I first started Zen practice in early 1976 as one of the early members of the Brisbane Zen Group (BZG) a Japanese lineage. I went on my first Seshin (a 7 day retreat), with Robert Aitken Roshi in 1979 at Burradoo in NSW, with the Sydney Zen Group and after a few years began to see the need to expand not only my own practice but I could see the need for other people, who wanted to expand their practice also. So in 1988 with my late wife Irene and Dok, I opened the first full-time Zen training centre the Queensland Zen Centre (QZC) at Coorparoo, Brisbane. In 1994 we invited Zen Master Seung Sahn who came with Zen Master Su Bong and 3 other monks, Mu Shim Sunim, Dae Bong Sunim, and Mu Sang Sunim. From then on we knew we had found our home and the QZC became a member of the International Kwan Um School of Zen which is of a Korean lineage, the rest is history as they say. On the 13th February 1994 Dae Haeng was installed as the first Abbot of the newly named Dae Kwang Sa Zen Centre recommended by Zen Master Seung Sahn from the Korean lineage and marked the beginning of the Kwan Um School of Zen in Brisbane Australia. A Photo of the Ceremony conducted by Zen Master Dae Gak on the day of the installation of Peter Hart (Dae Haeng) as the Abbot of Dae Kwang Sa Zen Centre And a copy of the invitation that was sent out to all the other Buddhist Centre’s in Brisbane at the time, see below
After the death of Irene, I went to Korea and became ordained on June 16th, 1995, ordination photo shown above and I spent 6 months in Hwa Gye Sa Seoul after my ordination then 3 years in the USA at Furnace Mountain Zen Temple under Zen Master Dae Gak. In 1998 I came back to Australia and stayed approximately 2-1/2 yrs at Dae Kwang Sa as a resident monk. Sometime after I decided to re marry to Lin Cai Xia (Julia). We moved to China for 2 years teaching English at the High schools in Shanghai. After the 2 years, we returned to Australia and manage a Motel in a small town called Taree for 3 years then moved to Brisbane. After returning to Brisbane I was then asked to take up the position as vice-president of the Kwan Um of Zen Australia, and at the transmission ceremony of Zen Master Ku San Subhana Barzaghi Roshi encourage me to open a new Zen Centre, Although I was a different school and lineage Zen Master Ku San and Subhana Barzaghi Roshi gave me their support and encouragement in forming a new Zen Centre, so with the blessing of Julia my wife who is not a Zen practitioner, I went ahead and built a new Zen Centre at the rear section of our business and open up for Zen practice on the 21st February 2016 under the name of:
The Phoenix Zen Centre 3 Albury Street Deagon Brisbane 4017
Vice Abbot Do Kwang and Dharma Teacher
Dok first came to Zen practice in mid-1987 where he began sitting with the Brisbane Zen Group (BZG) on Sunday nights. In mid-1988 Dok along with Peter Hart (Dae Haeng) and his wife Irene decided that they needed more than just a weekly formal practice, so they rented a large house in Coorparoo and set up The Queensland Zen Centre (QZC), which was the first full-time residential Zen centre in Brisbane with daily morning and evening formal practice following a Japanese based system. At the end of 1993, they contacted the Kwan Um School of Zen in South Korea and expressed interest in knowing more about the Korean system of practice. In February 1994 The Kwan Um School Zen Master Seung Sahn and Zen Master Su Bong Sunim came to stay at the QZC and taught full time for a month. On 29th May 1994 along with eight others, Dok took the Five Precepts with Su Bong Sunim who had stayed on to run a retreat for the new members of the Kwan Um School. Following this, the members met and changed the name of the Zen centre to the Dae Kwan Sa Zen Centre at the suggestion of the school founder Zen Master Seung Sahn. In February 1995 Dok took monk precepts within the Kwan Um School and continued his practice. At the same time, he facilitated a Zen group in northern New South Wales, Petrie, and Maleny. After Peter's wife Irene died, Dok took over as the Abbot running the Dae Kwang Sa Zen Centre to free up Peter to travel to Korea to become a monk. And in 2007 was appointed president of the Kwan Um School of Zen Australia. The QZC-Dae Kwang sa inc is no longer part of the international Kwan um school of Zen since it has been deregistered soon after its guiding teachers Zen master Dae Gak and Kwong myong JPSN were ask to leave the Kwan Um school in October 2009 and soon after Dok formally handed his monks robes back to Zen master Dae Jin Sunim and in October 2010, Dae Jin Sunim formally recognized Dok as a Dharma Teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen. Since the opening on the 21st February 2016 Dok has been working as the Head Dharma Teacher at the Phoenix Zen Centre.
Founding Member Bup Hwa Dharma Teacher
It was in 1997 that I first came across the teachings of the Kwan Um School of Zen founded by the late Zen Master Seung Sahn. These teachings made a great impression upon me at the time and inspired me to take up Zen practice.
And in 1998 I received the Five Precepts from JPSN Kwang Myong Sunim who was my first teacher at QZC, after receiving the precepts I then made the decision to move into the (QZC) Dae Kwang Sa Zen Centre in the year 2000 to begin my monastic training. I then received my nun’s precepts in 2002, which was then followed by a 3 months winter retreat at Mu Sang Sa.
Then in 2005 I received my full nun’s precepts.
Later to decide to then returned to lay practice in 2007 and to then become a student of the late Zen Master Dae Jin Sunim who took over the running of the Kwan Um School of Zen Australia in that year I became and still am the hon secretary of Kwan Um School Australia. I then Joined the Phoenix Zen Centre on its opening 21st February 2016 to continue my practice and to help and support others in their practice as a Founding Member. Bup Hwa (Kathy Brackenridge)