Founded in 1999, Delaware Valley Zen Center (DVZC) offers to the community an environment for Zen practice. Our weekly practice includes chanting, sitting meditation and walking meditation. We offer meditation instruction on the first Tuesday of the month, and Zen meditation retreats once a quarter. DVZC is one of more than sixty centers and groups worldwide affiliated with the Kwan Um School of Zen, an international organization founded by Zen Master Seung Sahn.


Our guiding teacher is José Ramírez, JDPSN, who received Inka in April 2009.


The Delaware Valley Zen Center (DVZC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit religious corporation of the State of Delaware. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. DVZC is supported, administered and maintained by its members.


Some History


In 1999, after moving to Delaware, Jose' Ramirez, JDPSN (then a Dharma Teacher) began sitting Zen with Mr. Diccon Bancroft who, at the time, was running a meditation night at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark. Several months went by where he was sitting either with Mr. Bancroft, or by himself. These were trying times full of great faith, great courage and great doubt. Out of this practice the Delaware Zen Group was formed to spread the teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn. A few months later Zen Master Dae Kwang became the guiding teacher of the new Sangha. The group had its first retreat with Ken Kessel, JDPSN on November 2000.


The year 2001 was a turning point for the Sangha. We launched a web page, we changed our name to Delaware Valley Zen Center, and moved to a new location. We had five retreats with different teachers, four members took the Five Precepts, a satellite group affiliated with the University of Delaware was formed, and we began the process of becoming a non-profit organization. 


From 1999 to 2009 our guiding teacher was Zen Master Dae Kwang, Zen Master Dae Kwang has been a monk since 1987 and received transmission in 1996. He is the guiding teacher Zen centers in Wisconsin and Mexico. Zen Master Dae Kwang has traveled widely, leading retreats throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2011, Jose' Ramirez received Inka and became a Ji Do Peop Sa Nim (JDPSN). He then received the position of guiding teacher for the Delaware Valley Zen Center while moving his residence to Providence, RI. In that same year William McCracken became ordained as a  Senior Dharma Teacher, taking the 16 Precepts and becoming the Abbot of the Delaware Valley Zen Center.


Today the DVZC Sangha is an active community that provides a place of practice and instruction in Zen Buddhism, under the guidance of José Ramírez, JDPSN.


Our Officers: Tom Hall, Heather Tranello


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Practice Schedule

Practice is held every Wednesday evening at the New Ark United Church of Christ, 300 E. Main St, Newark, DE 19711.

Practice begins at 6:30pm with a short orientation for beginners, followed by chanting. We then have two 25 minute periods of sitting meditation with a 10 minute period of walking meditation in between.

Free Meditation Instruction sessions will be scheduled as requested. Send an email to and ask to be added to the next instruction class. 

There is no fee to attend our practice, you do not have to be a member.

Monkey Mind Zen,

is a  DVZC satellite.

The group meets in Philadelphia.

For information about their practice visit: