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Zen Study Group

Study the sutras with experienced teachers to better understand your journey and the true meaning of these sacred texts.


1st and 3rd Monday of every month

1 PM Eastern — 10 AM Pacific — 7 PM Central European

Why study the sutras?
Isn't Zen only about clear mind?

If Zen is a special transmission outside of the scriptures and isn't supposed to stand on any words, why should I spend my time studying the texts?

While our practice should not depend on the words of others and we should look for truth in the direct experience of our true self. It is also easy to become caught in our own opinions without realizing it. Reading the sutras and other texts can shake us out of our own thinking, deepen our practice, and point to truth in ways that would not have occurred to us.. They are guideposts on the journey and, for that reason, very important for any student of the way.

Study online with like-minded people

Studying the sutras and other important texts can be intimidating. How many of us have tried to study them on our own but had trouble understanding or getting through the material?

The Zen Study Group offers you high-quality teaching and insight from established teachers, connects you with a group of people who are excited and invested in learning the material, and provides you with a framework to help you stay accountable to your commitment.

What is Included?

  • Two 1.5 hour ZOOM calls per month. The first call will be led by an authorized teacher, the second will be a facilitated open discussion. Each call will offer small-group break-outs for more intimate discussions.
  • Private forum for discussing insights and asking questions between calls and for building community.
  • Additional commentaries to help guide the discussion of the sutras.
  • All teacher-led discussions are recorded and archived.

What If I Can't Make The Live Call?


Think about the Zen Study Group like an online class with a live portion as possible option. 

Most of you probably will have a hard time coming to the live portion of this group regularly. But don't let this stop you from getting the support you need. All of the live sessions are recorded, both the audio and video, so you can listen or watch them later at your convenience. You can send in your questions ahead of time to the teacher. And you can ask questions in the Community Forum. There are lots of ways to get the help you need to study these important texts. 




Not a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen? No problem. This is an open study group. We welcome anyone who has a genuine interest in studying the sutras in order to improve their practice. 


KUSZ Members



Discount rate for dues-paying members of the Kwan Um School of Zen. Please register in order to receive your discount, which will be sent to your email address.


Study Group Syllabus

November 2019 - April 2020

October 21
Introduction to the Study Group
Compass of Zen pages xiii-40
Discussion facilitated by Ian White Maher

November 4
South East Asian Buddhism: Part One
Compass of Zen pages 43-84
Discussion led by Yuval Gill, JDPSN

November 18
South East Asian Buddhism: Part Two
Compass of Zen pages 85-111
Discussion led by Yuval Gill, JDPSN

December 2
Mahayana Buddhism
Compass of Zen
 pages 150-203
Discussion led by Zen Master Bon Hae
(Judy Roitman)

December 16
Zen Buddhism: Part One
Compass of Zen
pages 205-256
Discussion led by Alma Potter, JDPSN

January 6
Zen Buddhism: Part Two
Compass of Zen pages 257-305
Discussion led by Knud Rosenmayr, JDPSN

January 20
Zen Buddhism: Part Three
Compass of Zen pages 306-347
Discussion led by Zen Master Soeng Hyang (Bobby Rhodes)

February 3 
The Heart Sutra
Discussion led by Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stanley Lombardo)

February 17
The Heart Sutra
Discussion facilitated by Ian White Maher

March 2
The Diamond Sutra
Discussion led by Tim Lerch, JDPSN

March 16
The Diamond Sutra
Discussion facilitated by Ian White Maher

April 6
The Platform Sutra
Discussion led by Kathy Park, JDPSN

April 20
The Platform Sutra
Discussion facilitated by Ian White Maher



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I am excited you want to learn more about the the Zen Study Group. Register here to receive the link to the ZOOM meeting room we'll be using.