Enough Mind

Barbara Rhodes is the first female lineage holder in the Kwan Um school of Korean Zen.

James Shaheen

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© Paul BloomBarbara Rhodes was one of the first women in America to be formally recognized as a Zen teacher. A student since 1972 of Zen Master Seung Sahn, founder of the Kwan Um School in the Chogye lineage of Korean Zen, she was given the authority to teach in 1977 and now serves as the Vice School Zen Master of the Kwan Um School of Zen. She has been a registered nurse since 1969 and currently works with patients at Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island. She lives in Providence with her partner, Mary, and has two grown daughters. Tricycle Editor-in-Chief James Shaheen interviewed her at the New Haven Zen Center in March 2002.

You’ve never expressed much discomfort as a woman in your role, although you trained in a lineage that has been traditionally very patriarchal.

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