Hyon Gak Sunim

Over 30 years ago, after graduating from university, Paul J. Muenzen was ordained “Hyon Gak Sunim” in a secret ceremony in the Temple of the Sixth Patriarch, on Chogye Mountain in Guangzhou, the People’s Republic of China, by his Teacher – the legendary Zen Master Seung Sahn.

Since then, Sunim has been constantly engaged in intensive traditional 90-day silent retreats (ango) in the ancient temples of China, Korea and Japan – completely cut off from news of the outside world, from family, from conversation, drilling down completely into the question of our very existence — “Why was I born in this world, why must I die? What am I?”

An earth-shattering insight of awakening during an intensive solo retreat in the mountains was later confirmed by Zen Master Seung Sahn in 2000, and in 2001, Hyon Gak Sunim was publicly authorised to bring these teachings to the world.

Sunim has recently decided to share here, for the first time in an online course format, the training fundamentals that have been passed down from teacher to student for 2,500 years, unbroken since the time of the Buddha.

“The technology of Zen is not a belief, a system or an ideology. It is not a religion or a theology.”

Hyon Gak Sunim

What is
Mirror of Zen?

The Mirror of Zen is a classic 500 year-old text of admonitions and supports for Zen practice and the Great Bodhisattva Way, by Zen Master So Sahn (1520-1604). It was written in a time of strife and war, urging monks to wake up to their true nature.

This Mirror of Zen is a platform providing digital content and retreats for the work of waking up through talks, guided meditations, chanting meditation and other mind-techs of this radically direct and clear practice.

We’re not going to pursue this as some academic understanding or some conceptual knowledge about this tradition or that tradition.

Mirror of Zen courses require no religious affiliation of any kind — Sunim does not teach religion or some belief system. The courses also do not presuppose any knowledge of Buddhism or other meditative tradition.

Zen meditation is not difficult. We’re going to show you how accessible, how direct are the benefits of Zen – realizable right now.

Mirror of Zen Courses

A Day in the Moment
of a Modern Zen Monk


Wake Up!

The Online Course was a surprise happening to our entire community — this was not produced by some slick company. Hear about the labor of Dharma-love here…

"This Project has been a labor of love which took my meditation to a much deeper level. Wow! I'm recommending this to all my friends."

"The training I received in film school was stretched to the limit — and beyond — on this beautiful work. So happy to have been involved."

"Having practised for over 15 years in another Zen lineage, the months spent on this Project have deepened my understanding in unexpected ways and have revolutionized my practise!"

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Zen Center Regensburg

You can also join the Sangha of those who support the
community that supports his work of your waking up!

Support & Follow
Hyon Gak Sunim

A small family of supporters contribute modest monthly offerings
to help Sunim to carry out these teachings and practices.