Today we’d like to introduce you to Chun Shim.
Chun, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Can you imagine choosing to leave your country, family and work to follow your heart’s dream? That’s what I chose in 1996 when I gave up my doctorate program in German Literature and moved from South Korea to the United States. I didn’t speak English, had virtually no money, and no guarantee of my future. But for me, it was an easy choice to make, because I knew it was in America where I could have the greatest opportunity to help people to awaken inside and choose to create a peaceful world.
I always longed to find spiritual answers and searched for them in books, lectures, and others’ opinions. I studied German Literature because I saw messages of awakening in those books. I went to Germany to prepare for my doctorate dissertation. When I returned to Korea, I was exhausted and my body was very weak.
Based on a friend’s suggestion, I took a yoga class, and a few months later, I attended a Chakra Healing workshop. A few months after that, I gave up my prior career path to pursue Tao Master training. It was there I found the answers I had longed for within myself. I came to realize that all answers were inside me, and Tao helped me to find them. My husband made the same choice. He gave up his successful professorship to become a Tao Master and together, we traveled to America.
What is Tao? Tao is a way that is for everyone. It is right in our hearts. It is not associated with religion or dogma. Instead, it helps us to go within to find our true essence, activate our body’s natural healing, and find our passion for life. Through Tao, my life was transformed into a different dimension. Before Tao, all my efforts were focused on the material / physical dimension; I didn’t know about the multi-dimension of energy. Tao gave me the hope, the direction and the tools I needed. I learned that if people have these tools, everyone can create what they want.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When my husband and I came to the U.S., we knew virtually nothing about the language or the culture, and we had very little money. For our first night in the U.S., we stayed in a room in the Boston area. The landlord had not turned on the heat, and it was so cold that we couldn’t sleep. The next morning, we looked for public transportation. We knew the word “subway;” so imagine our surprise when we found the “Subway,” only to walk into a sandwich shop! We had our beginning with the members of a Korean Christian church. At the church, we told them we could help with healing and exercises. One woman couldn’t graduate from music school due to a wrist problem; another man had back pain. We helped them to heal, and that was how we first made money to cover our rent and food.
Eventually, we could rent a one-room apartment in Boston. Our apartment became our first center. We contacted the Korean community for our first customers, although this was America, and we came to help the Americans. I created a hand-written flyer in English and then a few Americans came. I couldn’t speak English so I just listened, and they loved it—they were so lonely. For some reason, I could understand them; I would say one word, and that was the healing.
When the number of members increased, we didn’t have enough room in my apartment. Out of the blue, someone said she had a room over her laundromat where I could move into a larger studio. When the laundry was active, our room would get so hot, and we would exercise the vibration from the machines. But the rent was cheap, so that was good. There were countless challenges, but I didn’t really see anything as obstacles. The challenge was helping Americans to understand energy and how it works. Now it is more common, but twenty years ago, the topic of energy was very unfamiliar. By following my heart, I moved toward where I am now.
Tao Healing Center – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
After living 16 years on the east coast, I moved to Chandler, Arizona to run the non-profit Tao Healing Center. Here, we use the best of Eastern mindfulness and yoga practices and Western brain science to help members connect deeply within themselves, to know their true essence, and to activate the natural healing of their bodies.
Our focus is to inspire others. As in my case, I started from zero, but my heart and conviction helped me to go through everything. It never was about the money; it was about my conviction—that was the key. Our members learn that when they follow their passion from their heart, they can succeed in life in all aspects, including health, relationships, and career.
Today, we have over 50 members who have become Tao Wellness Guides from all over the country. Our Tao Guides volunteer their time to teach others about Tao practices in retirement communities, companies, veteran organizations, schools, etc. For example, we partner with the Scott Foundation (scott-foundation.org), which is an amazing organization focusing on the teenage foster children in Arizona. Together, we help these kids to transform from their stories of tragedy to become future thought and service leaders. To be able to reach more people, we are currently working to expand the number of our Tao Healing Centers to other locations in Arizona, including Flagstaff, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Tempe. We partner with corporations and municipalities to help fund our non-profit centers.
Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so –who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
Have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so – who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.)
Who are the mentors and supporters that have played a big role in your success, and how did they help?
Our primary sponsor is the Sedona Mago Retreat, a center for spiritual awakening and holistic healing, located in the desert outside of Sedona (sedonamagoretreat.org). People from all over the world travel there to experience retreat training. I know of countless stories of transformation people have experienced through their training at Sedona Mago Retreat. We are very grateful for their support. They’ve helped to make this center happen and are supporting us as we focus on growing the number of centers in Arizona.
- Other: sedonamagoretreat.org/begin || sedonamagoretreat.org/from-stress-to-strength || taohealingcenters.org/sts4teams