Still Water Zen Center

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 6 June 2013.

Phone: 804-355-3935
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Still Water Zen Center represents a Korean school of Buddhism known as Son, related to the more familiar school of Zen. The center was founded in 1999 when the abbot, Linda Frank, was ordained by the Kwan Um school. The group met at her house in the hip Richmond neighborhood of Carytown until 2003, when it switched lineages and began renting space for a permanent zendo. It is now affiliated with Furnace Mountain Zen Center, which has both a Korean and Japanese pedigree.

Activities and Schedule

Regular services are held every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The first activity is chanting, which lasts approximately fifteen minutes. First the Heart Sutra is chanted in English, then the Great Dharani is chanted in Sino-Korean. This is followed by the Enmei Jukko Kannon Gyo in Japanese, repeated eight times. All chants begin and end with gassho, a short bow with palms together. After chanting, the group sits for ten minutes of silent meditation. This is followed by ten minutes of walking meditation, performed in a coordinated follow-the-leader fashion moving clockwise around the room. After walking, the group does another twenty-five minutes of sitting meditation. At 8:00 p.m. Frank gives a sermon which lasts ten to fifteen minutes, and the meeting concludes with announcements. On Sundays the program is much simpler: straight sitting meditation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., broken with five minute rest periods every thirty minutes. There is also an opportunity to have a private interview with the teacher about one’s practice. On the third Saturday of the month, Still Water Zen Center holds a mini-retreat. Participants do sitting meditation from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.


The 25 or so members of Still Water Zen Center are European-American converts to Buddhism. The gender distribution is about even, but the overall age of the group is a little younger than usual, with some members in their 20s. Weekly gatherings attract nine to twelve people. The group advertises at a local New Age shop and a nearby organic grocery store.