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7-8:30pm – Sokhun Tho

June 2, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Sokhun Tho, a Buddhist monk
Instead of the usual Wednesday night meditation and book discussion, we have a special event!

Puget Sound Zen Center member, Donnie Myers will join his friend, Sokhun Tho for a discussion on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7pm. The usual Wednesday night reading and discussion is cancelled for that evening.

The evening will include one sit, and then Sokhun Tho and Donnie will talk about the school Sokhun created in Cambodia with the help of Donnie.

Below is Sokhun’s account of his journey from childhood to building a school in Cambodia.

My name is Sokhun Tho, a Buddhist monk from Cambodia. I was born in the rural village of Phum O (O village), Sanvaey Commune, Chi Kraeng District, Siem Reap Province, the Kingdom of Cambodia.  

When I was young, there were not many schools in my village or nearby. It was not easy to get enrolled for schooling. My parents had tried to send me to school when I was 6 years old, but I was not lucky enough because classrooms and tables were limited.  I was on the waitlist until I was 9 when I had the chance to start my first class.

When I was to enter grade 4, my family could not afford my expenses anymore. My heart was broken, and I tried to think where I could get an education for free.

In the village there is a local Buddhist temple that teaches morality, Dhamma and basic education such as Khmer language, math etc.  I decided to ask my parents if I could stay at the temple. They did not allow me at first, but later on they rethought their decision and allowed me to go.

I left home and to live in the temple when I was 12 years old. I learned Chanting, the rule of Buddhism and languages like the others temple boys.

I was ordinated and became a novice monk when I was13 year old and kept moving forward with my studies. I moved from the local temple to live in town and continued my studies until finishing Buddhist high school.

My dream was to try to get higher education to bring back my knowledge to the village where I grew up. In order to fulfill this dream, I decided to join the local organizations to get some experience. I worked for Youth Educational Buddhist Center and then as an administrator for Angkor Buddhist Organization.

In 2013, during my working times at Angkor Buddhist Organization (ABO), I met a man named Donny that was very kind, calm and gentle. He wore white cloths and shaved his hair which looked very similar to a monk or nun. Actually, he went to visit the school to find the director of the school. I asked him to wait because the director was not there yet. Although I knew very little English I tried to talk to him. He asked me a few things about my dream, and I had a chance to explain my dream to him. I told him I wanted to get higher education and go back to the village to build the school and help the local children. After our conversation, he gave me his name card and we took a picture together. We keep in touch and talked about the school. He supported me to study at university.

Not long after that, he introduced me to meet Steve Duggan, one of the people from Amazing Grace. I had a chance to share my master plan with him and everybody. Finally, my dream came true! I started to build the school in 2014 and now more than 500 kids are attending the school.

Additional years have gone by and I am able to help the children of village. I have completed my master’s degree and have been given the opportunity to see the U.S.A. I always tell everybody that I am a frog that jumped out of a well!

I am very grateful to be here sharing my story with you all.

Thank you,


June 2, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Puget Sound Zen Center

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