With the growing presence of Oriental philosophies in the West, perhaps in our days talking about a scholar that spends his days practicing Buddhist meditation may seem unsurprising. We immediately recall another branch that grows from the tree of vital techniques and counsel, whose purpose is to calm mankind’s grief. And there are too many reasons to do so. Hwansan Sunim, however, is different and all the more valuable for it. Without lessening the achievements of others who devote their lives to spreading the seeds of consciousness, this man shares the teachings of Son Buddhism —a branch of Buddhism that was introduced to Korea in the year 372, and that is closely related to Zen Buddhism— with a global audience, through his YouTube channel.

Son Buddhism is practically unknown on this side of the world. It has a quality that can help us “rational beings” that enjoy measuring things. This meditation technique is a series of breathing exercises that have to do with numbers and repetitions; when you are able to complete an entire series without making any mistakes (if you do, you have to start from the beginning), this means that you are experiencing mental progress.

Hwansan Sunim graduated from Harvard and NYU, but he is the opposite of the average New Yorker alumni. After completing his studies, Sunim redirected his path to South Korea, where he became a Buddhist monk and spent 25 years in a monastery, studying the principles of Son Buddhism.

As a disciple of Son Master Sogndam —Korea’s most respected monk—, Sunim has devoted his life to travelling down this path, and translating it, for the West. Despite his monastic lifestyle, Sunim stays in touch with the modern world, which is why his videos are so fresh and didactic.

Son meditation seeks to eradicate the roots of suffering, as well as awakening our infinite human potential. […] This, I think, is what the teachings of Buddha can do for us in the twenty-first century.

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With the growing presence of Oriental philosophies in the West, perhaps in our days talking about a scholar that spends his days practicing Buddhist meditation may seem unsurprising. We immediately recall another branch that grows from the tree of vital techniques and counsel, whose purpose is to calm mankind’s grief. And there are too many reasons to do so. Hwansan Sunim, however, is different and all the more valuable for it. Without lessening the achievements of others who devote their lives to spreading the seeds of consciousness, this man shares the teachings of Son Buddhism —a branch of Buddhism that was introduced to Korea in the year 372, and that is closely related to Zen Buddhism— with a global audience, through his YouTube channel.

Son Buddhism is practically unknown on this side of the world. It has a quality that can help us “rational beings” that enjoy measuring things. This meditation technique is a series of breathing exercises that have to do with numbers and repetitions; when you are able to complete an entire series without making any mistakes (if you do, you have to start from the beginning), this means that you are experiencing mental progress.

Hwansan Sunim graduated from Harvard and NYU, but he is the opposite of the average New Yorker alumni. After completing his studies, Sunim redirected his path to South Korea, where he became a Buddhist monk and spent 25 years in a monastery, studying the principles of Son Buddhism.

As a disciple of Son Master Sogndam —Korea’s most respected monk—, Sunim has devoted his life to travelling down this path, and translating it, for the West. Despite his monastic lifestyle, Sunim stays in touch with the modern world, which is why his videos are so fresh and didactic.

Son meditation seeks to eradicate the roots of suffering, as well as awakening our infinite human potential. […] This, I think, is what the teachings of Buddha can do for us in the twenty-first century.

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