Sumi Loundon Kim
Rev. Sumi Loundon Kim is the Buddhist chaplain at Yale University and founder of the Mindful Families of Durham. She has published two anthologies, Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists and The Buddha’s Apprentices: More Voices of Young Buddhists. Following a master’s degree from the Harvard Divinity School, she served as the associate director at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and as the Buddhist chaplain at Duke University. She lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Blue Jean Buddha
In an age when the Dalai Lama’s image has been used to sell computers, rock stars have used tantra to enhance their image, and for many, Nirvana calls to mind a a favorite band, what does Buddhism mean to twenty-somethings?
Blue Jean Buddha offers real stories about young Buddhists in their own words that affirm and inform the young adult Buddhist experience. This one-of-a-kind book is about the experiences of young people in America-from their late teens to early thirties-who have embraced Buddhism. Thirty-three first-person narratives reflect on a broad range of life-stories, lessons, and livelihood issues, such as growing up in a Zen center, struggling with relationships, caring for the dying, and using marathon running as meditation. Throughout, up-and-coming author Sumi Loundon provides an illuminating context for the tremendous variety of experiences shared in the book.
Blue Jean Buddha was named a finalist in the 2002 Independent Publisher Book Awards (Multicultural Non-Fiction—Young Adult) as well in NAPRA’s Nautilus Awards, in the Personal Journey/Memoir/Biography category.
This three-volume set provides a complete curriculum for adults and children to learn about mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist teachings together, either in the home, in partnership with other families, or with a local center.
The Adult Study Guide (280 pages) offers thirty-six lesson plans including meditation practices, homework, readings, and reflection questions for group study.
The Children’s Lesson Plans (296 pages), used in conjunction with the Adult Study Guide, provides step-by-step instructions for teachers on meditation exercises, stories, crafts, songs, and games.
The Activity Book (136 pages) is a perfect companion to enhance the children’s education with over 50 coloring pages, puzzles, and other fun activities.
This comprehensive curriculum for adults and children ages 3–12 has five units on meditation, kindness, ethics, character, and service. It is perfect for any family, Dharma center, yoga studio, or religious, educational, or community organization that wants to incorporate a mindfulness program for children and their families.
Sitting Together Activity Book
This book is filled with over 50 coloring pages, games, mazes, and other fun activities for children ages 3-12. Though designed to be used with the Sitting Together curriculum, it can also be used on its own. This book is perfect for any family, Dharma center, yoga studio, or organization that wants to incorporate mindfulness into their children’s activities.
The Buddha’s Apprentices
Sumi Loundon’s Blue Jean Buddha was hailed by the New York Times Review of Books as “a bellwether anthology”—mapping the spiritual trails followed by a generation of American Buddhist youths. The Buddha’s Apprentices examines that territory in fuller detail, telling twenty-six more stories of this powerful spiritual path, including the stories of many teenagers. The book shows us the common challenges that spiritually hungry young adults of today might face, with a focus on the identity issues around personality, profession, and lifestyle. Also included are several affirming essays from prominent older Buddhists, recalling their first encounters with Buddhism. The Buddha’s Apprentices inspires, examining the tectonic shifts that young, spiritually-inclined people undergo as they leave home, search for partners, consider commitment and marriage, and build their lives. Furthermore, they tell of how Buddhism changes and enhances their abilities to face life’s difficulties.
Sumi Loundon’s rich and youthful commentary lets us appreciate each contributor’s individual voice, and helps us to see how they contribute to the always-evolving chorus of modern Buddhism.
The Buddha’s Apprentices can be considered a sequel to Sumi Loundon’s Blue Jean Buddha, but goes beyond that work by giving extra attention to teens and young adults and including pieces from Thich Nhat Hanh, Lama Surya Das, and a truly diverse array of younger author/contributors.