Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter


The significance of Holy Week is not for Christians alone. It's a time for all of us to test our own spiritual values, to determine how meaningful they are to us, and to pose the question, "Are we willing to die for them that others might live?" Daily we have the opportunity to die to the old and rise to the new.
~Ven. Hae Doh, Bishop - America-European Parish of Korean Buddhist Taego Order

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Taego Order Sangha in Michigan

 A new Taego Order sangha has been formed in the Clarkston - Waterford, Michigan area, Rising Lotus Zen (, established by Ven. Bup Hae Candace Palopoli and Ven. Bup Woo Tim Sheehy, formerly of Muddy Water Zen. The response to a sangha in that area has been phenomenal.  Those living in the northern regions of Oakland County and above should consider giving RLZ a visit.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Royal Oak man makes history as bishop of Taego Order of Korean Buddhism

Royal Oak man makes history as bishop of Taego Order of Korean Buddhism

From The Detroit News:

Royal Oak — A Royal Oak man has been ordained bishop of the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism, becoming the first American to serve in that position.
Venerable Hae Doh Gary Schwocho was consecrated as the bishop of America-Europe Parish of the Zen order.
Schwocho, 65, founded the Muddy Water Zen Buddhist temple in Royal Oak. He is also a local veterinarian. Bishop Hae Doh Schwocho will oversee 45 clergy and monks and will preside over 26 Buddhist temples in the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism in the United States, Canada and Europe.
"This is a very important day for the development of the Taego Order and Buddhism in America, Europe and Canada. Buddhism will need to be brought to these countries through the efforts of those born and raised here, those with an intimate understanding of our cultures and the needs of our Sangha members," Schwocho said Sunday. With the continued support of our Order in South Korea, we will have essentially built a bridge between 1,600 years of Korean Buddhism and Buddhism in the West."
About 70 people attended the elaborate two-hour ceremony to install the bishop who will serve four years.
Venerable Bup Chon Eastman, who was ordained as a monk in South Korea, who serves at Muddy Water Zen and is the director of education for the Taego Order in the U.S., Europe and Canada, said Schwocho was a great selection for bishop.
"The choice of Bishop Hae Doh to take over this position is an important one for all of our Sangha members and for the development of Buddhism in America, Europe and Canada," said
"He brings not just the wisdom and experience of his Buddhist background, but due to his past in Christian ministry before moving into Buddhism, he is able to provide a depth of understanding with people of other religions and faiths," said Eastman.
Two reverends also were ordained Saturday.
(313) 222-2-2027

From The Detroit News:

Local veterinarian ordained as Buddhist bishop

Local veterinarian ordained as Buddhist bishop

Resident is first American-born bishop of American-Europe Parish

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Local veterinarian ordained as Buddhist bishop
Venerable Jong Mae Park, left, conducts a Buddhist induction ceremony for, from left, Venerable Hae In Lissabet, Venerable Hae Kwang Gallop and Bishop Hae Doh Gary Schwocho Feb. 2 at Muddy Water Zen in Royal Oak. After eight years in the role, Park was turning over his bishop duties to Schwocho, a Royal Oak resident.
From left, Venerable Hae In Lissabet, Venerable Hae Kwang Gallop and Bishop Hae Doh Gary Schwocho reflect during a Feb. 2 Buddhist induction ceremony at Muddy Water Zen in Royal Oak.
From left, Venerable Hae In Lissabet, Venerable Hae Kwang Gallop and Bishop Hae Doh Gary Schwocho reflect during a Feb. 2 Buddhist induction ceremony at Muddy Water Zen in Royal Oak.
ROYAL OAK — Perhaps one of the city’s most well-kept secrets is that it hosts one of the nation’s largest Korean Buddhist Taego Order temples, which has produced the first-ever American-born bishop of the American-Europe Parish this past weekend.
Venerable Hae Doh Gary Schwocho, 66, was ordained for a four-year term as the Buddhist bishop Feb. 2 at Muddy Water Zen, 2421 Yale Ave. As the leader of the collective parishes outside of Korea, Schwocho will oversee the Taego Order clergy for the U.S., Europe and Canada while also managing the internal directions and growth of the group’s sangha (religious community) as their spiritual leader. He will establish policy, education and practice, and lead clergy retreats and ongoing training.
“I never would’ve guessed it,” Schwocho said. “This is the kind of work I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a product of the ’60s. I want to help animals and help people.”
Schwocho, who has run a veterinarian practice in Hazel Park since 1978, converted his house into an abbey and garage into a small temple for Muddy Water Zen in 2004, after it started in November 2003. Services originally took place Sunday evenings at a Unitarian church in Troy until August 2004, when Schwocho began hosting them and renovated his garage into a worship space.
“Muddy Water Zen is a house and a temple garage that started about nine years ago,” said Venerable Bup Chon Brent Eastman, a Troy resident. “The name of Muddy Water comes from the idea of a lotus flower that grows up through muddy water and blossoms when it hits the surface.”
One of the largest Korean Buddhist Taego Order temples in the U.S., Muddy Water Zen is located in the middle of a neighborhood southwest of Sixth and Stephenson. Eight of the 40 U.S. clergymen practice at Muddy Water Zen.
“This little garage temple has turned into a real productive location for the Taego Order,” Schwocho said.
Neither Schwocho nor Eastman fit the Buddhist monk mold that many may envision from the movies.
“We’re all born and raised in America and have just embraced the culture,” Eastman said. “I’ve been practicing for a long time. Most of my involvement was through martial arts, which I just retired from last year after about 30 years.”
Eastman, 44, said his family dabbled in Congregationalism before he broke away from the Protestant Christian practices with an interest in Daoism. As a martial arts instructor in Japan, he connected with Buddhism as an adult.
Schwocho’s route to Buddhism nearly included becoming both a Catholic and Presbyterian minister at different points.
“I was brought up in the Christian religion, Lutheran,” said Schwocho, noting he found Buddhism by taking an inaugural religion class about it at Albion College in the mid-1960s. “I took the Buddhism course and I loved it. Then I was on the path to ministry and medicine.”
After taking classes at both St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, as well as spending a year as a student pastor in a now-nonexistent Royal Oak church, Schwocho sparked his love for Buddhism during a retreat in February 1987.
“I was fascinated, because here was another approach. For a whole lot of years, I was on parallel tracks practicing (Christianity and Buddhism),” Schwocho said.
In 1997, Schwocho took a year off from the path to being ordained as a Presbyterian minister and never looked back.
“I realized my heart wasn’t jumping for joy,” Schwocho said. “I was much more drawn and found much more value in my Buddhist practices.”
Schwocho became a Dharma teacher through Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple in Detroit in May 2003 and a monk in the Taego Order in November 2007, leading up to last weekend’s ordainment as the bishop.
“He knew very early on that he wanted to get into this world,” Eastman said, noting that the religion has grown within the U.S. in the past five years, thanks to people like Schwocho and Venerable Jong Mae Kenneth Park, the outgoing Korean-born bishop from California. “Now we have a number of non-Korean people who have been ordained. We want to find ways to make the Buddha Dharma applicable to the American lifestyle. We try to make Buddhism really adaptable.”
For more information on the local temple, visit
You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at or at (586)279-1110. 

A Brief on Abhidharma Studies by Ven. Jongmae Park - Sweeping Zen

A Brief on Abhidharma Studies by Ven. Jongmae Park | Sweeping Zen | Muddy Water Zen Blog |

Monday, October 15, 2012

Taego Zen Center support Buddhist Global Relief

Hae Jin Sunim and the Taego Zen Center recently supported the 2012 "Walk to Feed the Hungry", a Buddhist Global Relief project founded and chaired by Bhikkhu Bodhi, now in its 3rd year.

The walk took place in New York, NY at Riverside Park on October 13, 2012 and participants walked 3.6 miles, raising over $15,000 to alleivate hunger in Africa, Haiti, Asia, and the United States.

Taego Zen Center

Find more information and learn how to get involved with the Buddhist Global Relief.

Click on the thumbnail below to view more photos from the walk!

BGR Walk 2012