Venerable Jin Koh is a Chan (Zen) Master from the Shaolin Monastery, Denfeng, Zhengzhou, Henan Provence, China. He is holder of a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Lexington University, a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Komasawa University in Tokyo Japan and a BA in English Literature from Oxford University in England. He was Professor of Critical Thinking at a University in New Zealand. He is author of ‘Toward Compassion’ ‘The Tao- A New Perspective’ and ‘The Hero Within’.
Jin Koh was born in Hong Kong to an American father and Australian mother, both who served in the diplomatic corps of their countries. Jin Koh was one of the first Caucasians accepted into the Shaolin monastery at 16 years old and served as a Zen Buddhist Master for 35 years in third world countries worldwide in an effort to bringing food, shelter, clothing, safety and comfort to poverty stricken peoples.
Jin Koh is sometimes called the ‘Old School Master’ because he believes, as Buddha adamantly said, that Buddhism is not and should never be, a religion but instead a way of living. According to Jin Koh some Buddhist precepts are twisted and modified by unscrupulous people who use Buddhism for personal gain and to exert control. He teaches that Buddhism is not a religion but a way to live as humans were meant to live: by caring and helping each other as well as becoming better people. Considered a ‘rebel and heretic’ by many Buddhist Sects for his outspoken criticism of the Buddhist religion, he ceased to be a practicing monk in protest but remains an ardent Buddhist and is respected by the Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike for his dedication to people and the sanctity for life and his teachings of peace and happiness. He fights for the rights of women and children believing they are the future.
Jin Koh, the name given to him by his Shaolin Master at the monastery, means ‘Golden Island’. His Master named him such because Jin Koh was said to be able to look directly into the hearts and minds of people, a unique and often cursed gift, and though still connected to all living things he would always be somewhat separate due to the gift.
His interests include painting, playing the cello, haiku, classic books, writing, building boats and feeding hungry children.