Zen is Understanding Yourself

The Providence Zen Center is a residential and non-residential community of lay persons and monastics in rural Rhode Island. Founded by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, it is the head temple of the international Kwan Um School of Zen.

The mission of the Providence Zen Center is to provide Zen training for all, through daily practice, regularly scheduled retreats and an international exchange of teachers and practitioners. Zen practice helps us to realize our true self and serve this world with wisdom and compassion.

In order to fulfill our mission, we commit ourselves to encourage strong practice, provide a welcoming environment, work towards self-sufficiency, and serve as a resource for the local and the wider community. We welcome newcomers and teach how to meditate via weekly classes.

About Our Retreat Center

The Zen Center was founded in 1972 in Providence, Rhode Island and moved to its wooded fifty-acre home in Cumberland in 1979.

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The Yoga Studio of Blackstone River Valley offers classes several days a week at the Providence Zen Center. For more information, see their website.

Providence Zen Center also makes its space available to visiting groups. If your organization is interested in renting our facilities, please visit the Information for Group Rentals page.

Diamond Hill Zen Monastery

Built in the early 1980’s as a residence for the monastics, it now functions mainly as a center for long retreats, especially for our annual Summer and Winter Kyol Ches. A 360 degree panographic photograph of the main Dharma room can be seen at the Brightridge 360 website as well as a view between the bell house and monastery.

Peace Pagoda

Opened in 1992, the Peace Pagoda stands seven stories high and is dedicated to Zen Master Seung Sahn’s efforts to rid the world of human suffering. Inside, the first floor holds a modest sized Dharma Room that is often used for small ceremonies, precepts workshops or a place for staff and residents to do extra practice.

Main Dharma Room

Our large Buddha Hall is the primary point of  Zen Center practice and ceremonies. Attached is a large greenhouse where some of the plants are as old as the Zen Center itself. The Large porch on the front wraps around both sides creating a long covered walkway connecting the front door of the Zen Center with the office and the pagoda.

The Zen Center

Consists one original large residential building with many additons including a second Dharma Room added upstairs and additional rooms below that connect to the office building. On the other side there is a large kitchen and dining area located on the ground level with views of the pond and monastery.


Abbot’s House

Another residence located on temple grounds right next to the Zen Centers main buildings. Inside is the a small apartment, a common living area, large loft, woodstove, kitchen with a back porch connected and three more large resident rooms.

Jung Wol Gak Hermitage

Available for solo retreats from one to one-hundred days. There is electric heating and cooking facilities, including a small refrigerator and a sink. Bathroom facilities are available in a quiet area of the nearby main building.  For more information please contact the Director of Providence Zen Center.


Property Map


  1. Zen Center Main Building
  2. Peace Pagoda
  3. Bell House
  4. Pond
  5. Diamond Hill Zen Monastery
  6. Abbot’s House
  7. Jung Wol Gak Hermitage
  8. Wood Shop / Garage
  9. Apple Orchard
  10. Organic Garden

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