Archbishop, and Abbot of Burning River Zen Sangha
Ven. Dr. Cheongryang Chong'an Dharma
Transmission Name: Cheongryang Chong'an 清涼清眼
Ven. Thích Đức Thông
Archbishop of Wǔtái 五台
Ven. Dr. Cheongryang Chong'An Dharma (Thích Đức Thông) is an Archbishop and Monk in the Five Mountain Zen Order. He was consecrated a Bishop in receiving inka during Sangha Weekend in 2012, and consecrated an Archbishop during Sangha Weekend in 2017. He holds Precepts in the Vietnamese Lam Te Thíen tradition and in the Korean Imji tradition. Chong'An has involved himself in the study of Buddhism and Eastern Wisdom traditions over the past 19 year. He has traveled to a variety of training centers and monastic institutes around the United States and overseas, all of varying lineages and traditions. He received the ordination name of Chong'An (meaning "clear vision") under the authority Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma in the Five Mountain Zen Order, following the Korean Zen tradition of Zen Master Seung Sahn. Chong'An also took precepts in the Vietnamese tradition receiving the name Thích Đức Thông with the late Ven. Suhita Dharma (Thích An Đức), a student and Senior Dharma heir of the late Thích Thien An. Chong'An is committed to preserving the teachings of these traditions through translation and application of those traditions into the daily lives of American Buddhists.
Chong'An is also a licensed psychologist in the state of Ohio. He is the Director of Psychology at OhioGuidestone, a non-profit mental health organization in Ohio, and runs a small private practice in Cleveland, Ohio (Robert B. Denton, Psy.D. LLC). He attended Case Western Reserve University, receiving his Bachelor's degree (B.A.) in Psychology. He received a master’s degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (M.A.) from Cleveland State University, and his doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Additionally, Chong'An also received a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Buddhist Studies from Buddha Dharma University.
He is the lead author of the chapter “Clinical Uses of Mindfulness” in Innovations in Clinical Practice (with Dr. Richard Sears) and third author of the book "Mindfulness in Clinical Practice" (with Dr. Sears and Dr. Dennis Tirsch) available through Professional Resource Press.
Outside of his studies in Psychology and Buddhism, he is a Nidan (2nd degree) Black Belt in To-Shin Do Ninjutsu, and a Shodan (1st Degree) Black Belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, and taught a small training group in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He is also an at-home (his own) chef who enjoys the exploration of world culture though culinary flavors and technique.
Ven. Dr. Wonji Dharma (Thích Đức Hiền), Ven. Wonji Dharma is a Bhikṣu in the Lam Te Thíen tradition and a Brahmajala Monk in the Kwan Um Jong tradition; additionally, he is a Zen Teacher and the
Founder - Guiding Teacher of the Five Mountain Zen Order as well as the Chancellor of Buddha Dharma University. Ven. Wonji was ordained by Zen Master Seung Sahn as a Dharma teacher in 1995, as a Senior Dharma Teacher in 2001 and as a Brahmajala Monk in 2002. He received teaching authorization from
Zen Master Ji Bong, in the Golden Wind Zen Order in April, 2006. Wonji additionally received the 250 Bhikṣu vows on November 1, 2012 with Bhante Suhita Dharma (Hòa Thượng Thích Ân Đức), who was the first Dharma Heir of the Hòa Thượng Dr. Thiên Ân. Unfortunately Bhante died suddenly on Dec. 28, 2013 in Los Angeles at Chùa Diệu Pháp Temple in San Gabriel, California, where he resided. He was 73. Following the agreement made with Bhante Suhita Dharma to study for at least five years under a Thien Master, on July 15, 2014, Wonji was accepted as a student of Ven. Thích Ân Giáo Roshi who was Bhante Suhita's Dharma Brother and close friend.
Ven. Wonji originally began practicing Advaita Vedānta as well as Vipassana Meditation in 1985 with Swami Chaitanya Siraj and took refuge vows with his teacher that same year. Swami Chaitanya Siraj had studied with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in his Indian Ashram for many years and was designated as a teacher in Osho's lineage; additionally Siraj's path of teaching was wide and open to all of the Wisdom Traditions. Ven. Wonji's direction has been informed by Zen since his College days of studying Psychology. Wanting to experience the direct experience of koan study he eventually discovered Zen Master Seung Sahn and the Kwan Um School of Zen in 1989 and began practicing regularly at Dharma Zen Center in Los Angeles. After practicing and training at Dharma Zen Center for five years he received sanction and encouragement from Zen Master Seung Sahn to open the Huntington Beach Zen Center on August 14, 1993, where Wonji was installed as Abbot by Zen Master Seung Sahn during the Opening
Ceremony. The Huntington Beach Zen Center was renamed one year later at the first anniversary ceremony by Zen Master Seung Sahn to Ocean Eyes Zen Center (Hae An Soen Won). The center was originally founded as a residential Zen Center where up to six students lived and practiced together every morning and every evening. The Zen Center eventually moved to Stanton and later to the Bixby
Knolls area of Long Beach where it remained until the center was forced to close and relocate to a non-residential Center in 2000 due to zoning Issues with the City of Long Beach.
He has practiced with more than thirty different Zen Buddhist masters, as well as several Transmitted Catholic Zen masters during his studies and consequently maintains an eclectic approach to spirituality. Wonji earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Cal State Long Beach, he also hold a Master of Dharma Degree in Buddhist Psychology and a Doctor of Dharma in Buddhist Psychology from the Buddhist Studies Institute of Los Angeles. When the outgoing President and Abbot of both the Buddhist Studies Institute of Los Angeles and the International Buddhist Meditation Center of Los Angeles stepped down and retired Ven. Karuna Dharma, the previous President of the College, turned over control to the Five Mountain Zen Order. Ven. Wonji currently resides at Chùa Pháp Ấn (Dharma Seal
Temple) which is located in Kansas City, Missouri.