The International Zen Institute was founded in 1983 by Zen master Gesshin Myoko Prabhasa Dharma. The aim of the IZI is to propagate Zen Buddhist teaching and practice throughout Western society. IZI is active in four countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA.

In 1996, IZI opened a training center in the Netherlands: the International Zen Center Noorder Poort. At Noorder Poort, a variety of Zen programs is offered to students of all countries just mentioned. The official language of IZI and Noorder Poort is English, but the languages actually used in retreats depend on the nationalities present.

The current spiritual leader of IZI and of Noorder Poort is Jiun Hogen roshi, who was given Dharma transmission by Prabhasa Dharma zenji shortly before her death in 1999. Jiun Hogen roshi lives and works at Noorder Poort, where IZI is now based. Prior to 2005, IZI was based in Los Angeles.

Tetsue roshi is the second Zen master within IZI. She received Dharma transmission from Jiun Hogen roshi in 2016. For many years now, Tetsue roshi has been guiding zen retreats in Spain.

There are other Zen teachers with IZI, who offer Zen programs at Noorder Poort and elsewhere.

Local IZI branches are established in Florida, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. They support Zen activities on a national and administrative level. See organisation of IZI for details.