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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.

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 Group Syllabus

January 2021 — June 2021

12 PM Eastern - 9 AM Pacific - 6 PM Central European

January 4th and 18th
Women in Buddhism
with Zen Master Bon Hae (Judy Roitman)

February 1st and 15th
The Platform Sutra
with Zen Master Dae Kwang

March 1st and 15th
Zen and Taoism
with Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stanley Lombardo)

April 5th and 19th
The Heart Sutra
with Arne Schaefer, JDPSN

May 3rd and 17th
The Mahayana Vision (including some of the Hua Yen Sutra and the Avatamsaka Sutra) 
with Zen Master Bon Hae (Judy Roitman)

June 7th and 21st
Medicine Buddha Sutra
with Bogumila Malinowska, JDPSN

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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 led by authorized teachers. Each call will offer small-group break-outs at the end 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.
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The live calls take place on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month

12 PM Eastern — 9 AM Pacific — 6 PM Central European

But what if you can't make those calls?


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. 

General Public


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


We offer a discount 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.