Meet The Harvard-Educated Monk Who’s Bringing Ancient Wisdom To YouTube


via Huffington Post

Hwansan Sunim is anything but your typical Harvard grad. After college, he earned a post-graduate degree in psychology at NYU, and then rerouted his life to South Korea, where he became a Buddhist monk and spent 25 years in a monastery studying the principles of Seon Buddhism.

A disciple of Korean Seon Master Songdam — the most respected Buddhist Zen master in Korea — Sunim has devoted his life to the Seon way. And despite his traditional lifestyle, Sunim — or Ted Park, as he is known in English — is anything but out of touch with the modern world: he now shares the teachings of Seon Buddhism with a global audience via his YouTube channel, “Hwansan Sunim: Son Meditation for the Modern World.”

“Seon meditation aims to eradicate the very roots of suffering, as well as awaken us to our infinite human potential,” Sunim explained in a recent video. “This, I believe, is what the Buddha’s teachings can do for us in the 21st century.”

Sunim’s instructional videos are roughly 45 minutes long and conducted in English, and present the Seon teachings in an engaging, accessible manner. Watch the first chapter of Sunim’s video series in the clip above to learn more about the principles of Seon Buddhism.

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  • SushiBushi

    Really cool. Looks promising.

  • Daniel Gill

    korean shamanism is a big influence in their buddhism and so I was wondering if anyone has watched the lecture, if you know anything about korean shamanism you know that they have a particularly dark destiny , he used some words in the beginning of his lecture – the first video – like, haunted and so on . how haunted is this guy and how much haunted stuff is in the video?

    • echar

      After he talks about who he is, why he chose to become a seon monk, and he master; He goes into a meditation exercise. I experienced nothing dark or haunted. Perhaps you are projecting?

      • Daniel Gill

        Esoteric Buddhism typically involves sacrificing one’s chi to hungry ghosts. I was wondering if there was anything like that in his lecture series. I’ve studied a fair amount of korea’s shamanism , and s.korea is particularly open and vocal about the esoteric practices of shamanism so much so they will describe associated sensations and empathy, and so i was wondering how dark is their buddhism? or is the lecture whitewashed

        • echar

          The meditation exercise is for relaxation and concentration.

          • Daniel Gill

            that wasn’t the point of my question. there’s a whole series of lectures he’s done and so I was wondering if anyone is really into buddhism and would watch them.. their buddhism is supposed to be influenced greatly by their shamanism, so i was wondering how much like their shamanism is their buddhism, particularly their view of reconciling misfortune and possession

          • echar

            Ok!

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