▲ “Please do not follow what other people do without thinking for yourself. Listen to your inner voice and ask yourself, ‘How can I live a more happy, meaningful life?” Photo by Elizabeth Holbrook
Nothing is scarier than change, even if it’s for the better. Going through the motions of daily life becomes so comfortable that it’s easier to follow the routine rather than to question or challenge it. Kang Bo S, however, is one man who refused to live a life longing for something more meaningful and instead took the steps to make it happen. Trading in his stressful corporate life in Seoul for a more natural, balanced one living purely and simply, Kang has now devoted his life to help others achieve their happiness. “I have found out that my purpose in life is to share my experience with people on how to live and to find their own mission. I want to touch their inspiration by sharing my personal experiences so people can find their own direction,” he says.
How long have you lived in Jeju? I moved here last January. I’m originally from Busan, but I had been living in Seoul for the past 25 years.
Why did you move to the island? Suseonjae wanted to expand their activity abroad, but first they want to have a trial run before jumping overseas. Jeju is a unique place in Korea. The island is very beautiful so many foreign people from Japan, China, America and even European countries come to visit. This is the perfect place before going overseas. I was designated as the head of the foreign center planning team and was dispatched to Jeju to try to figure out the best way to spread our message.
How are you currently spreading your message? Right now we are featuring a love postcard campaign. It’s a very pure activity with no personal or hidden gain. We want people to simply write a message to a loved one or family member. We provide the postcard and mail it for free. This postcard campaign was designed in hopes that people would take the time out of their daily lives to connect with others. So often, especially in Asia, people are very stern, and don’t take the time to say what they really feel. Just writing what they truly think of a loved one on a postcard could really cause a great effect.
How long have you been involved with Suseonjae? I first became a member in 2004. I was working for a big company in Seoul and my life was filled with so many stressful things. Everyone in big companies in Korea is focused on money and moving up in the corporate world. After the Korean War there was nothing … so many things have changed, thanks to people’s hard work. Yet, people are so focused on work they forget their personal and family life. They just give themselves up to work, work, work. We believe this is the only way we are supposed to go. After graduating university I found myself following everyone else’s trends, focusing on work and material things. Suddenly, because of a personal crisis and working in a stressful environment, I was driven to look for something different. I was not satisfied with my current life. I was thirsty for something more. I passed by a sign advertising Suseonjae and deep breathing meditation, so I checked it out. I quickly realized it was what I had been searching for all along.
How has your life changed since being a part of the organization? At first, I lived my life in two parts: one as a businessman and the other as a meditation member. Early in the morning I’d do meditation with deep breathing and then I’d try to meditate for one or two hours a day. Gradually the weight in my heart started to lift. In 2007, I quit my corporate job and decided to join a film company. After three years I quit my job again in order to enter into Suseonjae fulltime. I now devote all of my time to counseling people. Recently I have found out that my purpose in life is to share my own experience with people so they can discover their own mission. I want to touch their inspiration by sharing my personal experiences so people can find their own direction.
Why is meditation important to you? I entered into the meditation center at such a critical point in my life. I was asking questions such as, “What can I do to make my life more desirable and valuable?” These questions make people live a more happy and meaningful life. Meditation helps people pursue those kinds of questions.
What do you like best about living in Jeju compared to living on the mainland? Even without lots of money, I’m very happy. Most of my salary in Seoul flowed into the maintenance of my real estate. Now I live very simply near Sanbang mountain. My life is closer to nature now. It’s what I was desperately looking for when I was living in a big metropolitan city.
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