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Passing of Dear Venerable Samu Sunim


born March 3, 1941 at Chinju, South Korea

died August 6, 2022 at Zen Buddhist Temple, Toronto, Canada

Our dear Venerable Samu Sunim passed away Saturday August 6th, 2022 at 10:40 pm at the Toronto temple in the company of Haju, Toan, Sanha, Bopkong, Joyong and Nachimpan.


He died peacefully, free from pain and major discomfort. He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease several years. Thursday morning on August 11 he was cremated in Milton, Ontario. We chanted and gave Sunim a final farewell as the smoke blended with the radiant summer sky.


Sanha cared for him since the spring of 2020 with utmost devotion and care, warm heart and unfailing good humour. He was able to enjoy the warm months at the Spring Wind farm.


Sunim's constant inner meditative question was: "how can I transmit and adapt Buddhism to westerners, while keepng the essence of the tradition" His accomplishments were not common: He had the profound realization of a Seon (Zen) master, combined with the vast knowledge of Buddhism of a scholar. Above all he was a strong and compassionate teacher, ready to offer a helping hand to all.

Cremation, August 11 2022 at 10 am

"Dear newly departed spirit, having broken free from the shell of the five aggregates and your radiant spirit shining alone, you have now received the pure and excellent precepts of the Buddha. How would this not be joyful! How would this not be joyful! Buddhaland or not you’ll be reborn at will according to your wish. Cheers! Cheers!"


—Song of Impermanence

Final Years of Venerable Samu Sunim

Venerable Samu Sunim handed his Dharma staff (Chujangja) to Toan Sunim at the end of the summer Yongmaeng Jeongjin retreat in July 2019.

In his retirement and illness Sunim spent his days at Spring Wind Farm, Mexico City temple and Toronto temple. His days were simple and peaceful.

Celebration of Life

We had a lovely celebration of the Ven. Same Sunim's life on Saturday September 24. Please click this link to view it.

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