Five Mountain Zen Order - College of Archbishops
An Archbishop (Master Zen Teacher) is a bishop who, having received Inga and Dharma Transmission, presides over several dioceses in a large region. This position includes some supervisory responsibilities over both dioceses and bishops in that region. An Archbishop serves as a guide or instructor in religious matters; and is often the founder, or a leader within an Order. Additionally, the College of Archbishops serve as an equal Guiding Council for the Five Mountain Zen Order.
Ven. Wonji was ordained by Zen Master Seung Sahn as a Dharma teacher in 1995, as a Senior Dharma Teacher in 2001 and as a Brahmajala Monk in 2002. He received teaching authorization from Zen Master Ji Bong, in the Golden Wind Zen Order in April 2006. Wonji additionally received the 250 Bhikṣu vows on November 1, 2012, with Bhante Suhita Dharma (Hòa Thượng Thích Ân Đức), who was the first Dharma Heir of the Hòa Thượng Dr. Thiên Ân. Unfortunately, Bhante died suddenly on Dec. 28, 2013, in Los Angeles at Chùa Diệu Pháp Temple in San Gabriel, California, where he resided. He was 73. Following the agreement made with Bhante Suhita Dharma to study for at least five years under a Thien Master, on July 15, 2014, Wonji was accepted as a student of Ven. Thích Ân Giáo Roshi who was Bhante Suhita's Dharma Brother and close friend. Wonji is studying the intricacies of monastic practice and life from Ven. Ân Giáo.
Ven. Wonji originally began practicing Advaita Vedānta as well as Vipassana Meditation in 1985 with Swami Chaitanya Siraj and took refuge vows with his teacher that same year. Swami Chaitanya Siraj had studied with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in his Indian Ashram for many years and was designated as a teacher in Osho's lineage; additionally, Siraj's path of teaching was wide and open to all of the Wisdom Traditions.
Ven. Wonji's direction has been informed by Zen since his College days of studying Psychology. Wanting to experience the direct experience of koan study he eventually discovered Zen Master Seung Sahn and the Kwan Um School of Zen in 1989 and began practicing regularly at Dharma Zen Center in Los Angeles. After practicing and training at Dharma Zen Center for five years he received sanction and encouragement from Zen Master Seung Sahn to open the Huntington Beach Zen Center on August 14, 1993, where Wonji was installed as Abbot by Zen Master Seung Sahn during the Opening Ceremony.
The Huntington Beach Zen Center was renamed one year later at the first-anniversary ceremony by Zen Master Seung Sahn to Ocean Eyes Zen Center (Hae An Soen Won). The center was originally founded as a residential Zen Center where up to six students lived and practiced together every morning and every evening. The Zen Center eventually moved to Stanton and later to the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach where it remained until the center was forced to close and relocate to a non-residential Center in 2000 due to zoning issues with the City of Long Beach.
He has practiced with more than thirty different Zen Buddhist masters, as well as several Transmitted Catholic Zen masters during his studies and consequently maintains an eclectic approach to spirituality. Wonji earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Cal State Long Beach, he also holds a Master of Dharma Degree in Buddhist Psychology and a Doctor of Dharma in Buddhist Psychology from the Buddhist Studies Institute of Los Angeles. When the outgoing President and Abbot of both the Buddhist Studies Institute of Los Angeles and the International Buddhist Meditation Center of Los Angeles stepped down and retired Ven. Karuna Dharma, the previous President of the College, turned over control to the Five Mountain Zen Order. Ven. Wonji currently resides at Desert Zen Center - Chua Thien An, Lucerne Valley, CA.
Ven. Wonji was ordained by Zen Master Seung Sahn as a Dharma teacher in 1996, as a Senior Dharma Teacher in 2001 and as a Brahmajala Monk in 2002. He received teaching authorization from Zen Master Ji Bong, in the Golden Wind Zen Order in April 2006. Wonji additionally received the 250 Bhikṣu vows on November 1, 2012, with Bhante Suhita Dharma (Hòa Thượng Thích Ân Đức), who was the first Dharma Heir of the Hòa Thượng Dr. Thiên Ân. Unfortunately, Bhante died suddenly on Dec. 28, 2013, in Los Angeles at Chùa Diệu Pháp Temple in San Gabriel, California, where he resided. He was 73. Following the agreement made with Bhante Suhita Dharma to study for at least five years under a Thien Master, on July 15, 2014, Wonji was accepted as a student of Ven. Thích Ân Giáo Roshi who was Bhante Suhita's Dharma Brother and close friend. Wonji is studying the intricacies of monastic practice and life from Most Ven. Dr. Thich Ân Giáo.
Sadly, Ven. Wonji died on 20 December 2021. His legacy and teachings lives on in the teachings and practice of his many dharma heirs.
Ven. Wonji Dharma has written 14 books:
- Beyond Conceptual Thought, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Cold Heart Thawing, Poetry – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Peering Through the Clouds, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Circling a Black Hole, Poetry – Buddha Dharma University Press
- The Barrier That Has No Gate, Wu Men Guan, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Blue Cliff Record, Bìyán Lù, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Wu Shan Lu, Five Mountain Record, a collection of Kōans, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- The Dharmaguptaka Bhikṣu Pratimoksha, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Clear Instruction for the Five Mountains Volume One – Vinaya, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Clear Instruction for the Five Mountains Volume Two – Chàn Liturgy, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Clear Instruction for the Five Mountains Volume Three – Chàn Forms – Buddha Dharma University Press
- Clear Instruction for the Five Mountains Volume Three – Chàn Ceremonies, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- The Bodhidharma Lectures, – Buddha Dharma University Press
- It’s All Good! the Zen Teachings of Wonji Dharma, – Buddha Dharma University Press
Doshim writes a Zen blog, Original Mind, and offers a free weekly Buddhist podcast.
He has authored four books about Zen and meditation:
Ven. Myogyeong Hyeonmin Prajna 妙鏡玄純
Archbishop of Jǐuhuá Shān 九华山 (Nine Glories Mountain)
He is currently studying Zen with Archbishop Wonji Dharma, the Founder and Guiding Teacher of Five Mountain Zen Order, with whom he engages in weekly koan practice. He also serves as Abbot at Open Sky Zen Meditation & Buddhist Studies Group in New York City.
Ven. Sergio Myogyeong is presently working on plans to start offering the dharma en Español to the Spanish-speaking immigrant community of the Big Apple (most likely the biggest social group still largely untouched by the dharma.)
Ven. Myocheong Bonyeon Prajna, MA
Archbishop of Pǔtuó Shān 普陀山 (Mountain of Brilliance)
In addition to her duties running the Zen Center she also operates Yoga@Cattitude, where her mindfulness yoga classes emphasize the traditional purpose of yoga as a pathway out of suffering and liberation from conditioned reactivity.
Ordained as a Zen Priest in 2011, she is a graduate of the Prajna Institute for Buddhist Studies with a Master's of Arts Degree in Buddhist Studies. And she really, really likes cats.
Ven. Dr. Jinhye Songdo Prajna 眞惠先道
Thích Hiền Thành (Tim Langdell)
Archbishop of Lónghŭ Shān 龙虎山 (Dragon Tiger Mountain)
Ven. Jinhye is a Board Certified Palliative, Hospice and Pediatric Chaplain, being certified both as a Christian and Buddhist chaplain; he ministers to patients in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas of Southern California. He holds a Doctorate in Psychology from University College London as well as an M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology. He continues to be very active in both Zen and Christian practice, and remains passionate about the parallels between Buddha's teachings and the Wisdom teachings of Jesus. He is currently the head priest at a liberal, inclusive independent Catholic Church in Hollywood, CA, and is in process of becoming abbot of a new Five Mountain Zen Order community he is currently establishing at the same location, known simply as Still Center. Ven. Jinhye is a teacher and an author, and maintains various websites and blogs such as www.christbuddha.org, www.stillcenter.org and www.kids-rights.org.
Ven. Jingak Go'son Prajna 眞覺孤松
Thích Hiền Côtòng (Mike Ford)
Archbishop of Wǔdāng Shān 武當山 (Martial Equality Mountain)
After finishing his enlistment in the military, Ven. Jingak took a class on Zen Buddhism at the University of California at Los Angeles where he met his first Zen Master Thich Thien An who was teaching the class he was taking. Ven. Go'son, being intrigued by the practice of meditation eventually was ordained in the White Plum Asanga at the Zen Center of Los Angeles where he studied Soto Zen Buddhism for 20 years. While working in Las Vegas he discovered Buddha Dharma University which led to his ordination in the Five Mountain Zen Order.
He has recently been studying Zongmi and "The Avatamsaka Sutra". Touched by Dogen's "Uji" and Linji's shout. Br. Go'son lives with his wife, daughter and pet dog in Los Angeles, CA.
Ven. Dr. Jinsim Hyoenjin Prajna 眞深先真
Archbishop of Qíyún Shān 齊雲山) High Clouds Mountain
He holds a doctorate of East-West Psychology (1996) in comparative religions and transpersonal psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a focus on Eastern spirituality and meditation techniques involving over 40 years of ongoing investigative research. He received a master’s degree in Buddhist Studies from the Buddha Dharma University in 2015 and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Archbishop Dr. Jishou Dharma, M.T. (Richard Sears)
Jishou Dharma left Five Mountain Zen Order shortly after the passing of Ven Wonji
Archbishop Hwasahn Prajñā, PhD., L.Ac.
Ven. Dr. Cheongryang Dharma
Cheongryang Dharma left Five Mountain shortly after the passing of Ven. Wonji
Ven. Myohye Do'an Prajna, MDiv 妙慧道眼 (Antony Galbraith)
Myohye Do'an Prajna left Five Mountain shortly after the passing of Ven. Wonji
Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo Prajna 妙道慈财
Ven. Myodo reisgned from Five Mountain to form her own Zen Order "Enso Zen Order." We wish Ven. Myodo the very best in her new endeavor!