Welcome to Ocean Light Zen Center. We are a small, sincere community of Zen practitioners in West Seattle. Please join us any Sunday morning for meditation in good company.

Ocean Light Zen Center is the Seattle chapter of the Kwan Um School of Zen, a tradition that originated in China more than 1500 years ago, travelled to Korea and was brought to the US by Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1972. Our school now has more than 100 Zen centers around the world, all practicing the same ancient and beautiful meditation forms.

Ocean Light Zen Center has been operating in the Seattle area since 1980. Our tradition includes three main forms of Zen practice: bowing, chanting, and silent sitting or walking meditation. The practice forms are very simple, and once you’ve seen them, it is easy to follow along.

Traditionally, in China and Korea, only monastics engaged in Zen meditation – often spending at least six months each year in retreat. But in the West, nearly all Zen practitioners are men and women with jobs, families, and community obligations. Few lay practitioners can dedicate themselves to full-time Zen meditation. So our school teaches the importance of daily practice.

Daily practice means keeping a not-moving mind in every life situation. How do you keep a not-moving mind? In each moment, let go of your opinions, fears, or wants. Only pay attention with an open heart and open mind. When you are doing something – then do it authentically. This is how you keep a not-moving mind.

In that practice, we ask an open question – what is this? With a not-moving mind and an open question, then moment-to-moment you perceive each situation clearly; you can perceive your relationship in that situation, and then your true function as a human being appears effortlessly.

Zen practice runs every Sunday morning 9am – 11am at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse – 9131 California Ave SW in West Seattle.

If you have no prior experience with meditation, we invite you to come to the first Sunday of any month. We provide instruction and practice. On the other hand, if you have prior experience with Zen meditation – just show up any Sunday at 9am, we will have an extra cushion ready for you!


2018 Annual Calendar at a Glance

Weekly Zen Practice

Every Sunday – Regular practice at 9:00 am

Beginners and guests invited for Introduction to Zen practice on the First Sunday of every month

Kong-an interviews with guiding teacher Tim Lerch JPDSN on the Second & Fourth Sunday of every month

All regular practice sessions are at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse 9131 California Ave SW in West Seattle

Zen Retreats

  • June 24  One day retreat – 8 am to 6 pm
  • Oct 14 One-day retreat – 8 am to 6 pm

Annual Ceremonies

  • Apr 22  Buddha’s birthday –10 am following regular practice
  • Dec 2  Buddha’s enlightenment –10 am following regular practice