Showing posts from October, 2014

Monks and Ripples

Back in my twenties, after attaining a First Degree Black Belt in Shim Gum Do Korean Zen Martial Arts, I moved into the monastery located on the outskirts of Boston. I lived with other residents and the Founding Master, Zen Master Chang Sik Kim, a Korean Zen Buddhist monk who taught us and other students at Shim Gwang Sa, the Mind Light Temple.

Shim Gwang Sa is a renovated 100+ year-old building, a former church. Students in the Residency Program have professional jobs or attend college classes during the day and maintain a daily morning and evening meditation and martial arts practice and weekly temple work schedule. During the nearly four years I lived there, the number of residents varied between nine and sixteen, and ages ranged from adults in their twenties and thirties, primarily, with a few folks in their forties.
None of us at Shim Gwang Sa aspired to monkshood. We took no vows of celibacy or poverty; we were training for good health and successful living. In ideal terms though,…