The Western Chan Fellowship

Chan is the Chinese ancestor of Zen Buddhism. The Western Chan Fellowship is an association of lay Chan practitioners, a lay Sangha, based in the UK. We are registered as a charity in England and Wales, but we also have contacts in Europe, principally in Norway, Poland, Germany, Croatia and Switzerland, and also in USA. Our Zen retreats and other activities are open equally to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.

Zen Retreat, Buddhist Retreat, Meditation Retreat, Silent Retreat, Solitary Retreat

Meditation Hall

We lead a range of different types of Buddhist meditation retreats at centres in England and Wales. Some of our Zen meditation retreats follow the traditional methods of practice, and others such as our 'Western Zen Retreat' include adaptations to match the needs of Westerners. Most of our Zen retreats are silent retreats - read the retreat descriptions for details.

Zen Meditation Groups

We have Chan meditation groups meeting around the UK. Visit us ask about meditation and the WCF. You will find a Zen sangha helpful to support your practice and the cultivation of mindfulness in daily life.


Our Teacher Simon Child, Chuan Fa Jing Hong, is the second Western Dharma heir of the late Chan Master Sheng Yen of Taiwan, receiving Dharma Transmission in 2000. Our Founding Teacher was Master Sheng Yen's first Western Dharma Heir, Dr John Crook.

Our practice includes a variety of Buddhist meditation methods from the lineages of both Linji Chan (Japanese: Rinzai Zen) and Caodong Chan (Japanese: Soto Zen) -  e.g. Gong-an (Japanese: Koan), Hua-tou, Silent Illumination (Ch. Mo-zhao, related to Jap. Shikantaza), and other methods such as use of the breath.

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