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Bon Soeng
Bon Soeng

Bon Soeng

Empty Gate Zen Center

San Francisco, CA USA

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

Career Roadmap

Bon's work combines: Non-Profit Organizations, Philosophy & Religion, and Teaching / Mentoring

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Day In The Life

Zen Master

I'm a guiding zen teacher and lead people through meditation teachings and zen retreats.

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    When he was 14, he realized he was "living a life that was someone else's idea."

  • 2.

    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.

  • 3.

    Moved to a Zen Buddhist farm in Northern California, his first encounter with Buddhism.

  • 4.

    First Buddhist text he read, he found himself nodding over and over again, going, "Yes, this is what I think, too."

  • 5.

    Had seen his father's disconnection from world of physical labor; decided to go the opposite route, became a carpenter.

  • 6.

    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.

  • 7.

    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."

  • 8.

    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.