Cuong Lu, Buddhist teacher, scholar, and writer, was born in Vietnam in 1968 and emigrated to the Netherlands with his family in 1980.

About No Word Zen Practice Center

About Cuong Lu

The No Word Zen Practice Center was founded by Cuong Lu in 2022. Located atop a beautiful mountain in Southern France, it is a sanctuary from society and an oasis of peace.

Cuong’s vision is for the No Word Zen Practice Center to become a spiritual home where many people can come to feel refreshed, and to cultivate insight and compassion. These bodhisattvas can, in turn, help many others become free from suffering and confusion.

He majored in East Asian studies at the University of Leiden, and in 1993 was ordained as the 19th monastic disciple of Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France. In 2000, he was recognized as a teacher in the Lieu Quan line of the Linji School of Zen Buddhism.

In 2009, Cuong left Plum Village after sixteen years, returned to lay life, and continued his practice as an invisible monk in the Netherlands. In 2011, along with five colleagues, he attended a ceremony establishing Buddhist spiritual care at the Ministry of Justice and served as a chaplain in Holland’s penitentiary system for six years.

In the same year, Cuong founded Mind Only Institute, located in Holland, where he teaches Buddhist philosophy and

psychology, specializing in Yogachara Buddhism combined with the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) school of Nagarjuna.

In 2022, he founded No Word Zen, an order of “invisible” monks and nuns. The monastics in this order are everywhere, serving society and the planet without being “caught” by monastic forms or robes.

Cuong Lu is the author of The Buddha in Jail: Restoring Lives, Finding Hope and Freedom; Wait: A Love Letter to Those in Despair; and Happiness is Overrated: Simple Lessons on Finding Meaning in Each Moment.

He teaches in Europe, Asia, and United States.
"We want to train millions of invisible Zen monastics."
Two Generations and One Path
Thich Nhat Hanh & Cuong Lu
A source of wisdom, passed down from generation to generation for more than 14 centuries.

Hui Neng

Cuong Lu

Thich Nhat Hanh

Lin Chi
“We need a new invisible Zen order that is free from all religious forms, but that possesses the wisdom of the great teachers and applies it to life in modern society.
— Cuong Lu

Cuong Lu's books