Our Guiding Teacher is Zen Master Jok Um, (Ken Kessel). ZM Jok Um received inka (authorization to teach in the Kwan Um School of Zen) in April 1996 from Zen Master Seung Sahn after over twenty years of intensive study and practice. In April 2017 he received Zen Master transmission.
Ken Kessel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been practicing as a psychotherapist since 1983, working with children and families in foster care, substance abuse, outpatient and inpatient mental health and therapeutic preschool settings, as well as in private practice. He specializes in infant and early childhood mental health. He resides in New York City. He is guiding teacher for New Haven Zen Center and for the Orlando Zen Center, Gateless Gate Zen Center (Gainesville) and Cypress Tree Zen Center (Tallahassee), and teaches at the Chogye International Zen Center of New York, as well as at other Zen Centers and affiliates.