Ama Samy

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Ama Samy
TitleZen master
ReligionZen Buddhism, Christianity
SchoolBodhi Sangha
Senior posting
TeacherYamada Koun

AMA Samy (Arul Maria Arokiasamy), S.J., born in 1936, is an Indian Zen master and Jesuit priest.[1]


Ama Samy was born to Christian parents in Burma in 1936 and grew up in India. After becoming a Jesuit priest in 1972, he began visiting Hindu ashrams and Buddhist meditation centers. He was introduced to Ramana Maharshi's teachings by Swami Abhishiktananda. His searching led him to become a wandering beggar for a period and to settle down as a hermit.[2][3] With the help of Father Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, he visited Japan and trained with Yamada Koun Roshi of Sanbo Kyodan. In 1982, Yamada Roshi authorized him to teach Zen.[4][5][3] He received the Japanese Dharma name Gen'un-ken (Gen: dark, obscure, mystery; Un: cloud).[6]

Ama Samy founded the Bodhi Sangha, the community of his disciples, in 1986. Bodhi Sangha became an independent Zen school when he left the Sanbo Kyodan organization in 2002.[7][3][8] Ama Samy's method of teaching embraces both Soto and Rinzai Zen traditions and draws from the resources of Christianity and other religions.[2] He lives and teaches at Bodhi Zendo Zen Center near Kodaikanal in South India (opened in 1996).[9] Since Father Lassalle first invited Ama Samy to join him on a tour to Europe in 1985, Ama Samy has spent several months each year leading retreats in Europe, Australia, and the US.[2][3] With the help of his students, he also runs Little Flower, a non-profit organization supporting women, children and landless people in South India.[10]

Dharma Successors[edit]

Ama Samy has appointed the following teachers:

  • de:Stefan Bauberger (b. 1960), Zen master, resides in Germany, separated from Bodhi Sangha in 2009[7][11]
  • Johannes Fischer (b. 1957), Zen master, resides in Germany, separated from Bodhi Sangha in 2018[7][12]
  • Carl Hooper (b. 1943), Zen master, resides in Australia[7][13][14]
  • Gert Lüderitz (b. 1950), Zen master, resides in Germany[7]
  • Mathew, Cyril Antony, SJ (b. 1970), Zen master, resides in India[7]
  • Angela Pliske (b. 1937), Sensei (Zen teacher), resides in Czech Republic[7]
  • Olaf Strelcyk (b. 1978), Zen master, resides in the United States[7][15]


In English:

  • Samy, Ama (2013). Zen: The Wayless Way. ASIN B00K7Z645S.
  • Samy, Ama (2012). Zen: The Great Way has No Gates. ISBN 978-9381597248.
  • Samy, Ama (2010). Zen: Ancient and Modern, The Way to Heart-Mind. ISBN 978-9380253411.
  • Samy, Ama (2007). The Zen Way: Tradition, Transmission, Challenges. ISBN 978-8189882143.
  • Samy, Ama (2006). Zen Meditation for Life and Death, Christians and Therapists. ISBN 978-8186778555.
  • Samy, Ama (2005). Zen: Awakening to Your Original Face. ISBN 978-8185602868.
  • Samy, Ama (2002). Zen Heart, Zen Mind: The Teachings of Zen Master Ama Samy. ISBN 978-8185602813.

In German:

In Dutch:

  • Samy, Ama (2006). Zen Hart, Zen Geest - op zoek naar je Oorspronkelijk Gelaat. ISBN 978-9056701369.
  • Samy, Ama (1998). Waarom kwam Bodhidharma naar het Westen? de ontmoeting van zen met het Westen. ISBN 978-9056700249.

In French:

  • Samy, Ama (2010). Coeur zen, esprit zen: Les enseignements du maître zen Ama Samy. ISBN 978-2354320492.

In Spanish:

  • Samy, Ama (1998). Por qué Bodhidharma vino a occidente? La Transmisión del Zen: problemas, peligros y promesa. ISBN 978-8493622718.
  • Samy, Ama (1995). Vacío Y Plenitud: Zen de la India en la práctica christiana. ISBN 978-8428517393.

In Swedish:

  • Samy, Ama (1997). Om överföringen av Zen till väst - Varfö kom Bodhidharma till väst?. ISBN 978-9163052521.

See also[edit]

Hakuun Yasutani Lineage Chart


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Samy, Ama (2005). Zen: Awakening to Your Original Face. pp. 26–33. ISBN 978-8185602868.
  3. ^ a b c d Baatz, Ursula (2009). Erleuchtung trifft Auferstehung, Zen-Buddhismus und Christentum, eine Orientierung. pp. 185–195. ISBN 978-3783195286.
  4. ^ Sharf, Robert H. (1995). Sanbokyodan, Zen and the Way of the New Religions. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. 22, 3-4, pp. 417-458.
  5. ^ Kyosho no. 231 (1991), Newsletter of the Religious Foundation Sanbokyodan, edited by Sanbokoryukai.
  6. ^ Habito, Ruben L. F. (1990). In Memoriam: Yamada Koun Roshi (1907-1989). Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 10, 1990 (1990), pp. 231-237.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Ciolek, T. Matthew. 1995-present. Sanbo Kyodan: Harada-Yasutani School of Zen Buddhism and its Teachers. Canberra: - Asia Pacific Research Online. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-10-13. Retrieved 2018-10-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]