Bon's Open Road

BON SOENG

Zen Master
Empty Gate Zen Center

“The biggest wisdom really comes from not knowing; if you admit you don't know, then you're willing to look.”

INTERESTS:

Non-Profit Organizations Philosophy & Religion

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Values Self-Reflection Simplicity Beliefs & Faith Education Family Individualism Societal Pressures Exploration Focus Honesty Fear Desire

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

BIOGRAPHY:

  • When he was 14, he realized he was "living a life that was someone else's idea."
  • Didn't want to go to college; parents made him a deal: he'd finish his education, then be free to do whatever he wanted.
  • Moved to a Zen Buddhist farm in Northern California, his first encounter with Buddhism.
  • First Buddhist text he read, he found himself nodding over and over again, going, "Yes, this is what I think, too."
  • Had seen his father's disconnection from world of physical labor; decided to go the opposite route, became a carpenter.
  • People kept telling him he'd be a good psychotherapist-knew he wanted to bring Buddhism to the "regular world," therapy could be the link.
  • Says it's unrealistic to want to be happy all the time: "You're not gonna want to go to work some days-that's just how it is."
  • It's helpful to find a mentor who can act as a "mirror," not someone who tells you what to do, but rather shows you who you are.

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