top of page


The Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom (BSCW) is a North American Buddhist order originating from the Korean Zen (Seon) tradition. The independent order was founded in the summer of 1967 as the Zen Lotus Society by Ven. Samu Sunim in New York City. 


The BSCW order operates in Canada, Mexico, and the US via three separate and distinct legal entities, one in each country: Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom - U.S.A. (“BSCW-USA”); Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom - Canada (“BSCW-Canada”); Sociedad Budista para la Sabiduria Compasiva (“BSCW-Mexico”).




The US legal entity BSCW-USA is a not-for-profit corporation domiciled in Michigan. It is a religious organization that meets the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, and is tax-exempt. BSCW-USA operates Zen Buddhist Temples in Chicago, IL and Ann Arbor, MI, and other programs in furtherance of its mission.


The BSCW-USA board, operating pursuant to the bylaws, is the deliberative, legislative, administrative, and executive body of the organization. Current board members and officers are: Ven. Toan Sunim, Dharma Master; Nojak Bill Solomonson Administrator; Jagwa Kelly Devenport, Secretary; Kohye Jeff Boland, Treasurer; Tana Thom Vacca, board member at large; Achala Jeff LeGro, board member at large.


The BSCW-USA board is advised by the Sangha Council, composed of all ordained clergy of all three BSCW entities and elected senior sangha members. Board members of BSCW-USA are elected from and by the Sangha Council once per year in July.


BSCW-USA adopted an Ethics Policy as of July 9, 2020. The updated Ethics Policy with Process Addressing Conflict and Facilitating Reconciliation (April 20, 2022) is available for download.




The Canadian legal entity BSCW-Canada is a registered public charity. It operates Zen Buddhist Temples in Toronto, ON and New York, NY, Spring Wind Farm in Clermont, NY, and other programs in furtherance of its mission.


Board members and officers are elected for two year terms and operate in accordance with the bylaws. Current board members are:  Toan Sunim, Korim Fred Prack, Kohye Jeff Boland and Jayong Michael Costello.


Current officers are: Rev. Sanha Park, Executive Director; Korim Fred Prack, Chair; Ilch’o Ed Keenan, Secretary.




The Mexican legal entity BSCW-Mexico is a religious organization which operates the Centro Budista Zen in Mexico City and other programs in furtherance of its mission.


BSCW Organizational Structure

bottom of page