Where did you grow up?
Iksan, South Korea.
When did you become a Buddhist and why? Since I was born, and maybe even before my birth, I have been Won Buddhist.
Who is your teacher? The three founding teachers of Won Buddhism: the founder, Venerable Sotaesan; his successor, Venerable Chongsan; and my father, Venerable Taesan.
What’s your favorite breakfast on retreat? Oatmeal with nuts and fruit.
What’s your daily practice? Morning prayer and meditation, daily mindfulness practice, evening prayer and chanting.
Favorite aphorism? Whether a minor or major matter, if one does it, then it can be done. If one doesn’t, then it can’t be done. –Ven. Taesan
Favorite musician? The classical guitarists John Williams and Julian Bream.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without meditating? How do you get back on track? I didn’t meditate for four years during my doctoral program; I started attending retreats annually after that.
Longest retreat? Eight days.
Book on your nightstand? The Diamond Sutra in classical Chinese.
What do you like to do in your free time? I don’t have a lot of free time, but I like to read to keep my mind focused and free from wandering or unnecessary thoughts.
What non-Buddhist do you look to for guidance? Christian thinkers such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Thomas Merton. Socrates and Chuang-tzu are also great teachers.
Coffee or tea? Tea, although I do drink coffee regularly.
Favorite subject in school? English.
What was your first job? Cleaning houses.
Most used emoji? I don’t use emoji. I like to use words.
This July, watch Dr. Kim’s Dharma Talk series, “Material and Spiritual Balance,” at tricycle.org/dharmatalks.
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