Zen practice helps us to realize our true self and serve this world with wisdom and compassion.

The Providence Zen Center is a residential and non-residential community of lay persons and monastics in rural Rhode Island. Founded by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, it is the head temple of the North American Kwan Um School of Zen. The mission of the Providence Zen Center is to provide Zen training for all, through daily practice, regularly scheduled retreats and an international exchange of teachers and practitioners. We welcome newcomers and teach how to meditate via weekly classes.


CIMG2603Anyone is welcome to join the daily practice sessions. Newcomers can join the practice by following the forms as given through orientation. If you are visiting for the first time and cannot attend the Introduction to Zen class, please ask the Head Dharma Teacher for orientation. You are always welcome to ask questions of any Dharma Teacher (senior student wearing long robes) or other students at the center. Please follow the link to the schedule of our meditation instruction classes that is available for newcomers. Free and open to all newcomers, this class offers an orientation to Zen meditation. Basic meditation instructions and Dharma room forms are given with some Q & A. No registration needed. Students are encouraged to stay for the public Dharma talk or practice following the class. Class can be taken more than once if desired.

Our Teachers

Zen Master Bon Haeng

Abbot, Co-Guiding Teacher
The North American Abbot of the Kwan Um School of Zen, a co-guiding teacher of ...

Nancy Hedgpeth, JDPSN

Co-Guiding Teacher
Nancy Hedgpeth, JDPSN has been a student of Zen Master Seung Sahn since 1979 ...

José Ramírez, JDPSN

Guest Teacher
José Ramírez, JDPSN is the Guiding Teacher of the Delaware Valley Zen ...

Doug Walsh

Vice Abbot
After attending an agricultural high school, Doug Walsh entered the Navy for ...

Kwan Haeng Sunim

Head Dharma Teacher
Kwan Haeng went to Korea in 1997. He was ordained as a novice monk in April, ...
Our Guest Stay Program
Meditation Center- Retreat Center- Meditation Guests Stay- Tempelstay-Our Guest Stay program is designed to allow folks to stay in the Zen Center and experience community life for a short period of time, without the rigorous schedule of a retreat. All faiths and cultures are welcome to come learn more about Zen Center life and our Buddhist practice. We offer morning and evening meditation in the Kwan Um School of Zen tradition which includes bowing, chanting and sitting Zen. Meals are included in the overnight training fee and are on a help yourself basis, but you can often find one of our staff or residents preparing a large meal for everyone to enjoy. Participate in our daily work meeting and volunteer an hour or so of your time to help with different jobs around the property. Or if you have your own work to do, head back to your private room or find a quiet place to do it. With four different Dharma rooms and 50 acres of property there’s always a place to meditate if your looking for a spot where you can do extra practice during the day or night. We also have many on-going programs that run through-out the year, including but not limited to, Sunday morning meditation instruction classes and programs, intensive meditation retreats, and Wednesday night community dinners. Our Guest Stay program runs most days a year. To insure an optimal experience, we ask for a minimum of 3 days advance notice of your anticipated arrival date. In most cases, we will provide sheets, blankets and pillows. For your convenience, please bring your own towel. If you would like to learn more or book your Guest Stay Reservation, please email director@providencezen.org. If you are interested in an extended Guest Stay at PZC, you may begin the process by completing our Resident Application Form.
Overnight Guest Stay Fees   Non-members and associate members $60/Night*   KUSZ Members $40/Night   KUSZ Dharma teachers and dharma teachers in training $30/Night   *Discounts available for Guests over Age 65 and full-time college students
Is Membership For You?
As you may know, Providence Zen Center does not charge a fee for attending the daily practice. One of the major sources of income for the center is membership. Membership helps the center to maintain its operating expenses and to continue its weekly and monthly programs. It also helps support the Kwan Um School of Zen and its effort to bring Zen teaching to new students and to other parts of the world.     If you visit the center frequently, attend weekly practices, have interviews, join our weekly dharma talks, then membership is something to consider. Also, if you can not make it to the center regularly and still want to support it, one way to support it is by membership. Members receive discounts at our monthly retreats. They also receive the School’s Primary Point magazine and its newsletter.

Become a Member

To become a member in North America, please print out an application and mail with your payment or become a member online at the Kwan Um School Membership page.


If you would like to make a donation to our center, you can do it securely online with credit card or PayPal.
Our Residency Program
Living in a Zen community is an excellent choice if you are looking to deepen your Kido Nancy 8.15 far end cropped practice in a supportive environment. PZC is located on a fifty acre wooded property in the outskirts of Cumberland, Rhode Island, about 20 minutes from Providence and one hour from Boston.  The serene woodland location provides an ideal setting for Zen practice, while our proximity to Providence and Boston allow easy access to the arts, culture, and fine dining.  Since PZC is the head temple of the Kwan Um School of Zen, there are several opportunities each year to participate in events such as Sangha weekends and Dharma teacher retreats attended by Sangha members from across the US and around the world, and to attend talks and interviews with visiting KUSZ teachers. Please review our Resident Handbook to make sure our Residency Program is right for you.
imagesPZC can be more economical than living alone or sharing a house or apartment with roommates. The monthly fee is currently $675 for a private room with shared bathrooms throughout the building. Food and filtered drinking water are provided for residents, and each week several meals are prepared for the community. In the summer months we grow much of our own produce in our organic garden. There is plenty of support for practice, with group practice being offered every morning and evening 7 days a week, monthly weekend retreats, and long Kyol Che retreats each Winter and Summer.  Residents can receive regular interviews and attend talks by our Guiding Teachers and visiting KUSZ teachers.  The monthly training fee covers all retreats at PZC (including the long Kyol Che retreats), utilities, and wireless internet access in bedrooms and hot spots throughout the building.
  Sangha Meeting 2003-08-31 #04 copy Zen Master Seung Sahn encouraged his students to live together in Zen centers where they can derive strength and support from each other’s continuing practice. The regular schedule of practicing, eating and working together acts as a backdrop for seeing our karma appear and disappear. We use the analogy of washing potatoes together in a big pot of water. As the potatoes bump into one another, they clean each other more quickly and efficiently than if each potato was cleaned individually.  In the Zen center, we can see clearly how our opinions create problems by coming between us and the situation that we find ourselves in. When we let go of these opinions it is possible to live our every day lives with clarity and harmony. As we learn to cooperate, to see clearly and to accept people and situations as they really are, our minds become strong and wide. Then it becomes possible to act harmoniously and help other people with no trace of ourselves. If you interested in living at PZC, or would like more information on residential training, please contact the PZC Director. You may begin the process by completing our Resident Application Form.
Dharma School For Kids


The Providence Zen Center offers classes for children ages 6-13 and their families in meditation, mindfulness and our Zen tradition. Classes are held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month from 10-11:15AM, September through June.


The Providence Zen Center launched Dharma School in December 2010 and continues to offer classes the second and fourth Sundays of each month at 10am from September to June. The mission of the PZC Dharma School is to provide sangha members and other interested parents the opportunity to involve their children in Buddhist education and mediation practice. Dharma School’s goal is to introduce children to our Zen tradition, while emphasizing creativity, play, and togetherness. It is our hope that the Dharma School will help create an atmosphere in which families feel welcome to bring their children to the Zen Center for exposure to the dharma and meditation practice.   The program is open to any child, age 6 to 13, interested in exploring the dharma. Older children and teenagers are always welcome to attend dharma talks or sittings in the main dharma room.  If older children have an interest in mentoring younger students, they are invited to assist in Dharma School classes.  Parents are welcome to contact the school to determine the best fit for their child.


Each Dharma School class is centered on a Buddhist theme or teaching, many of which are taken from sources such as the Buddha’s life, the Jataka Tales, the Four Noble Truths, and the Precepts and Paramitas. Every class is typically comprised of three major learning components: education about the Buddhist tradition, exploration of an ethical theme, and practice of mindfulness and meditation. These three components are explored through stories, crafts, movement, meditation, activities, and games.

Zen Center - Meditation Center- Meditation Class- Retreat Center- prayinkidsFOR MORE INFORMATION:

If you are interested in becoming involved, please attend a class; students may join at any time. If you would like more information on Dharma School, please write dharmaschool@providencezen.org  or visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/PZCDharmaSchool.  

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Morning Practice Schedule

Mornings (including Sunday)
5:00 Wake up
5:15 108 Bows
5:45 Morning Bell Chant followed by Regular Chanting
6:30 - 7:00 Sitting meditation

5:00 Wake up
5:15 108 Bows
5:45 Regular Chanting
6:15 House meeting followed by 30 minutes sitting meditation

9:00 am Meditation Instruction Class
9:30 am Two half hour sitting periods with a ten minute walking meditation in-between
10:45 am Dharma Talk
11:30am Refreshments

Morning and Evening Practice Are Open To The Public.

Evening Meditation Schedule

Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
7:00 Regular Chanting
7:20 - 8:20 Sitting & Walking Meditation

7:00 Regular Chanting
7:20 - 8:20 Sitting & Walking w/Kong-an Interviews

5:30 See our getting started classes..

7:00 Chanting
7:15-7:45 Sitting Meditation

Upcoming Events

  1. Full Weekend Christian-Buddhist Retreat

    November 2 @ 7:30 pm - November 4 @ 3:30 pm
  2. 7-Day Yong Maeng Jong Jin Retreat with Zen Master Soeng Hyang (Barbara Rhodes)

    December 1 @ 8:00 am - December 7 @ 3:30 pm
  3. Winter Kyol Che 2019

    01/05/2019 @ 8:00 am - 04/05/2019 @ 11:00 am