sangha in-sight / autumn 2013

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International Kwan Um School of Zen Newsletter


  • SANGHA IN-SIGHTThe International KUSZ Newsletter

    Autumn 2013

  • SANGHA IN-SIGHTThe International KUSZ Newsletter

    Autumn 2013

    Founding TeacherZen Master Seung Sahn

    International Council:

    School Head Zen MasterZen Master Soeng Hyang

    Regional Head Zen MastersEurope - Zen Master Bon ShimAsia - Zen Master Dae Bong SNAmericas - Zen Master Wu Kwang

    Managing EditorNancy Hedgpeth JDPSN

    EditorKatka Grofova

    Cover photo by Sven Mahr


    News from the Sanghas...................................1

    Dharma Projects & Success Stories..................36

    Sangha Talents.................................... . ..........42

    Residential Opportunities...............................48

    Recipes from the best Sangha Chefs.................53

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



  • News from the Sanghas

    Hong Kong Sanghain South East Asia

    Retreats at GaksuIn 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 practi-tioners 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, weve 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.

    Food Offerings in Sham Shui PoOn 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

    Retreats at Gaksu - happy group picture :) Retreats at Gaksu - exercise led by Myong Hae Sunim

  • News from the Sanghas

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

    Lotus LanternsEvery year at Su Bong Zen Monastery, we follow the Korean tradition of hand-making lotus lan-terns for Buddhas 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.

    Page 2

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

    Food Offerings to the homeless at Sham Shui Po

    Lotus lantern-making workshop

    Food Offerings to the homeless at Sham Shui Po

    Dharma Talk with ZM Dae Kwan, ZM Dae Kwang and Andrzej Stec JDPSN
  • News from the Sanghas

    Boep Um Soen Won - Dharma Sound Zen Centerin Vienna, Austria

    Opening CeremonyOpening 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 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!

    Page 3

    Opening Ceremony of the Vienna Zen Center

    Zen Master Soeng Hyang painting OM in front of the Buddha

    Congratulatory talk by the Israeli girls :)

    Group picture after the ceremony

  • News from the Sanghas

    Page 4

    Contact:Address: Krntner Strae 49, via Walfischgasse 1, 1010 Vienna, AustriaEmail: info@kwanumzen.atWebsite:

    New Zen Center in Vienna - Dharma room

    New Zen Center in Vienna - Office

    New Zen Center in Vienna - Hallway

    New Zen Center in Vienna - Teachers room & Interview room

    The Vienna Zen CenterThe Vienna Zen Center was in use the minute the doors opened way before the opening cere-mony. 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.
  • News from the Sanghas

    The German Sangha

    Where do we come from?

    In August we celebrated the Founders 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.

    Page 5

    Founders Day - kido Sangha picnic and relaxing in a park after the Ceremony

    Contact:Address: Gottschedstrae 4, 13357 Berlin, GermanyEmail: info@kwanumzen.dePhone: (+49) 30 - 46 60 50 90 Website:
  • News from the Sanghas

    Bratislava Zen Center / Slovakia

    What has been new since last spring?

    /^^\Our great moktak master, Veronika Brderov, 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 Buddhas Birthday. Several Tibetan Schools (Karma Kagju, Jonang, Karma Thegsum Choling), Theravadan School (St) and Zazen International Slovensko (St) 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.

    /^^\We have our regular retreats in February, April, June, October and December led mostly by our National Treasure, Oleg uk JDPSN. We also participated at the retreats organized by sister sanghas - Koice Zen Center (YMJJ led by Ji Kwan SSN in February) and Vrn Zen Center (YMJJ led by Zen Master Dae Kwang Sunim in July). In June, we visited Pieany Zen Group, our satellite for Barry Briggs PSNs and Zen Master Dae Kwang Sunims Dharma Talks.

    Page 6

    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

  • 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 stu-dents 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 Years Eve.

    /^^\Were 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 student