Haemin Sunim (Sunim is a Korean honorific for Buddhist monks) has become famous for imparting enlightenment and wisdom in his tweets about daily life. He’s one of the most prominent Twitter voices in Korea, with around 55,000 followers. His messages get re-tweeted so much that he ranked as the country’s most influential Twitter user–excluding celebrities and politicians–on Monday, according to SNS Page, an online site that provides Twitter-related rankings...
Haemin Sunim recalled a recent Twitter exchange with a teenage girl who faces Korea’s high-stakes university entrance exam this Thursday while also deeply worrying about a mother with cancer. He said he felt really great that the girl found some peace of mind after their conversation on Twitter.
Politics is off limits in his tweets, and he also doesn’t propagate Buddhism. “People don’t like seeing outright missionary work on Twitter. What I write is actually the translation of difficult Buddhist doctrines in simple language,” the Harvard-educated monk said.
He said his peer Buddhist monks should consider speaking with laypeople via Twitter to stay in touch with the outside world. In a recent meeting with other monks, he encouraged them to talk to the young generation. “I told them if we don’t, young people will gradually dismiss religion as outdated.”
To give you a flavor of his tweets, here’s one from earlier this week: “There are more ordinary times than extraordinary ones throughout our lifetime. You wait your turn in a bank, pick fruit at a grocery store, and spend your time in subway. After all, you are happy when you feel happy in your ordinary time.”