Andrew Schwartz talks with Venerable Pomnyun Sunim – a Korean Buddhist monk and activist. Venerable Pomnyun is the founder of a number of organizations, including the Jungto Society, a volunteer Buddhist community that advocates for peace, sustainability, and human rights; the Join Together Society, an international aid organization that helps children who are hungry, sick, or lacking education opportunities; and EcoBuddha, an NGO that aims to increase public awareness about environmental issues. Since the late 1990s, he has worked to address conflicts in the Korean peninsula and other Asian countries. His approach to conflict resolution has informed and inspired individuals in Korea and the U.S., including government officials and members of congress. Andrew talks to Pomnyun about the relationship between spiritual practice and social justice work, how the teachings of the Buddha ground an ecological worldview, the need to integrate concerns about human rights and the global environmental crisis, and many other topics.
***Audio Notes***: the recording has been edited so that, for the most part, you will only be hearing Pomnyun’s English interpreter. Additionally, the conversation was recorded in a public space at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, so you will occasionally hear some background noise.