News and Photos Archive

Zen Dharma Talk to the Conference on Faith and Humanitarian Action

Sunim suggested a way forward for those supporting faith-based humanitarian action. The Conference on Faith and Humanitarian Action was held at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Faith and Humanitarian Actino Speech

Zen Dharma Talk to Oakton High School

Sunim challenged students from Oakton High School with Koans and Zen dialogue. “Fresh young minds are not yet trapped within a Tower of Babel”, Sunim said afterwards. “So now is the time to reach them.” Even so, the students chased a few mud balls before they learned how to bite the thrower. By reaching out to students of all ages, we can help them escape their own Tower of Babel and, consequently, understand where their chanting is coming from.

Sunim also introduced the Majo's 30 blows Koan as part of a Dharma Exchange. Our appreciation to Mr.Waxman and wonderful students, who showed great interest and sincere participation.

Deep Koan Samadhi Camping Trip

When one's car runs out of gas, and another's has no tires, the Whip-poor-will's call echos through the trees as the Wild Turky leads its young to cover.

Once again, the World Zen Fellowship hosted a three day camping retreat. This time it was held at Greenridge State Forest in Western Maryland.

Picture of Camping Practitioners


The World Zen Vesak Ceremony celebrates the birth and teachings of the Buddha and of all the other great sages. We held the Eighth Annual Vesak and Precepts Ceremony at the Baltimore Zen Center.

Zen Precepts are benchmarks of social virtue and a great path to the utmost enlightenment. By taking the five great precepts and the three jewels, members become Real-Zen-Eyed-Practitioners; in other words, 'Blue Mountain' members.

Picture of Precept Ceremony Attendees

University of Maryland Dharma Lectures

Sunim gave a two hour Dharma talk at the University of Maryland at College Park. The topic was True Enlightenment. Sunim said, "What we should focus is the questioner. Questioners bring their own Truth to their question, whenever and whatever the question is. Sutra or Bible is nothing but an example of how to hatch the questioner’s Egg of Truth. If the questioner is properly answered, he or she will awaken with the truth itself."

Sunim also introduced the Mount Sumeru and other Koans as part of a Dharma Exchange. Our appreciation to Professor Urubshurow and her wonderful students, who showed great interest and sincere participation.

Picture of students and University of Maryland Students

Seventh Annual Lotus Lantern Event

Over 1,000 Washington area residents joined us in Del Ray to make more than 550 lotus lanterns -- the symbol of Buddha's Enlightenment, which is the mind flower that blooms in a suffering world. This is the seventh time we led this annual event. To guide the artists, Sangha members manned a booth on Mt. Vernon Avenue, which was blocked off to vehicle traffic.

Smile and Lotus    

Fifth Annual Mountaintop Retreat

Harmonious like the nighttime stars, high as the snow topped peaks, Potomac Zen Sangha members deepened their koan practice through Zen meditation and Dharma exchange in the Colorado mountains west of Denver.

The daily schedule began at dawn with sitting meditation at 9000 feet.  After lunch, members hiked, sat outdoors, and relaxed in the Indian hot springs. In the evenings, after Sunim's Dharma talk, members sat together until midnight.  Thanks to Phil and Beth for generously donating their Mountain Retreat again this year. 

During the retreat, Sunim gave a Dharma talk at Naropa University.  

Sitting on the mountaintop Working

Chesapeake Bay Retreat

Where the water meets the sky and geese and ducks cavort, what is meditating?

World Culture Open Dharma Talk

Amid the crackling fire, Sangha members find the answer.

World Culture Open Dharma Talk

Sangha Camping Retreat

In July, in Pennsylvania, the World Zen Fellowship hosted a three day camping retreat. Fresh air and fresh minds refreshed Zen spirits. But "fresh" is already stale, so what did they experience? Come to the Sangha and find out.

Seventh Annual Buddha's Birthday & Precept Ceremony

In May, at the Baltimore Zen Center Location, the World Zen Fellowship celebrated Buddha's Birthday. On Buddha's birthday, we take refuge in the three Jewels and the five Precepts. They are a benchmark of social virtue and various meditations. Sangha members took five precepts and received a Dharma name and Kasa. They became blue-mountain members.

Zen is always with you when you are keeping your eyebrows and not pursuing material objects. All the Great Sages' amazing teachings strongly ask us to obtain perfect Enlightenment in this fast-paced life.

Precepts Ceremony Group Photo

Chesapeake Bay Retreat

The calm bay, honking geese, shooting stars, corn fields, nice neighbors, and quiet trails full of sunshine joined our Zen Retreat. Such wonderful people and what a beautiful house! It was a very mindful retreat, free, strong, clear and joyful. Yes we were there, we practiced hard and we became Zen itself.     

All Buddhas who came form many different universes bless our retreat and sit with us at Pickbourn Farm. We deeply appreciated the great love of Lewis's family and neighbors.

Bonfire of the attachments Retreat participants group portrait

Volunteering at DC Kitchen for the Homeless

Sunim said, "Homeless friends are like monks but they don't have koans, which are the great path of enlightenment. Let's give them Zen koans not only with words but with Zen activity!"

The World Zen Fellowship joined the Buddhas' Kitchen, where members helped prepare donated food into more than 4,000 meals for distribution to homeless shelters in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia! Thanks to Sunim and Brian McNair for coordinating the event.

DC Kitchen DC Kitchen

Dharma Talk at Columbia University

Sunim gave a Dharma Talk on using "Eternal Truth" in daily life at Columbia University's Earl Hall Auditorium in New York City. The Master's Zen talk was followed by a brief meditation session and Dharma exchange with the audience. Seven year-old Sae Won Oh performed a Korean Fan Dance, followed by Wisdom Moon's Zen Drum performance.

Ven.Z.M.Pohwa Sunim began by saying: "Do not chase God. Do not follow Buddha outside. Use Your Eternal Truth in Daily Life! There is no beyond or behind. There is no source or origin. When there is no seed, it has already been sprouted!"

Professor Orlando Brugnola graciously coordinated the event and the Reverend Nagaki, President of the NY Buddhist Council was recognized by Sunim. Before the Dharma talk, members of the Buddhist Council and our Sangha shared a dinner.


Dharma Talk at The World Culture Open

Our Sangha was invited by the World Culture Open (WCO) to participate in the creation of an innovative and compassionate movement toward developing a culture of harmony and symbiosis among all people. Starting with a bell sound for World Peace, several members meditated with Master Sunim on the stage. Master Sunim gave a Dharma talk titled "Mountain is Mountain, River is River." Sign Language interpreters were present to deliver the Dharma Talk to the hearing impaired.

World Culture Open Dharma Talk

GW and U of Maryland Dharma Lectures

Sunim gave Dharma talks at George Washington University in DC and the University of Maryland at College Park. The lectures were about the general principles of Zen and Koan practice. Sunim said, "This dual world is like The Garden of Eden. How can you not bite the apple of good and evil in every single moment of your life?"

Sunim giving talk at GWU

And Sunim asked Ma-Jo's 30 blows Koan. Students brought answers to exchange enlightenment from their center, which is the center of God and Buddha and the Universe.

Our appreciation to Professor Urubshurow and her wonderful students, who showed great interest and sincere participation.

UMD students wth Sunim.

First United Nations Vesak Ceremony

The World Zen Fellowship sent a delegation to New York's United Nations.  The Buddhist group led by Zen Master Pohwa Sunim was invited by the UN to celebrate Vesak (the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing away). It was the UN's recognition of Buddhism's 2500 years of contribution to human spirituality.

Sunim and Monks at the UN

More UN Vesak Ceremony News & Photos