Jo-Alma Potter was born in Arizona 1954 and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She studied clinical nutrition and graduated from Arizona State University.
She began to practice meditation when she was seventeen years old and traveled to India in early 1980. She began to study Zen and Buddhism in India. In 1986, she moved to Berlin Germany, living there for 25 years, learned the German language and worked for a financial office.
She met Zen Master Seung Sahn and his teachings in the early 1990’s and intensified her meditation practice in the Kwan Um School of Zen with Zen Master Seung Sahn and his successors. She worked as the Abbot of the Berlin Zen Center from 1995 until 2006 and helped to build and establish that the Zen Center.
In 2008, she received the title Ji Do Poep Sa and Inka the official seal of approval to teach Kong-an- from Zen Master Wu Bong . She has traveled worldwide leading and teaching Zen retreats.
She lives in Vienna now since one year and directs her energy to establish and teach in the Vienna Zen Center. She guides the Kwan Um Zen Groups in Vienna, Palma de Mallorca, Hungary and Mexico City.
“We intuit in the depth of each night, that life is so precious and nevertheless we often have the feeling that we do not really know what our work on the earth should be, that we do not know ourselves. What are we meant to do during our lifetime? What direction should we give our lives. When and where should we begin to investigate?” (Jo-Alma Potter)