Our Guiding Teacher

Zen Master Dae Gak

Zen Master Dae Gak is the Founder, Abbot and Guiding Teacher of Furnace Mountain. He has practiced Zen for almost forty years, and received Inka (permission to teach in 1986) and final Dharma transmission as a Zen Master from the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1994. Before becoming a student of Zen Master Seung Sahn, he studied extensively with other teachers in Japanese lineages.

Zen Master Dae Gak, together with Mara Genthner, founded the Lexington Zen Center in 1980, and began building the retreat center at Furnace Mountain in 1986.

For more than 20 years, Zen Master Dae Gak has taught in America and internationally. In 1997-1998 he led the annual three month retreat (Kyol Che) at Shin Won Sah in Korea, and for many years he led the annual Christian Zen retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemane, where Thomas Merton lived. He leads our monthly retreat program at Furnace Mountain and also travels regularly to teach students in affiliated centers across America, in Europe and in South Africa.

Zen Master Dae Gak has given Inka, or permission to teach, to a number of senior students. In 2006, he gave Dharma Transmission to Sen Shin Zen Master, Abbot and Guiding Teacher of the Queensland Zen Center in Brisbane, Australia.

His second book, Upright with Poise and Grace can be purchased directly from Furnace Mountain.

Since his recognition as a teacher Zen Master Dae Gak has directed his life toward supporting people in their efforts to realize their original nature of fearless immediacy and unbounded compassion, following the clear teaching of the Zen Ancestors and his own realization that the practice of spiritual inquiry cannot be fixed, organized or institutionalized.

"All beings cry out ...

All mistakes point
the Way ...

Everything is Truth ...

Put aside self interest and help others."

Zen Master Dae Gak

zm walking

Find your original job and do it impeccably.
Never give up.
While failure is possible, there is nothing that cannot be transmuted.
Our mistakes are our teachers and our alchemy is in our heart’s blood.
Our breath is our point of entry to truth.
It is with us always, as us, as all of creation.
Find the breath in everything.

Zen Master Dae Gak

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