May 6, 2024

A Day in the Life of Sunim, Boston(April 30, 2024)

May 1, 2024: North America East Coast Dharma Q&A Tour (3) New Jersey

Hello. Today, the third Dharma Q&A of Venerable Pomnyun Sunim’s 2024 overseas tour took place in New Jersey, United States.

Venerable Pomnyun Sunim completed the Wednesday Dharma Talk at 10 PM yesterday and left Boston to arrive in New York at 2 AM. After a brief rest, he began his day with morning practice and meditation.

After breakfast, Sunim took care of some tasks in the morning, and rested in the afternoon after lunch. Sunim has not been feeling well lately, perhaps due to the demanding schedules of conducting surveys in Bhutan last week.

After resting, Sunim headed to the Dharma Q&A venue at 5 PM. It took an hour by car to reach Pine Plaza in New Jersey, where today’s Dharma Q&A would be held.

Upon arrival at the venue, he greeted the volunteers. Many volunteers were welcoming the audience as they entered the venue.

Sunim remained seated until the Dharma Q&A began at 7 PM. After a short video introducing Venerable Pomnyun Sunim was shown, he walked onto the stage to a loud round of applause.

He greeted the audience with a bright smile. He shared news of his visit to Bhutan over the past week.

Then, Sunim began to take questions from the people who had signed up in advance. Many people had signed up, but only seven could converse with him during the two hour Q&A. One of them asked how to manage his feelings of injustice when a colleague at work took credit for his achievements.

“I’d like to know how to wisely overcome the issue of my low self-esteem which has been damaged in my relationships with people.”

“There are many cases both at work and in my own business where I feel wronged.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20240502-040.jpg

“At work, a colleague sometimes claims they did the work that I did. In my business, the building owner harasses me terribly.”

“There have been many instances where I’ve been held responsible for things that had nothing to do with me, and I felt wronged. After enduring such situations for years, my self-esteem has hit rock bottom, and I think I might have developed a fear of social interactions.”

“I quit and moved to another company. But I think I’m the one who is sensitive.”


“Heaven doesn’t exist in a separate world. The place where you cultivate a positive mind is heaven. Moving doesn’t solve the problem. Moving from Korea to America, from America back to Korea, or to Canada doesn’t solve anything. So, changing companies won’t solve the problem. As long as you are sensitive, the same problems can occur in the new company. Therefore, it’s necessary to change your perspective significantly.

There are no particularly good people or particularly bad people in the world. There are occasionally people with mental conditions that may be extremely malicious. But it won’t make much difference even if you change companies. I hope you change your perspective and live happily.”

“Thank you for the good advice.”

The questions continued.

– When I see friends who make a lot of money, I feel inferior. How can I live without feeling inferior?

– I’m 80 years old, how should I live? I still want to do meaningful work.

– I know I should let go of my desires, but part of me doesn’t want to.

– I want to know how to be happy even when I’m alone in solitude.

– My father and I have different political views, making it difficult to have a conversation. How can we have more constructive conversations?

– I’m curious about the relationship between the concept of emptiness and the material world.

Two hours passed quickly, and it was soon time to end the Dharma Q&A.  Venerable Pomnyun Sunim once again shared with the audience how to live a happier life.


“To Person A.”

The Dharma Q&A concluded with a big round of applause. Afterward, old acquaintances came to meet Sunim. He greeted them warmly, asking about their well-being.

Then, a book signing session was held. The line for signatures that began on stage continued all the way around the Dharma Q&A hall.

After the book signing, Sunim took commemorative photos with the volunteers who had prepared the Dharma Q&A and expressed his gratitude to them.

It was past 9 PM when he left the Dharma Q&A hall. By the time he arrived at his accommodations, it was after 10 PM.

Tomorrow, he is scheduled to travel to Toronto, Canada, to meet with members of Jungto Society and hold a Dharma Q&A for the Korean community in the evening.