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Soeng Hyang
Religion Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
School Kwan Um School of Zen
Other name(s) Barbara Rhodes
Dharma name(s) Fragrant Nature
Born April 15, 1948
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Senior posting
Title Soen Sa Nim
Predecessor Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim
Religious career
Teacher Seung Sahn

Soeng Hyang Soen Sa Nim (성향선사, born April 15, 1948) is a Zen Master and the Guiding Teacher of the international Kwan Um School of Zen, and successor to the late Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim.


Born Barbara Trexler (later Barbara Rhodes through marriage to Lincoln Rhodes), her father was a Navy officer, and her family moved often. As a teenager in the 1960s, she traveled to California to participate in the counter cultural flowering around San Francisco, and briefly visited Tassajara Zen Monastery, though she did not practice there. She later moved back to Rhode Island, where she met Seung Sahn in 1972, who became her teacher. She was a founding member of the Providence Zen Center, now located in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Soeng Hyang received inga from Seung Sahn Soen Sa Nim in 1977, and full Dharma transmission in 1992.

Personal life

She has two daughters, one adopted. She has been in a same-sex relationship for many years.


Seong Hyang is a registered nurse and hospice caregiver.[1][2]

See also


  1. Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who? A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications, 101–102. ISBN 0-86171-509-8. 
  2. Skinner, Rosemary, et al. (2006). Encyclopedia of Women And Religion in North America. Indiana University Press, 644. ISBN 0-253-34685-1. 
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