The Kwan Um School of Zen is an international organization of Zen centers and groups founded by Zen Master Seung Sahn. The School began with the establishment of its international head temple, the Providence Zen Center, in 1972. Over the years, Zen Master Seung Sahn and his successors have established over 100 Zen centers and groups in more than 20 countries. The Kwan Um School of Zen was organized in 1983 to provide cohesion and administrative support to Zen centers around the world. Kwan Um means "perceive world sound," to compassionately hear the cries of the universe. The heart of the Kwan Um School of Zen is the practice. Zen Master Seung Sahn very simply taught ''Don't Know.'' This means, in each moment to open unconditionally to all that presents itself to us. By doing this, our innate wisdom and compassion will naturally breathe and flow into our lives.
The Providence Zen Center is a residential and non-residential community of lay persons and monastics in suburban Rhode Island. Founded by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, it is the head temple of the international Kwan Um School of Zen. The mission of the Providence Zen Center is to provide Zen training for all through daily practice, regularly scheduled retreats and an international exchange of teachers and practitioners. Diamond Hill Monastery is located here, and hosts the Kwan Um School of Zen's long retreats (called "Kyol Che") in North America.
Open Meadow Zen Group Located in Lexington, Mass., Open Meadow is lead by Zen Master Bon Haeng Mark Houghton. Houghton is a dharma heir to Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, the 78th patriarch in his line of transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism, and founder of the Kwan Um School of Zen. Practice includes kong-an (koan) interviews every other week. For more details, please see the schedule. Boston University Zen Community