Shim Gum Do Founding Master Great Zen Master Chang Sik Kim

M.E. Altabef, Chang Sik Kim, J.R. Altabef, Chong Kwan Jang Nim, G. Altabef at Shim Gwang Sa, Boston.

Thunder and lightning appear
The sky and earth wake up
The sound of enlightenment
Makes the universe flip upside down
Nobody knows that
“Tong! Tong! Tong!”
This sound is enlightenment
Do you have hands?
Take it!

Saturday March 20th @ 11 AM EST via a live feed through Facebook and Instagram. All are invited to join virtually in a ceremony to honor Sa Bu Nim. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to the American Buddhist Shim Gum Do Association.

“The past is a mirror.” When a teacher, guru, mentor, or spiritual leader dies, the whole world shakes from the imbalance. The beauty, love, artistry, delight, strength, intelligence, humor, and more that was Master Chang Sik Kim is held in the hearts of his students and all those he touched in his valiant life. How many men can create and bring a new form of martial art into existence? And then fiercely impart it’s power to generations of students. He taught his students how to practice the art of Zen, not only as a meditator alone in their rooms, or zendo, but as a way of life. To think, act, feel, and move in the world with a clear Zen mind.

“Right now is the present.” To those left behind death can be an awakening. The process of grief is like the process of birth, breathe your way through it. The pain and the tears must be shed, do not hold back. Now is the time to remember what within you is most like Sa Bu Nim (Father Teacher). To stand in the same strength and clarity he did and create through your talents an honorable life.

“The future is a dream.” I gratefully met Sa Bu Nim when my wonderful child was studying Shim Gum Do and rose to Master of Black Belt. As with so many joys I am grateful to my child and to these splendid teachers for this accomplishment. To have your child follow their soul’s dream is also a parent’s dream and practice. The practice of Zen clear mind that Master Chang Sik Kim brought to his students is an incredibly strong foundation to build a life upon.

“Zen is not the past and not the future.” Pass on what you learned from this great teacher as a gift to the world. Own what he gave to you, what he saw in you. He awakened the minds of those he led daily in meditation and Shim Gum Do-Mind Sword Path. His was the skill of a master of life, he taught with the swiftness and sureness of his blade. Humor is the Zen Master’s greatest tool. Master Chang Sik Kim welded this as powerfully as he did his sword.

“In Zen, the most important is right now.” When Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote, “The pen is mightier than the sword” he was not speaking of Chang Sik Kim. He was mighty with either in his hand. He was also a prolific poet, publishing 83,000 poems during his lifetime. I present a couple here. And highly recommend them as another way to appreciate the spirit of this great man. Read his books of poetry, they are full of the clearness of his masterful mind.

The Mind Shower 
The mind makes all kinds of thinking.
Good thinking and bad thinking stick in the mind.
When sitting meditation, the body and the mind stop all their action.
When cutting all thinking,
The mind becomes clear like the blue sky.
Continuous meditation kicks out bad thinking.
When the mind’s bad thinking is kicked out,
It is just like taking a shower to clean dirt off the body.
The mind becomes clear like a cleansed body.
Then, the mind can see everything clearly and make correct decisions.
All of nature wants to be lifetime friends with the mind.
All of nature jumps into the mind.
All of nature dances around the clear mind.
All of nature is happy and creates everything.

From The Nature of Life and Death by Chang Sik Kim.
Two of 83,000 poems he published in his lifetime.

Gretchen Altabef is an MX author of Sherlock Holmes novels. Mondadori Publishing has contracted to translate her novels into Italian. Ms. Altabef strives to emulate Dr. John Watson’s and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary style. The first, These Scattered Houses, is in Holmes’ own voice and resourcefully chronicles the last two months of his ‘great hiatus’. The second in the series is, Remarkable Power of Stimulus. After 3 years away, Holmes finds London awash in murders, No. 221B under siege, anarchists threatening Paris, and the return of Irene Adler. Fully aware he is being watched by Moriarty’s men, Holmes steps out of the cab into Baker Street knowing he will find Watson’s friendship and unerring aim are as dependable as the British Rail.

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