wire as we cross the vast open compound. Finally, after twenty minutes, eight locked doors and continuous scrutiny by unseen security personnel, we arrive at the destination: the chapel. We are here to conduct a 1-day Yong Maeng Jong Jin for about a dozen Zen students who also happen to be inmates in a medium-security prison. Our meager ritual items are waiting for us there, inspected, fluoroscoped and approved for prison use: zafus and zabutons specially made to prison specifications (black, kapok stuffing for the cushions, mats sewn on all four sides with no zippers). Chanting books without the wire binding (wire has many uses in prison, none of them good), a large photograph of a Buddha statue (real statues being forbidden) and a small photo of Zen Master Seung Sahn. And our most recent acquisition, specially approved just for today’s special event: a moktak, which we place in its customary spot on the makeshift altar. The first time we asked Page 36

Sangha Projects & Success Stories

permission to bring in a moktak, the Director of Security hefted it in his hand, shook his head and said simply, “That’s a weapon.” But today we have special permission. It must be taken out when we leave today. At nine o’clock, the men arrive. They are smiling, nervous. Smiling because for the first time a real Zen master has come to teach them, a rare and wonderful occurrence; nervous because it is their first-ever YMJJ. They have been told the name means To Leap Like a Tiger While Sitting. Although they are all experienced meditators, they are worried that they won’t be able to sustain their practice for a whole day. We make introductions. The volunteers put on their robes and kasas—there are no robes for the inmates—and each man takes his assigned seat. None of the inmates holds formal precepts, so there is no real hierarchy to the seating. Our intent is to create as normal a retreat atmosphere as possible. The chapel is big, maybe thirty feet square. Tomorrow it will be filled with Protestant and Catholic hymns, but today is Saturday. Jesus and Buddha share the silent space. Practice begins. Three hand claps from the HDT (we have no chugpi, another weapon) and we are off; the tigers begin to leap. Kong an interviews take place in a small hallway outside the chapel. This has been a point of contention with security. The rules forbid closed doors between us and the officers tasked with keeping order. Line-of-sight must be maintained. (Even the stalls in the men’s room have no doors on them.) It took a while to find a setup that would satisfy all parties, but this actually works well. There are arrangements in the free world with less privacy. Very soon, the prison retreat resembles a normal one. Sitting. Walking. Standing. Dozing. Sore knees, aching back. First-timers nervously await their private encounter with the teacher. This could easily be taking place in Central Square, Cambridge. Lunch arrives to remind us where we really are. The food is technically vegetarian but otherwise unappetizing prison grub: a salty, industrial-strength hockey puck of a veggie burger, unseasoned white rice, broccoli cooked as gray as our robes. Ketchup, fortunately. A banana—not bad. Accept what is served with gratitude. Do not be concerned with likes and dislikes. And something we don’t normally get at outside retreats: dessert. One of the men works in the kitchen and has made us a coma-inducingly sweet cream-filled cake, special for the occasion. He is very proud of it. It is the best part of the meal. I eat two pieces. The afternoon continues, and I am again struck by how normal this all is. I know these men. I have been coming here once a week for a couple of years, practicing with them, teaching them, learning from them. Privacy laws forbid us to ask certain questions, but in candid moments a prisoner will Page 37

Sangha Projects & Success Stories

sometimes share, perhaps more than he should. Drugs. Assault. Worse. The hand that served me my lunch once took a human life. But they seem so much like other people I know. The difference between my life and theirs often comes down to a fateful choice or two. A kong an pops into my head: prisoner or free person, same or different? If you don’t answer, you go into solitary. If you open your mouth, you go to hell. Sitting practice ends. The precious, dangerous moktak comes out. Gate gate paragate. Shin myo jang gu dae dharani. The Buddha way is inconceivable. Circle talk. Faces shine with a clear-eyed, just-washed intensity. The room is filled with the calm energy of a dozen men who have spent the whole day grounded in the here and now. Clean up. Soon the Dharma Hall is once again a Christian chapel. Many bows, many handshakes. Hugging is forbidden. From out in the hallway, an officer’s voice yells, “Movement!” And like that, it is over. But a precedent has been set. Some of the men are already talking about “the next time we do this.” And I’m thinking about it too. Everybody feels good. Carrying the moktak through the gates back to the free world, I realize the Director of Security had been right: like the Dharma itself, the moktak is indeed a weapon. It destroys fear and ignorance.

Contact: Author’s email: Mark O’Leary | More about prison work: Page 38

Sangha Projects & Success Stories

Little Buddhas / Cambridge Zen Center written by Shuk-Kuen Tse

I have been practicing at Cambridge Zen Center for many years. The idea of teaching children about our practice never crossed my mind until two years ago when I felt challenged by students’ behavior at the school I worked at. I began to consider teaching children meditation. To be honest, I was not sure if they would or could benefit? To give it a try, I started exploring the idea of starting a children’s group at the CZC (Cambridge Zen Center) with the Kim Family: Stella, Wontak and Teju. Their response was a resounding YES! We started ‘Little Buddhas in September, 2011. Since then, we meet once a month on Sunday for an hour and half. Our vision: We would like our children to learn - To pay attention through our senses: see, hear, smell, taste, touch, move and feel clearly so as to be fully present in our everyday life. - To bring awareness and compassion to our inner emotions and outer experiences. - To make wiser and kinder choices in our everyday lives. Well…correct situation, correct function, and correct relationship! What we teach Each month, we have a theme such as: Mindful Listening; Gratitude; Perspective Taking. We notice that children are most receptive and ready to learn when engaged in a mix of activities, stillness, story telling, games and art. Stella always starts the meeting with ringing the mindfulness bell to invite everyone to listen to its sound and sit quietly for a few moments. She also periodically rings the bell throughout our meeting to remind all of us to pause and ground ourselves through our breathing. On the other hand, I engage children in physical activities e.g. walking Page 39

Sangha Projects & Success Stories

around while trying to keep a penny steady on top of one’s foot; moving around and making sound like an animal of their choice with the sound of rainforest in the background. We also read stories. A few of our favorites are: Anhs’ Anger; Moody Cow meditates; and Duck Rabbit. Children also love activities that engage their senses. One example is the making of a meditation (agitation) bottle. We filled a plastic bottle with water, glitter and half a cup of glycerin. We shook the bottle really hard and sat together to watch the glitter twirl around until the glitter settled. We encourage children to use the bottle when they feel angry or upset. Our all time favorite is eating meditation. We invite children to see, smell, chew and savor a piece of chocolate or fruit mindfully. At the end, one child said: “You can taste better when you eat slowly!” While Stella and I are working with children in the Dharma room, with a few parents who opted to stay with their younger children, Wontak gives sitting instructions to parents in the alternate dharma room. Lately, we have gathered children and adults together during the last 10 minutes for children to share out loud what they have learned or enjoyed the most that day. Looking back, it has been a rich two years. I have been engaging my students more often at school to do some practices such as listening (to the sound in the environment, or counting their own heart beat after physical activities). I have learned that children, like all of us, have great potential to learn and benefit from teachings of the Buddha. Last but not the least, I want to thank Jim Chung-Brcak, of Providence Zen Center Dharma School for generously sharing with us his experiences and resources when we first started.

“How can I meditate when “What can I do when I am angry?”

Contact: Author: Shukkuen Tse More about Little Buddhas project: Children’s program at Cambridge Zen Center

I don’t feel like it?”

Useful references: Christopher Willard: Child’s Mind: Mindfulness Practices to Help Our Children Be More Focused, Calm, and Relaxed. Hawn Foundation: MindUP Curriculum Susan Kaiser Greenland: The Mindful Child Thich Nhat Hanh: Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children.

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Sangha Projects & Success Stories

Vrážné Zen Center Retreat Center in the Czech Republic Vrážné Zen Center, in the Czech Republic, has had a busy and fun year. Some of the highlights were: Walks with friends in snowy woods; hosting our first baby ceremony and first precepts ceremony; making kimchee; a workshop with No Impact Man; completing renovation of a new resident room; a month-long visit from Zen Master Dae Kwang and Barry Briggs JDPSN; a Czech-Slovak Sangha weekend with four Kwan Um teachers; a 7-day Yong Maeng Jong Jin with Zen Master Dae Kwang; getting our very own colorful 50-square meter yurt; harvesting, preserving and eating red currants, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, plums, apples, and pumpkins; pressing apple cider with our neighbors in the village; finding many tasty types of mushrooms growing in the woods; collecting and chopping wood for the winter; repairing and strengthening the brick arches that form the main structure of our building... But our favorite parts of this year were the many wonderful visits from sangha friends, old and new, practicing and working and having fun together in the beautiful Czech countryside! We are so grateful for all the support we receive from the sangha and hope you can come visit us next year.

Contact: Address: Vrazne Zen Center, Vrazne 3, 569 43 Vrazne, Czech Republic Email: Phone: (+420) 608 169 042 Website:

Workshops with ZM Dae Kwang, Jo Potter JDSPN, Oleg Suk JDPSN and Barry Briggs JDSPN

1-week retreat with ZM Dae Kwang

Jan Sendzimir & Zen Master Dae Kwang

1-week retreat with Zen Master Dae Kwang

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Sangha Talents

Ondras Pribyla of the Brno Sangha, Czech Republic For the last few years, everything I’ve been doing somehow aligns around teaching and helping others to grow. In private life, I work as a coach and trainer; at the university I explore experience-based learning and I offer it to the students. This approach is in contrast with the usual university teaching style, which is about “giving information”. In my seminars, I rather create space, where transformational learning can happen. Additionaly, for the last two years, I have been learning methods and approaches of non-violent communication (NVC). Seeing its potential and deep meaning, I decided to introduce this approach to the wider public in the Czech Republic. Some consider NVC a method, I perceive it as practice, in the same sense as Zen practice. The training seems to be a lot about language and awareness but, surprisingly, it also enhances the ability to stay present and open to what is. At one of the seminars, I heard a poem or saying, which for me very much resonates with the core of NVC practice: the ocean refuses no river; open heart refuses no part of me, no part of you. One of my strong motivations for training NVC is coming from my intimate relationships (with my wife Verka and my daughter Anezka). There, I have seen how words reflect my emotional state, as well as affect the relationship. I realized, that without being able to focus to here and now, which is beyond words, empathy is not possible.

Ondra with future teachers

Weekly meeting of Non-violent Communication Group

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At the end of October, I was deeply grateful and honored to host two wonderful NVC teachers in my home town Brno. Robert Krzisnik and Marjeta Novak from Slovinia have been teaching NVC for over 20 years and do it in a deeply heart-warming way. Last week, we hosted Participatory Leadership Workshop, one public talk on Non-violent Communication in human relationships and another talk on Non-violent Communication with children. Many Sangha members came and expressed how much they benefited from getting to know this basic and yet powerful approach to not only communication, but life itself. I wish to continue this work and introduce it more and more to others.

Robert Krzisnik and Ondra on public talk on NVC

Participatory Leadership workshop

Weekly meeting of Non-violent Communication Group

Weekly meeting of Non-violent Communication Group

Contact: Ondras Pribyla (Czech Republic) Email: Website: |

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Sangha Talents

Sven Mahr of the Dresden Sangha, Germany Starting at age 15 I used to do lots of painting and drawing. That was my life for over 10 years. Then after a couple of years of an intensive Zen practice, living in the Zen Center and doing long retreats, this need for painting or drawing naturally vanished. It felt as if everything I ever wanted or had to express through paintings or drawings has been said. It did not matter anymore. It was just fine as IT IS. It was not necessary to put more stuff onto the world. But then after a while, still there was a childish curiosity, an artistic creativity that needed a channel and this feeling of expressing something deeper without using words. It was then, that I picked up a camera and started to take photos. My photos are just an expression of perceiving this world and trying to capture that not-moving nature of all that is. A joyful childish play and wondering...

Contact: Sven Mahr (Germany) Email: Facebook: Website: | Page 45

Sangha Talents

David McDonald of the Dharma Zen Center Los Angeles, United States The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards 200 fellowships each year to artists who have prior achievement in artistry and exhibit exceptional promise. Most recipients say they had to apply five or six times before they received a fellowship since the Foundation receives approximately 4,000 applications. David McDonald, artist and Dharma Teacher, received it on his first try. And the project he chose? To do a Kyol Che Retreat in Korea. “My art is influenced by my Zen practice and by Asia in general,” said David, “but I have never been to Asia. The influence has been solely based on pictures. So I took a Zen approach in my application. I said that looking at pictures of bananas will not satisfy your hunger, and I think it’s time I go eat bananas.”

Indras Net #2, 2011 Oil on Panel 30 x 30 inches

Honshirabe, 2009 Wood and Acrylic 88,5 x 34 x 34 inches

Ikebukuro, 2009 Wood and Acrylic 72 x 32 x 24 inches

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Sangha Talents

With the funding from his fellowship award, David will spend three weeks exploring Japan and staying at Buddhist monasteries, but without an itinerary. “I am using Don’t Know and doing this project from a place of not knowing where I am going in Japan,” said David. “I’m planning to visit lots of gardens.” From Japan, he will travel to Korea to spend a month in Kyol Che at Mu Sang Sa. David shares that his practice contributes to his art in both the process and the expression. At the same time, his art has also contributed to his Zen Center. David leads the annual Silent Art Auction fundraisers at Dharma Zen Center (DZC) in Los Angeles, which have significantly contributed to the support of DZC operations for several years.

Indras Net #3, 2012 Oil on Panel 30 x 30 inches

The Pailing Day, 2007 Emulsion on Wood 40 x 40 inches

La Calle de mi Ciudad, 2008 Acrylic, Oil, Ink on Panel 40 x 40 inches

David McDonald has exhibited his work in galleries and museums in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Portland. His work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Boston Globe, the Santa Fean, Wall Street Journal, and Sculpture Magazine. He has also been the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant and a grant from the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Department. David lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by Carter & Citizen, also in Los Angeles.

Contact: David McDonald Email: Website: Page 47


Residental Opportunities

Europe Berlin Zen Center / GERMANY In the Berlin Zen Center there are currently 2 free rooms for resident Zen students. The rooms are usually single rooms but can also be taken by two persons at a time. The residents commit to join morning practice daily (5:30 am – 7:15 am, Monday through Friday) and evening practice twice a week (Tuesday and Friday). They also participate in weekend retreats. The center is located directly in the city with good transport connection and many inexpensive shopping facilities. The residents clean the Zen Center regularly. The guiding teacher and abbot of the Berlin Zen Center, Muchak JDPSN, does not live in the Zen Center but attends evening practice regularly. Kongan interviews with Dharma Master Muchak or another teacher take place every alternate Wednesday and Friday. The costs per room are: 233 Euros for members/month 310 Euros for non-members/month 83 Euros for members/week Contact: Email: Phone: (+49) 30 - 46 60 50 90

KoĹĄice Zen Center / SLOVAKIA One room available for 1-2 people, with shared bathroom. The costs are: 120 Euros /month Contact: Email: Phone: (+421) 903 134 137 Page 49

Residental Opportunities

Brussel Zen Center / BELGIUM The Brussel Zen Center accommodates one or two residents / zen students for periods from one month to a year or more. Currently (2013) the center is occupied by a resident housemaster / zen student, and one single room is available. Resident zen students commit to joining or leading morning practice (including weekly kongan interviews) and to joining regularly in the evening practice. He / she acts as housemaster, moktak master or Head Dharma Teacher. The residents participate in weekend retreats if possible. The Zen Center is a completely renovated apartment of 120m². It is located just in front of a protected nature site, yet still within Brussels. You can buy food at walking distance. Going by bus to the very center of Brussels takes half an hour. The students’ apartment is separate from the house of Koen Vermeulen JDPSN and his family, occupying the top floor of a three-story house. The atmosphere is peaceful, with views of fields and trees through large windows. In order to pay the expenses, the price for a single resident is 400 EUR per month.

Contact: Email: Page 50

Residental Opportunities

North America Dharma Zen Center, Los Angeles We currently have one room available out of nine for our residential training program. The fee is $675 a month including all food amenities, and utilities. We are located in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is a safe, up-and-coming area of LA with plenty of restaurants and stores in walking distance. Having a car in LA is recommended, but not necessary. There is still a public transit system that will get you where you need to go. We have regular morning and evening practices and host several YMJJ and kidos throughout the year. The chaos of LA makes DZC the perfect place to practice! Contact: Email: Web: Phone: (+1) (323) 934-0330

New Haven Zen Center, Connecticut We offer 4 single rooms with shared bathroom. Price per month / training fee will be discussed with each applicant upon your request. The New Haven Zen Center invites Buddhist practitioners looking to deepen their practice to participate in its residential training program. The program includes daily morning Zen practice in community. Senior residents and center teachers provide support for new residents. The New Haven Zen Center has served Connecticut’s Buddhist community for four decades in the heart of one of the world’s great university cities. Come practice with us. A copy of the resident’s handbook and training agreement can be requested from Contact: Email: Page 51

Residental Opportunities

Providence Zen Center, Rhode Island We have several single rooms as well as shared room opportunities: The monthly training fee is $675/month. We also have a unique rental opportunity in the “Abbot’s House”: The Providence Zen Center’s Board of Directors has decided to rent space in the Abbot’s house. So Mel, our Work Master, changed the Abbot’s house into a duplex (see pictures). It has three bedrooms, a living room, a loft, and a basement that could be used for storage. It has a parking lot and independent access. It is ideal for a family or for students. PZC is located on a fifty acre wooded property in the outskirts of Cumberland, Rhode Island, about 20 minutes from Providence and one hour from Boston. The serene woodland location provides a quiet setting, while our proximity to Providence and Boston allow easy access to the arts, culture, and fine dining in the city. Contact: Email: Jeff Partridge /

ASIA Mu Sang Sa, South Korea We have established a new work-study program for those who would like to be here and get in touch with the Korean monastic root of Zen Master Seung Sahn’s teaching while practicing in a Kwan Um School temple environment. You can develop both wings of Zen practice - samadhi and wisdom - through 5 hours of formal practice and 5 hours of work practice daily. Participants receive free room and board and the chance to practice in Mu Sang Sa. Contact: Email: Phone: (+82) 42 841 6084 Page 52

RECIPES recommended by SANGHA CHEFS :o)

Recipes recommended by Sangha Chefs :)

Tofu Mexican Vegetarian Enchiladas by Mexican Sangha Filling: 3 -4 cups shredded firm tofu 4 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 cup water Sauce: 1 lb / 1/2kg tomatillo or green tomato washed 1 medium white onion chopped 3-4 cloves of garlic 2 cups of water 1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) 1 can / 4 ounces diced green chilies 12 corn tortillas (3 tortillas per person) Oil (soy, corn or safflower oil, never use olive oil) for frying tortillas 3-4 cups shredded cheese (to gratin - optional) 1/2 cup white onion coarsely chopped for garnish sour cream • In a medium sauce pan, fry tofu until it is a little crunchy; add soy sauce, stir and add the water. Cover and simmer until tofu softens. • Meanwhile in a casserole or saucepan over medium to medium high, place 2 cups of water, green tomatos, and chilies, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Continue cooking until the tomatillos are soft. Cool down to room temperature. • Using a blender or food processer, add tomatoes, chilies, little bit of water, chopped onion, 4 cloves of garlic and a cup of fresh cilantro. Blend until smooth. • In a casserole place oil to saute the sauce, add salt and cook for 5 minutes. • To prepare, spread some sauce on a corn tortilla; add some filling; roll and place in dish (3 enchiladas per person), seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas, reserving some sauce. • When dish is full, cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. (Cover with foil and bake at 350°F / 180°C degrees for 15 - 20 minutes) then decorate with sour cream and sliced white onion. Enjoy them!!!! Page 54

Recipes invented or tested by Sangha Chefs :)

Matcha Madeleines with Azuki Bean Paste Ingredients (for 18 madeleins): 90 ml melted butter 100 grams plain flour 1.5-2 teaspoons of Matcha powder 80 grams caster sugar 2 medium eggs 3/4 teaspoon baking powder for Azuki filling: 1 cup sweetened red (azuki) bean paste (can get Japanese or Korean canned version from Asian grocery store. If you cannot get it, you can cook azuki beans, drain and mix with some sugar to sweeten as desired and crush into paste)

brought to you by Kathy Park photo by Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings

Directions: • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and grease the madeleine pan with some melted butter, then shake in a little flour to coat (you do not need to grease it if you are using a silicon baking tray) • Sieve the flour, matcha powder and baking powder together and set aside. • Whisk the eggs and sugar together for about 5 minutes on medium high speed or till the mixture is pale and thicken. • Mix in the flour mixture in two or 3 batches then slowly add in the melted butter and stir till well combined (the mixture will be a bit sticky and not too runny). Leave to stand for 20 minutes before carefully pouring into the prepared madeleine tray. • Spoon the mixture to fill the Madeleine pan to 3/4 full then top with about 1/2 teaspoon of cooked Azuki beans in each Madeleine mould. • Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 - 15 minutes depending on the size, the madeleines are ready if it spring back when lightly pressed. • Special tip for serving: with vanilla ice-cream! :) Page 55

Recipes invented or tested by Sangha Chefs :)

Polenta-lemon cake (gluten-free) Ingredients (serves 16): for the cake 200 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing) 200 grams caster sugar 200 grams ground almonds 100 grams fine polenta (or cornmeal) 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten free if required) 3 large eggs zest of 2 lemons (save juice for syrup) for the syrup juice of 2 lemons 125 grams icing sugar

brought to you by Katka Grofova inspired by Nigella Lawson

Directions: • Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter. • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/ 350°F. • Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer. • Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while. • Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. • It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin. • Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan. • Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done. • Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

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Invitations to special Sangha events

The Whole World Is a Single Flower Conference & Tour

2014 “Great Vow — Life after Life” October 16-28, 2014, South Korea

The conference coincides with 10th anniversary of Zen Master Seung Sahn’s passing into nirvana. Activities and workshops of the conference will focus on the legacy of Zen Master Seung Sahn’s teaching and how it manifests in our lives and practice. Inquire at your local Zen Center or check online at:

Photo by Sven Mahr

Facebook: WWSF2014 Twitter: WWSF2014 Website:

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Sangha In-Sight / Autumn 2013  

International Kwan Um School of Zen Newsletter

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