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Ven. Samu Sunim, founding father of the Buddhist Society for Compassionate Knowledge, has died

Samu Sunim

Venerable Samu Sunim, founding father of the Buddhist Society for Compassionate Knowledge (BSCW), died on August 6, 2022 at Zen Buddhist Temple in Toronto, Ontario, Canada surrounded by his disciples and college students after struggling the results of Parkinson’s illness for the final six years.

Sunim was a Korean Zen (Seon) trainer, poet, author, and scholar of Buddhism. He was born in 1941 in Chinju, South Korea and was orphaned throughout the Korean Conflict. Following a interval of homelessness, Sunim took refuge in a Buddhist monastery. In 1958, he started his three-year novitiate at Namjang-sa Monastery in Sangju, the place he was ordained as a disciple of Tongsan Sunim. In 1962, he started his Zen coaching below Solbong Sunim at Pomo-sa Monastery in Pusan.

Sunim moved to New York Metropolis in 1967 the place he held day by day meditation for anybody whereas working the night time shift at UPS. In 1968, he based the Zen Lotus Society, which later grew to become the BSCW, and developed a following of scholars by meditation programs, retreats, and public meditation providers. Through the years, the BSCW saved funds and bought a lot of buildings that led to the founding of Zen Buddhist temples and communities in Toronto, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Mexico Metropolis, and New York Metropolis. He and his college students labored collectively to renovate the buildings they bought, instructing themselves plumbing and carpentry and elevating funds to to remodel them into Buddhist temples. The total historical past of the temples may be discovered on Zen Buddhist Temple’s web site.

Sunim organized the primary American Zen lecturers assembly in 1986, in addition to the Convention on World Buddhism in North America in 1987. He was the writer of Spring Wind Buddhist Cultural Discussion board and made common pilgrimages to temples and monasteries in South Korea, conducting interviews with Seon/Zen monks and nuns which  are at present being compiled by Korean students for the Samu Sunim Archive.

Sunim is described as “a proficient and artistic particular person,” who had a “frank, simple method, prepared smile, useful perspective and compassionate coronary heart mixed with a tireless enthusiasm and willpower for seemingly not possible duties.” The BSCW plans to create a memorial backyard at their Buddhist farm retreat,  Spring Wind Farm, the place Sunim’s ashes “might be along with rocks, bushes, flowers, animals, birds, the river and sky.”

A celebration of life service might be held on Saturday, September 24 on the Zen Buddhist Temple in Toronto.  The temple is gathering tales about and footage of Sunim. For extra data, go to Zen Buddhist Temple’s web site or electronic mail then at [email protected].

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