Alma Potter was born in Arizona and grew up in a family seeped in Mexican American traditions. She studied clinical nutrition, graduating from Arizona State University in 1976. In 1981 she traveled to India, where she furthered her study of Zen and Buddhism.
In 1986, she moved from the USA to Germany where she worked and learned German.
In 1993 she started practicing meditation in the Kwan Um School of Zen in Berlin and met Zen Master Seung Sahn. She was the abbot of the Berlin Zen Center from 1995 until 2006.
She received Inka from Zen Master Wu Bong in Berlin 2008 and transmission and the name Zen Master Hyon Ja from Zen Master Bon Shim in Vienna in September 2020.
She lives in the Vienna Zen Center in Austria with her life partner Jan Sendzimir.
Presently she guides the Kwan Um communities in Palma de Mallorca, and Hungary and assists with the Vienna Zen Center and travels extensively teaching Dharma.
We intuit in the depth of each day and night, that our lives are precious. We have work unique to each one of us and a purpose for our being alive. What is that purpose? What is our true work? Who are we really? (Hyon Ja)