The Great Korean Zen Master Chung Wha received his ordination under the guidance
of preceptor Geumta at Backyang monastery in 1947 at the age of 24.
For the next
forty years, Chung Wha lived an ascetic life as a mendicant monk, visiting meditation halls, caves and hermitages throughout Korea. In 1985, the master turned back to-
wards the world, and began to give dharma talks to the public. The Venerable Chung
Wha’s practice embraced severe self-discipline: almost never lying down, and taking only a single meal each day.
In efforts to disseminate his vision of Buddhism, he opened the Diamond Zen Center in Banning in southern California in 1995, and he reorganized Carmel Sambosa, of Carmel Valley in central California in 1994.
The Venerable Chung Wha has written extensively about Buddha’s teachings; a
number of his books were published both before and after his passing. He served as
a member of the Council of Elders for the Jogye Order until his death in 2003.