Our History

We’ve been here in Lawrence Kansas since 1978. Over time we’ve grown, solidified our practice, and enlarged our offerings. A member of the Kwan Um School of Zen, we were fortunate to have Zen Master Seung Sahn visit us every year for 14 years. Other teachers in the Kwan Um School of Zen visited us regularly as well — even in the early days we were able to sustain three or four retreats a year, which eventually grew to nearly every month. In 2019 we completed the building we currently occupy (as much as the pandemic will allow occupancy). During the pandemic our community has grown to include people from literally all over the world. We hope to sustain this community through hybrid practice, and when the pandemic recedes to offer even more activities — for children, for our community — than we did before.

And we have a remarkable record: Of the 25 fully authorized teachers in the Kwan Um School of Zen in the Americas who teach in the U.S., five come from Kansas Zen Center — Zen Master Dae Kwang (now based in Singapore, but a frequent visitor to the U.S. and the guiding teacher in Milwaukee), our teachers Zen Master Hae Kwang (Stan Lombardo) and Zen Master Bon Hae (Judy Roitman), Dennis Duermeier JDPSN (now the abbot of Providence Zen Center) and Rebecca Otte JDPSN (who is the guiding teacher of Prairyerth Zen Center in Topeka).