American Zen College

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American Zen College

A Zen center derived from the eclectic Chogye Buddhist sect of Korea and the activities of Zen Master Gosung Shin. Shin had been abbot of several large temples in southeastern Korea when he was invited to continue the work begun by Bishop Seo Kyung-Bo, who had previously established the World Zen Center at Spruce Run Mountain, Virginia.

Shin first came to the U.S. in 1970 as a student at Harvard University. In 1971 he moved to Philadelphia and taught religion at Lehigh University. He was offered space for a Zen center at Easton, Pennsylvania, and founded the Hui-Neng Zen Temple. After several years the Temple outgrew its space, and Shin moved to Woodhull, New York, where he established the Kwan Yin Zen Center.

Continued growth led to the closing of the Woodhull center and the creation of two new centers: the Zen Center of Washington (1977), which primarily serves Koreans living in the Washington, D.C. area, and the Seneca Lake Zen Center (1978) at 16815 Germantown Rd., Route 18, Germantown, Maryland 20767. The name "American Zen College" was adopted as an inclusive designation in the early 1980s. The college publishes the journal Buddha World.


Shin, Gosung. Zen Teachings of Emptiness. Washington, D.C: American Zen College Press, 1982.

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American Zen College

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