What is significant about the Kwan Um School of Zen Buddhism?

I heard that Seung Sahn founded the Kwan Um School of Zen.
What is the difference between the Kwan Um School of Zen, and the Jogye (Chogye) Order of Zen.
I heard they were basically the same.
What rituals does they Kwan Um school do and what do they believe.
Links to websites with information would be appreciated!

2 thoughts on “What is significant about the Kwan Um School of Zen Buddhism?

  1. Here is a link to Seung Sahn at Wikipedia
    Jogye Order
    Kwan Um School of Zen
    Links to official sites and other resources at the bottom of the pages.

    Please refrain from telling me, that you know all about Wikipedia, [that is if you were going to].
    Because 1) Someone else might like the link and 2) I don’t care.

  2. I practice within the Kwan Um School of Zen and was a student of Zen Master Seung Sahn.

    The Jogye order is the dominant monastic order of Buddhism in Korea. The large majority of Korean Buddhist monks and nuns are members of the Jogye Order and most Buddhist temples in Korea are owned by the order. Although the Jogye order is nominally a Seon (Zen) order, in practice it encompasses a great variety of Buddhist teachings and methods.

    When Zen Master Seung Sahn founded the Kwan Um School of Zen (he began teaching in the West in 1972), he based the organization in part on the Jogye Order. However, he also recognized that the West lacked the basic infrastructure for a traditional Korean monastic organization. So the Kwan Um School is a kind of hybrid organization – partly monastic, partly lay, that encompasses some but not all aspects of the traditional Jogye Order practice.

    In recent years, the Jogye Order has given increased recognition to the Kwan Um School as a part of the Jogye Order, but in the early years the school was not seen as part of the order. Practitioners within the school can become members of the Kwan Um School of Zen but this does not make them members of the Jogye Order.

    The Kwan Um School of Zen functions as a traditional Zen organization, with a “school Zen master” (Barbara Rhodes) and other officials such as a school abbot. It has satellite organizations (local Zen centers) around the world – maybe 150 of them. There are about 15 or 20 Zen masters within the school and many other dharma teachers.

    The Kwan Um School employs many of the traditional Zen training methods. These include:
    – prostrations
    – chanting
    – sitting meditation
    – kong-an (koan) training
    – walking meditation
    – work practice
    In addition, the School holds ceremonies on important Buddhist holidays, operates prison outreach programs, and offers traditional Zen meditation retreats (some of which last 3 months). The school has important temples outside of Taejon, South Korea; outside of Providence RI; and in Paris and rural Hungary.

    If you have specific questions, please feel welcome to contact me.

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