The Founding Teacher of our School was the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, who was called Dae Soen Sa Nim (Great Honored Zen Teacher) by his students.
He was the 78th Patriarch in his line of Dharma transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism, and founded temples in Japan and Hong Kong. In 1972 he came to the United States and started what became the Providence Zen Center, the first center in what is now the Kwan Um School. Dae Soen Sa Nim gave dharma transmission to Zen Masters and “inka” teaching authority to senior students called Ji Do Poep Sa Nims (Guides to the Way, or Dharma Masters). The Kwan Um School of Zen currently has 44 teachers throughout the world.