The 20th Korea, China, Japan Buddhist Goodwill Conference to be Held at Bongeunsa, Seoul, from September 6 to 8

The 20th Korea, China, Japan Buddhist Goodwill Conference will be held at Bongeunsa, Seoul, from September 6 to 8. The Buddhist delegations of Korea, China and Japan had the preliminary meeting for the 20th Conference at the Lotte Hotel Jeju on March 23 and confirmed the schedule of the Conference.

The delegates from the three countries agreed to hold an exhibition of video clips and photographs showcasing milestones of the development of the three countries’ Buddhist communities. The participants of the preliminary meeting agreed to set the theme for the conference as “Sustainable Exchange and Development of Buddhist Goodwill of Korea, China and Japan”. At the 20th Conference, formal monastic meal, or traditional Korean way of having meals at Buddhist temples, will be demonstrated, along with the congratulatory performance, “Practices and Vows of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra”, by a nationwide Buddhist choir in a large scale. In addition, the Dharma Assembly for World Peace and academic lectures will also be held.

The preliminary meeting was attended by Ven. Woldo, the Secretary General of the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders and Director of the Administrative Department of the Cheontae Order, who served as the head of the Korean delegation, Executive Directors of the Association, 10 Chinese delegates led by Ven. Mingsheng, Senior Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China, and 9 Japanese delegates led by Ven. Takekakucho, Chairman of the Japan-China-South Korea International Buddhist Exchange Council.

Article reference:

What is Templestay?

What is Templestay?
Templestay is a unique cultural program which lets you experience the life of Buddhist practitioners at traditional temples which preserve the 1700 year old history of Korean Buddhism.

The whole world slumbers in the dark hours before dawn, but as the majestic temple bell tolls, it awakens the universe, and the day begins in the mountain temple, as it has for the last 1700 years. Templestay is a cultural experience program that lets one get a taste for the incredible cultural heritage which has blossomed during the five thousand years of Korean history, as well as experience the cultural consciousness transmitted throughout Korean Buddhist history.

You can realize the Buddhist method of eating ecologically, called BaruGongyang (monastic formal meal), which allows one to live in harmony with nature. Through the practice of Dado (tea ceremony) you can find true stillness and tranquility in a cup of tea. While walking along a peaceful forest path, you can listen to your inner voice, and through the practice of 108 prostrations you can learn the technique of putting down your inner desires and attachments.

It’s a time to search for your True Self and become one with your Original Nature. We hope that Templestay allows you to clear your mind so that you can have a wider experience of the world, and that this serves as a turning point when you return to your everyday life.

A bowl of food and a droplet of water, learning compassion from a tiny blade of grass. Instead of the racket of the city, we can finally become our True Selves through the noble silence flowing within this place.

Buddhist Chef Eric Ripert Learns Korean Buddhist Cuisine __ Yencheon

Buddhist Chef Eric Ripert Learns Korean Buddhist Cuisine
“Korean Buddhist Cuisine, Holding a Key to Human Survival”

This is an article about Eric Ripert who is a head chef of the famous restaurant
“Le Bernardin” and a Buddhist during his visits to Korean temples to learn Korean Buddhist
cuisine and Seon Buddhism in Aug. 2015.

Eric Ripert said, “Buddhist cuisine brings those who make and eat it closer to enlightenment,” and also emphasized, “The culture of Buddhist cuisine should be propagated more widely in order to pursue a more sustainable way of life.”

Eric visited Tongdo-sa Temple and learned Korean Buddhist cuisine from Master Wonsang. Even though this was their first meeting, they both had a great time making fresh ginseng and vegetable rolls together. Fresh ginseng and vegetables rolls. After peeling fresh ginseng, put seasoned vegetables on top of the fresh ginseng peels and tie it up with boiled water parsley.

At Tongdo-sa, “maji” (offering to the Buddha) and food for monks are made in a gamasot cooked over a wood fire. After the water boils, add rice and adjust the amount of water, stirring at regular intervals with a stainless steel paddle. Adjust the fire intensity as necessary. After making steamed rice, a “nurungji”(crust of overcooked rice) is frequently stuck to the bottom of the pot. It is a favorite snack for Koreans.

World renowned chef Eric Ripert, head chef of the famous restaurant “Le Bernardin” in Midtown Manhattan, visited Tongdo-sa Temple, Baekyang-sa Temple and Jingwan-sa Temple Aug. 5-11 to learn Korean Buddhist cuisine and Seon Buddhism. This article is about his experiences during that visit. “Le Bernardin,” located in Midtown Manhattan, is famous for its French style seafood dishes. Since Chef Ripert became the head chef at Le Bernardin in 1994, The New York Times has consistently given Le Bernardin four stars for the longest period of time. Since then, Eric’s fame has spread all over the world.

What does he see in the Buddhist cuisine? He says, “Buddhist cuisine is healthy because it uses organic vegetables, and a vegetarian diet doesn’t cause animals to suffer.” He also believes Buddhist cuisine brings people closer to enlightenment. In addition, Eric says, “The survival of mankind depends on developing a sustainable culture and Buddhist cuisine is a sustainable culture.” Thus, he came to Korea in the heat of summer to study Korean Buddhist cuisine.

 “Chef” is not a Job but Passion and Lifestyle
Eric says, “Being a chef is not just a vocation but a passion and a lifestyle.” On this visit he met Master Jeonggwan of Cheonjin-am Hermitage in Baekyang-sa Temple for the third times. Eric had previously appeared with Master Jeonggwan on the PBS series “Avec Eric.” On that occasion he invited Master Jeonggwan to his restaurant to introduce Buddhist cuisine to key media reporters who covered food and restaurants. The reporters had lauded Buddhist cuisine and were fascinated by its diverse flavors.

 Disciple not only of Buddhist Cuisine but also Buddhism
Eric said it was a great experience to work with Master Jeonggwan at Cheonjin-am for three days. They seemed to understand each other very well with little need for a translator. In spite of the summer heat, they made steamed rice with thistle and roasted agastache rice cakes with soybean paste, Eric dutifully added kindlings to the fire and operated the bellows. In addition, he shredded potatoes and agastache, working side by side with Master Jeonggwan to prepare roasted soybean pancakes. Eric also picked agastache, thistle, perilla leaves and red peppers in the kitchen garden. Eric said, “The taste of agastache is fragrant and somewhat like western anise.” He had many questions for Master Jeonggwan.

I Would Have Like Being a Monk
Master Jeonggwan has great intuition and was very open and honest. He compared Eric to the Tibetan priestess Dakini. Dakini is the goddess of the temple bell in Korea and has the role of directly passing down the self-discipline of Esoteric Buddhism and protecting devotees. It is said that Tilopa and Milarepa inherited Dakini’s esoteric methods. Legend also says that Dakinis incarnated as a human and became not only a companion on the path but also mother to a Buddha, and handed down the truth of Buddhism. Although Eric sometimes thinks he would have liked to be a Buddhist monk, he knows he cannot abandon the people he loves, his wife Sandra and a son Adrian. He said he would like to visit Korea again with his wife and son.

What is Seon Buddhism?
Eric, a follower of Tibetan Buddhism was curious about Seon Buddhism. Wherever he went, he asked the monks two questions. One was “What is Seon Buddhism?” The other had to do with killing fish. “In my job as a chef, I violate the precept of not taking a life. What should I do?” Master Jeonggwan of Cheonjin-am, Master Wonil of Baekyang-sa, Master Doun of Jingwan-sa, and Master Wonsang, Suan and Doan of Tongdo-sa Temple all answered these questions differently. However, a satisfactory answer seemed to eventually form in his mind. One master said, “It will be good for the fish if you kill it after praying for its rebirth into a better life.” Another master said, “The concept of not killing is not reserved only for fish. There are many small living things and microorganisms that we kill accidently. If this matter weighs on your mind, you should hold a “Cheondojae” (memorial ceremony) once or twice a year.”

Please Draw My Mind
Eric asked even more questions of Master Suan. He asked Master Suan, who dresses differently from other monks, “You are a monk even though you don’t dress as they do. Do you live the lifestyle of a monastic?” Master Suan answered, “Even though I don’t live exactly as a Buddhist monastic, I need at least one cell inside my body to move.” When Master Suan offered to draw Eric a picture, Eric asked Master Suan to draw a picture of his mind. Suan first drew Eric’s smiling face and painted a broad luminous blue cloud encircling his face. Eric was happy to see the color blue, his favorite color. After drawing a small alms bowl under the face, Suan said, “This alms bowl is empty. Please put your best cooking into it.”

Nurungji in the Shape of a Full Moon
The monks of Tongdo-sa showed Eric how to make “maji” (offering to the Buddha) and how they cooked over a wood fire using a gamasot (large iron pot). Three monks assisted in adding firewood and water when necessary, steaming the boiled rice and scooping the rice out. It looked like a ceremony. They first boiled water, added rice and then adjusted the water level as necessary. One monk then stirred the rice at regular intervals with a stainless steel paddle while the others tended the fire, adjusting it as necessary. After scooping the steamed rice out, one monk scooped out a large piece of nurungji (overcooked rice crust that sticks to the bottom of the pot). It was larger in diameter than a monk’s chest and in the shape of full moon, a symbol of perfect enlightenment. This pleased everyone greatly.

Different Buddhist Cuisines of Three Masters
After Eric experienced the Buddhist dishes prepared at three different temples, he knew Buddhist cuisine had infinite possibilities and could be creatively enhanced. He then categorized each temples cooking style. He defined Master Jeonggwan’s cooking as “rustic traditional,” Master Doun’s as “sophisticated traditional,” and Master Wonsang’s as “creative.” I expect that Eric, who wants to advocate Buddhist temple food as a sustainable lifestyle, will continue to inspire others, and I hope his Buddhist practice continues to mature along with his culinary artistry.

Coverage organization | Yencheon (Freelancer), Photos | Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism

Supreme Patriarch Jinje: the new appointed spiritual leader of Jogye Order

The 13th Supreme Patriarch was appointed unanimously by the Council of Elders

On December 14th, The Council of Elders had an election at the Center for Korean Buddhist History and Culture for the selection of the new spiritual leader. The Great Patriarch Jinje-beopwon, a member of Council of Elders was appointed as the 13th Supreme Patriarch unanimously. This election was attended by Ven. Jongsan (Head of Council of Elders) along with 20 other members from the Council, The Most Ven. Jaseung (President of Jogye Order), The Most Ven. Boseon (The Head of Central Council), and The Most Ven. Beopdeung (Executive Director of Precepts Council). The supreme patriarch’s term will begin on March 26th, 2012 for the next five years.

Followed by the election, ceremony to announce the new patriarch to the Buddha, along with incense offering and the three prostrations ritual took place at the main Buddha Hall of the Jogye-sa Temple to show respect to the Buddha. In addition, Ven. Jaseung and the members from the Central Directorate of Religious Affairs celebrated the event in the congratulatory ceremony. The new Patriarch then returned to Donghwa-sa Temple, the Head Temple for the 9th District of the Jogye Order where he currently resides.

The Supreme Patriarch Jinje stated in his acceptance speech, “I am very grateful that great masters from the Council of Elders have chosen me as the leader to represent the Jogye Order” and added, “I will follow the definitive opinions from the Council of Elders to create peaceful future of Jogye Order. I will try my utmost best to propagate Ganhwa Seon (Traditional Korean Buddhist Meditation) to the world, which can be considered as the essence of oriental spiritual culture.

The Great Patriarch Jinje was born on 1934 in Gyeongnam Province. He received his novice precept on 1953 in Haein-sa Temple under Ven. Seokwu and received his full ordination under Ven. Hyewun, also in Haein-sa Temple. He also received numerous Dharma lineages from great Seon masters of Korea, such as Ven. Hyanggok, Gyengheo, Hyewol, Wunbong, and Hyanggok. On 1971and 1999,        he established Haewun monastery in Busan City Haewundae and Geumcheon-sa monastery in Gyeongju City respectively, to propagate Buddhism in the region and establish Seon lineage.

He became the member of Council of Elders in 2003, and on 2004 received the great Patriarch Dharma status from the Jogye Order, which is the highest status in Jogye Order after the Supreme Patriarch.

Some of the Dharma books published by the Great Patriarch include, <100 Questions and Answers of Seon Buddhism> < Godamnokwol> published in Korean and published in English.

Article from Korean Buddhist Newspaper
Written By: Park Intak
Website Address:

15 Virtues of Korean Buddhism

Naesosa Temple
[Naesosa Temple]

There are 15 virtues of Korean Buddhism. In this column you can learn what those 15 virtues are.

1. Temples 
The temples temples are beautiful. They blend with nature as if Mother Nature herself built them. They are cradled by the mountains and replenished by brooks and rivers. The temple buildings are simple yet ornate. One could hardly find a more serene and beautiful sanctuary anywhere in the world.

2. Temple Food


It is delicious, nutritious, and good for the environment and living beings. The 100% vegetarian food served at Korean temples are prepared from fresh vegetable often grown on temple grounds. The preparation is often simple without many spices. Temple food never uses the five pungent vegetables from the onion family, which are supposed to hinder meditation practice. Artificial flavorings are also never used for a clean and light taste.

3. Seon Meditation
The Seon (meditation tradition) has an unbroken lineage back to the founder of Seon, Bodhidharma. The tradition of the three-month summer and winter retreats are maintained at over 100 temples with over 1000 monastics engaging in retreat. 


[ A monk explains what Barugongyang is to Templestay participants]

4. Barugongyang (Formal Monastic Meal)
 It is wonderful way to eat. It is taken in four wooden bowls and nothing is wasted. It is itself a silent meditation.

5. Monastic Lineage

A pure monastic lineage exists, which honors the Vinaya of Bhikshus. Korea is a Mahayana country, but its adherence to the Vinaya and respect for the monastic sangha resembles the Theravada countries such as Thailand and Myanmar. Monks and nuns conduct themselves with dignity and refinement to reflect the noble Buddhist lineage.


6. Form and Etiquette 


Form and etiquette are emphasized in Korean Buddhism. There is a purity, straightness, and simplicity to the appearance of Korean Buddhism, which is to reflect the uprightness and wholesomeness of mind. Outwardly straight and inwardly pure is the tenet of Korean Buddhism.

7. Diverse Practices
Korean Buddhism offers diverse practices. Along with Seon (the meditation practice, which is the backbone of the KB’s practice lineage), there are diverse devotional practices for monastics and the laity. Daily chanting (Yebul), Yeombul (deity practice, praying to a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva by chanting the name), bowing (such as 108 daily bows or 3000 bows), reciting the sutras (gangyeong), copying sutras (sagyeong), intensive prayers (jeong-geon kido, chanting intensively for 21 days, 100 days, etc.), and more.


It is the meditation practice of Korean Seon. Korea has uniquely preserved and actively engages in this practice. Ganhwaseon means to observe the hwadu, which is the ultimate inquiry. The Hwadu is a sincere and intense questioning into the nature of self and reality. For example, the most common hwadu is “who am I?” This is not an intellectual question, but a sincere longing to know the true nature of the self. This practice leads directly to the experiential understanding of the nature of reality and ultimately to realization. 

9. Ascetic Practice

It is highly valued in Korean Buddhism. Monks and nuns rise at 3 a.m. in most Korean temples for a rigorous day of practice. There is ruggedness and strictness to Korean temple life. Even the grey color of the monastic robes reflects this mentality. Some examples of Korean Buddhist asceticism are: Yongmaeng Jeongjin (ferocious practice: each retreat season in most meditation temples, practitioners don’t sleep at all for a week or longer), Jangjwa Bulwa (not lying down to sleep), finger burning (this is done as an offering to the Buddha or as a sign of dedication to the monastic life), etc.

10. Monastic Robes

Monastic robes are often very elegant and made of the best materials. Koreans monastics are often criticized for their expensive robes made of fine hemp, cotton, or silk. However, the natural materials also have a practical value (such as coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter) as well as aesthetic appeal. Like Catholic priests in Europe, Buddhist monks in Korea play the role of clergy. Such robes lend to the distinction and importance of the clergy’s responsibility. These fine robes have become an inseparable part of Korean Buddhist monastic culture.

11. Korean Tea Tradition


It is an inseparable part of the Korean Buddhist culture. There is not a single temple without a complete tea set and various wonderful teas. The tea pots and cups are uniquely Korean with an earthy and slightly rough appearance, which reflects the Korean Seon values of naturalness and simplicity.

12. Ulyeok (Community Work Period)

It is an indispensable part of Korean Seon. The Seon tradition values work as much as eating; as the saying goes, “no work, no eat.” As Buddhism came to East Asia, farming was done on the temples for sustenance of the monks. In Korea, farming became a Seon practice with the adage, “Seon and farming are not two.” Ulyeok is part of the daily routine of Korean temple life. It is a way to purify Karma. Every Korean monk must do at least five months of manual labor before receiving precepts. Korean Seon adheres to the adage that “every human being should physically labor every day.” This is good for the body and mind.

13. Process of becoming a monastic 
The process inn the Jogye Order is not at all easy but certainly rewarding. Every prospective monastic begins as a hangja (postulant) and must do manual labor for the temple for at least five months. Then, they go to the hangja training course for four weeks to qualify as a novice. Then, a novice monastic must go through four years of training in one of the following institutions: Sutra School, Meditation School, or Monastic or Buddhist University. Then, after a one-week training course, they receive full monastic ordination. It is this difficult process that gives the monks a sense of pride and dignity of wearing the monastic robes.

14. Buddha’s Birthday

It (eighth day of fourth lunar month) is the biggest day of the year for Korean Buddhists. It is the Buddhist Christmas, when the streets and temples are adorned with colorful lanterns. It is when every Buddhists (even closet Buddhists) make their way to the temple for Dharma service. This is the best time of the year to see and experience Buddhist culture in Korea. The Lotus Lantern Festival with its grand and lavish parades and activities takes place around this time.

15. Korean Buddhist Art 
It is a unique heritage of Korean culture. In fact, most of Korea’s cultural properties are Buddhist. Korean temples are veritable art museums with diverse paintings, sculptures, and design. Likewise, museums 

Korean bhikkhunis, creating a culture of their own

Two bhikkhunis, or female monks, work under the sun at Bulyoung Temple, North Gyeongsang Province. /Korea Times file
By Han Sang-hee

Walk into any Buddhist temple in Korea, and you will readily find female monks, or “bhikkhunis,’’ walking or praying in the temple grounds, just like any other male monk. Sometimes it’s even harder to notice at a glance if they are female or male; which indicates that in Korea, there are almost no hints of discrimination in terms of the Buddhist faith.

Despite the modern trend, where bhikkhunis are treated relatively equally to monks compared to other countries, they do follow some different rules. In daily life, bhikkhunis abide by nearly 348 precepts, some 100 more than male monks who follow around 250, and they also wear five pieces of clothing, while the men wear three.

Korea is one of the few nations that recognizes and continues female monastic lineages, along with only a handful of other countries, including Taiwan. Even today, there are only a few countries where women in training can receive ordination, which has resulted in foreign bhikkhunis coming to Korea to be ordained and also many female Buddhists from around the world come to study the religion.


According to Buddhist experts and historians, it was during the 4th century that the bhikkhunis first appeared in Korea.

Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) records state that the first female Buddhist was the sister of a man named Molae, who was also a devoted Buddhist. Molae was the person who helped Goguryeo monk Ven. Ado find his way to Silla and spread the religion. The first officially ordained bhikkhuni to be reported on record is King Beopheung’s queen, who was given the Buddhist name “Myobeop.’’

Bhikkhunis played a great role during the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C.-660 A.D.), as many were sent to Japan to spread the religion while others taught Japanese Buddhists to come to learn the religion. The Three Kingdoms era (57 B.C.-A.D. 668) and Goryeo Kingdom period (918-1392) flourished in terms of Buddhism, opening a wider door for bhikkhunis. The female monks were respected as much as their male counterparts.

Things started to change with the rise of Confucianism during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). Women’s activities were restricted, thus making it difficult for bhikkhunis to carry out their duties and display their faith openly. Some were forbidden from entering temples while others had to leave their posts. Such difficult times may have made their lives and faith a bit harder to express, but their existence was not completely forgotten. According to Yi Hyang-soon, a comparative literature professor at the University of Georgia, their presence could be seen in Buddhist paintings, also known as “Gamrodo,’’ and eventually these paintings became a way to protect their lineage and also continue their practice. Out of the 60 gamrodos found around the country, 28 of them show bhikkhunis, either praying or reading scriptures in peace.

In modern days, bhikkhunis have now found their rightful position in the Buddhist community and although some may argue that they deserve more equal treatment, it’s quite easy to see that they have created a unique culture and system of their own.

Struggle remains

Jo Eun-su, a philosophy professor at Seoul National University, argues that despite the growing interest and number of bhikkhunis in the modern world, their general status has not seen any development over the past years.

“The bhikkhuni tradition has almost disappeared in other Southeast Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, but Korea’s lineage still stands strong thanks to its systemized asceticism and education,’’ the professor wrote in the quarterly magazine, “Buddhist Review’’ earlier this year.

She added that several factors actually helped the tradition survive, pointing out the bhikkhunis’ cohesiveness, their efficient use and management of temples during economically difficult times and also their open minded approach toward the public.
On the other hand, the professor emphasized the problems of the “The Eight Precepts’’ and called it “old-fashioned.’’

The Eight Precepts were made after Buddha initially refused his stepmother and Aunt Mahaprajapati Gotami’s request to ordain herself along with 500 other women in open assembly. Jo insisted that the precepts include outdated orders, such as the rule that a nun who has been ordained for a hundred years must rise up from her seat and greet respectfully, with joined palms, a monk who has only been ordained a day, or the precept that states that a bhikkhuni must not spend the rains in a residence where there are no male monks.

The professor insisted on the need of a more practical and fair system and doctrine for the bhikkhuni tradition to carry on in a healthier way.

“Fairness is the fundamental teaching of Buddhism. Korean Buddhism must not stay behind and insist on the Eight Precepts. It is time for us to discuss more fundamental and practical issues such as female political rights (in the Buddhist circle) or the progress of bringing gender equality,’’ she said.

Present and future

In 2004, Korea held the Sakyadhita International Conference, inviting more than 900 bhikkhunis, monks and Buddhists from around the world. “Sakyadhita’’ means the daughters of Buddha in Sanskrit.

Some 2,000 monks attended the opening ceremony, while more than 1,500 appeared at the closing event, showing the importance and also the influence bhikkhunis possess in the local Buddhist community.

Along with the ongoing recognition of such bhikkhunis living and meditating in Korea, expectations have also never been higher. Discrimination and ancient precepts are not enough to stop the rich and meaningful tradition they have led throughout the years and it’s most evident in the bhikkhunis we meet in the streets, subways and temples that they will continue to do so in the future as well.

As Ven. Myoeom, who is known as the “Godmother of bhikkhunis’’ in Korea, once said during an interview with The Korea Times last year, “although men wouldn’t believe so, women can do everything men do. We do it with wisdom, which is more powerful.’’
Male or female, meditating and following Buddha’s teachings is the same, for it all comes down to “the maturity of one’s soul.’’

Anthology Teachings of Zen Buddhist Priests

“Baegunhwasang Chorokbuljo Jikjisimcheyojeol” contains the essentials of Zen Buddhism compiled by Priest Baegun in the 21st year of King Gongmin(1372) at the age of 75. It is apparent  that the ideas inherited from his teacher Seogok Cheonggong, a Zen(Buddhist Mediation) master, continue and transmit to this work. It was printed into the metal type by his students Seokchan and Daldam under the auspices of Myodeok, who was a Buddhist nun, in the seventh lunar month of 1377 at Heungdeoksa Temple of Cheongju city.

Jikji comprises of historical biographies such as Gyeongdeok jeondeungnok and Seonmun yeomsong, which were to be studied by the student monks after completing the study of the teachings necessary to understand the essence of Zen, including Buddha’s sayings from his last moments, letters of praise, letters and poems on drawings, educational phrases and sentences, songs, writings, orthodox teachings, and dialogues. It introduced all kinds of literature for providing an understanding of Buddhism, and one hundred and forty-five Priests and Monks of India, China, and Korea are related in the contents of the book.

The key words of the title of the name of the book, “jikji simche” were derived from the famous phrase about attaining enlightenment through the practice of Zen, “Jikji insim gyeonseong seongbul” meaning the attainment of an enlightened state by direct appeal to the mind. It also means that when we come to see through Zen what the mind is, then we come to understand that mind to be that of Buddha. Because human nature is pure from the beginning, when the mind sees that it is pure and practices asceticism, one becomes a part of Buddha and one’s mind becomes that of Buddha. In other words, when one is enlightened through Zen, one’s mind becomes Buddha. The old priest put together a book of high standard by selecting only the essentials of Zen to teach and propagate to pupils.

Priest Baegun, who was an author, was born in the 24th year of King Chungryeol(1282) in Gobu, Jeollabuk-do province and passed away in the 23rd year of King Gongmin(1374) at the age of 77 at Chwiamsa Temple of Yeoju-gun. Priest Baegun entered the priesthood when he was young and devoted to religious ansterities. He inherited the ideas from Seogok Cheonggong, a Zen(Buddhist Mediation) master, and learned doctrines from Priest Jigonghwasang of India. After returning home from abroad, he stood abreast with National Preceptor Taego Bowoo and Priest Naonghwasang Hyegeun as Royal Mentor.

The circumstances under which the book left Korea were as follows. It had been in the collection of Collin de Plancy, a charg d’affaires with the French Embassy in Seoul in 1887 during the reign of King Gojong. The book then went into the hands of Henri Vever, a collector of classics, and when he died in 1950, it was donated to the National Library of France, where it has been ever since. Although Buljo jikji simche yojeol consists of two books, the first volume has not been found yet and only the second volume is currently kept at the National Library in France.

It originally consisted of 39 chapters, of which the first chapter is missing. Although we do not know the year Cheongju Heungdeoksa Temple was built or its size, there is an inscription on the last page that the second volume of Jikji was printed with movable metal type at Cheongju Heungdeoksa Temple during the reign of King U in 1377. The time was about 70 years earlier than the Gutenberg Bible printing in Germany. It was introduced in one of the articles of the UNESCO Courier in 1972 that the work is the oldest extant example of printing with movable metal type in the printing history of the world.

However, no one knew the exact location of Heungdeoksa Temple until a drum and Buddhist bowls made of bronze and inscribed with the word Heungdeoksa Temple were unearthed. The location of Heungdeoksa Temple, where the book was printed, was confirmed when the museum of Cheongju University excavated the site in 1985.

The book was printed using metal type, which makes printing technology more convenient, economic, easier correcting, and makes production of books quicker. Also, it served as momentum to invent an oiled ink which is appropriate to print metal type. This practical printing method invented by Korea influenced the history of Oriental printing, and it is thought that it was spread to Europe. It is the world’s oldest movable metal type printing evidence available and shows us an important technical change in the printing history of humanity. According to these values, the book was registered as Memory of the World in September 2001

Buddha’s Teaching Can Help Global Peace – UN Sec Gen

Narinjara News, May 8, 2009
United Nations, New York — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his message delivered to the world communities on Wednesday that the Buddha’s teaching could help the world become peaceful.

“All of us can learn from the Buddha’s spirit of compassion. His timeless teachings can help us to navigate the many global problems we face today,” said Ban Ki-moon in his message.

His message came ahead of the Buddha’s birthday, traditionally known as Vesak or Visakah, a full-moon which this year fell on 9 May, 2009.

Vesak is the name of the month of the Buddha’s birth in the Indian lunar calendar. Buddhist communities around the world celebrate the full-moon day with great reverence and piety as the day synchronized the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha.

“The need for global solidarity may seem like a modern concept, but it is not. More than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha taught that nothing exists in isolation, and that all phenomena are interdependent. Just as profoundly, he taught that we cannot be happy as long as others suffer, and that when we do reach out, we discover the best in ourselves,” he added.

He also urged every individual to resolve to help people who are suffering, in order to secure a better future for all, in his message marking Vesak.

Lumbini mesmerizes UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Posted:10 Mar 2009 02:50
Lumbini mesmerizes UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Lumbini- the birthplace of Lord Buddha, one of the most popular site for tourists in general and global Buddhist community in particular on November 1, 2008.

On his two day visit to Nepal, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Lumbini- the birthplace of Lord Buddha, one of the most popular site for tourists in general and global Buddhist community in particular on November 1, 2008. Former UN Secretary General U Thant who visited Lumbini in 1967 initiated the Lumbini Restoration project and the Lumbini Master Plan(LMP) is the result of his untiring effort.

After his short trip to holy shrine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in the visitor’s book of Lumbini Development Trust,” I am awestruck by the beauty and profound significance of this sacred site, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

I am moved by the life journey of Prince who left behind all comfortable circumstances to comfort the hard realities of life, late becoming founder of one of the largest religions.

As Secretary General of the United Nations, I sincerely hope that the life, philosophy and the teaching of Lord Buddha will guide us to promote peace, harmony and reconciliation among people of different religions, belief, culture and creed.”

UN Secretary General Ban also inspected various monuments, monasteries and other places of archeological importance, including the Mayadevi Temple, the Ashoka Pillar, during the visit. He was briefed about LMP, which was designed by late Japanese engineer Kenzo Tange in 1978, and about the UN assistance so far for its development.

Of the five UN General Secretaries who have visited Nepal, Ban is the fourth one to visit the birthplace of Buddha. Lumbini is a major pilgrimage site for more than 350 million Buddhists spreading all over the world. Recently conducted survey shows that the segment of pilgrimage visitors to Nepal has increased considerably over the last few years and, Lumbini is expected to attract a large number of Buddhist pilgrimage tourists in near future. Last year 71,053 from 84 countries visited Lumbini. This year, 55,652 tourists have already visited Lumbini from 86 countries till August. To achieve substantial growth in tourism industry through new programmes, the Government has also declared 2011 as “Nepal Tourism Year” to revolutionize the tourism sector. Since peace and stability has already been established in Nepal, New Nepal is embracing all kind of social, economical and political agendas to keep country’s economic prosperity on the track focusing particularly on tourism.

With the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his inspiring comment on Lumbini, Nepal Tourism Board expects that it would boost the tourist inflow in Lumbini creating an image of a must-visit-in ?a lifetime.

Providence Zen Center

Providence Zen Center is the international head temple of the Kwan Um School of Zen, a Seon Buddhist school with more than a hundred affiliated groups worldwide. The Zen Center was founded in 1972 in Providence, Rhode Island and moved to its wooded fifty-acre home in Cumberland in 1979.

Founding Date : 1972Address : 99 Pound Road, Cumberland, RI 02864Tel : 1-401-658-1464Fax : 1-401-658-1188URL : :


Founding Date : 2 Feb, 1992Address : 231 Salem Street, Wakefield, MA 01880Tel : 781-224-0670Fax : 781-224-1087URL :
A. History

Mun Su Sa Temple was founded on February 2, 1992 by the current abbot, Ven. Pohae Dobum Sunim, Ven. Gi Kwang Sunim and regional lay Buddhists. The major contributors included Mr. Kang C. Yu, who designed and built the main Dharma Hall and the Manjusri (Mun Su) Pavilion, the first President of Mun Su Sa, Mr. Won Taek Oh, Mr. Un Gun Kim and his wife (Kwaneumseong Bosal), Mr. Kun Jin Kim and his wife, and Dr. Gil Soo Chang and his wife.
The purposes of founding Mun Su Sa Temple were three-fold: First, there was a need for a Korean Buddhist temple due to a significant number of lay Korean and Korean-American Buddhists in Boston area. Some Korean Buddhists were converted to other religions in early 1990s simply because there was no Korean temple to go. The second purpose was to propagate the Korean Buddhism in New England area since the local Americans showed their interests in Buddhism and other Buddhist countries had made significant contributions in propagating Buddhism in this area. The third was to propagate Korean Buddhism to Korean students in Boston area since New England area attracts many bright Korean students, who will become leaders of Korea in many professional areas after graduation. These students are expected to make a great contribution to Korean society with the Buddhist spirits and ideals, and to play important roles in propagating Korean Buddhism as international missionaries.
Ven. Dobum Sunim designated the name of temple as “Mun Su Sa” following Manjusri Bodhisattva, who is symbolic of the perfection of wisdom, and is noble and gentle. It is not surprising to observe that the current and former lay Buddhists at Mun Su Sa Temple have consisted of many students, postdoctoral students, visiting professors, scholars and their families in addition to immigrated Korean-Americans. Therefore, Mun Su Sa congregation has been composed of more young lay Buddhists compared to other Korean Buddhist temples in America.
Mun Su Sa has maintained a long history of Dharma assemblies every Sunday. The Dharma preachers include not only the abbot and other monks of Mun Su Sa, but also many visiting and local Buddhist monks and scholars. The abbot has made extra efforts to bring well known monks and scholars as the Dharma preachers. The speakers covered diverse topics such as Buddhist arts and history as well as Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, humanity and natural sciences related to well beings, landscaping, medicine, metaphysics, nanotechnology and nutrition.
Ven. Dobum Sunim, one of disciples of Ilta Zen master (日陀 대화상), taught and participated in Seon (particularly Gunhwa Seon) practice on Saturday for more than ten years mainly for American people. He began Seon Practice at Haein Meditation Hall and continued Zen Meditations at Tongdo-sa Geukluck-am, Songgwang-sa, Bongam-sa, Mungwol-sa, and Eunhae-sa Gigi-am. He served as the General Secretary of Haein-sa and the abbot of Bongam-sa (The first Abbot of Special Seon monastery) before founding Mun Su Sa here in Wakefield, MA.

The Great Dharma Hall of Mun Su Sa is dedicated to the young Sakyamuni Buddha and its small Buddha image indicates that Mun Su Sa is a Zen temple. The Guardian Painting with 29 guardians (a master piece of Seok Jung Sunim) is located to the Buddha’s right and the Memorial Painting (a great piece of Mr. Brian Barry: a Wakefield MA native and a disciple of late Manbong Sunim, a Korean Living National Treasure) is located to his left like Haeinsa Temple’s Great Tranquility Light Hall in Korea. The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha (Jijang Bosal), King of Harmless Ghosts, Do Myung and ten Kings of Hell are found in the Memorial Painting.
Manjusri Pavilion is located behind the Great Dharma Hall on the right. Bodhisattva Manjusri statue sitting as a young majestic, royal prince is located on the second floor of the Pavilion. It was carved with wood and has gilt bronze. The building also has a spacious library, a computer room, and six rooms for the abbot and other monks. The library has many Buddhism books, sutras and scriptures written in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.
The members of Mun Su Sa Temple have made a steady growth from 70 families in 1992 to 220 families in 2000 and to 300 families in 2006.

B. Activities

Mun Su Sa Temple has regular offering ceremonies every Sunday at 11 AM. The ceremony usually begin by chanting “One thousand Hand Sutra”
and Ocean Seal verse by Ui-Sang Master. Then the recitation of the name of Buddha or Bodhisattva and chanting heart Sutra follow. The ceremony ends with a Dharma talk of the day.
Ven. Dobum Sunim has also maintained Seon practices (Gun Hwa Seon) on Saturday 4 PM for the Zen practitioners, who directly strive to point to their minds and try to attain sudden enlightenment.
From year 2005, Mun Su Sa Temple has been offering yoga training followed by meditation free of charge on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (begin at 7:40 PM) and Sunday (begin at 2:30 PM). The current director of the program is Michael Lee. He can be reached by phone: 978-884-9914 or by E-mail:
From April 2006, Mun Su Sa Temple has been offering International Dharma Instructor (IDI) Training program in its library to train English-speaking Dharma instructors. The director of the IDI Training program is Dr. Ernest Do. He is an IDI certified by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and his Dharma name is True Enlightenment. He can be reached by phone: 781-729-3695 or by E-mail:
Mun Su Sa Temple has maintained web site: The registration at the web site is free and members have significant tangible benefits.
Mun Su Sa Temple publishes Mun Su Sa newsletter, Poong Kyoung Sori, to propagate Dharma, and to publish essays and various practice news of sunims and lay Buddhists among Korean congregations.
Mun Su Sa lay Buddhists operated the Sunday school for children to teach Korean language and Buddhist arts on Sunday at 11 AM. Currently the Sunday school is not in operation due to the lack of students.
Mun Su Sa Temple has an adult choir that practices Buddhist songs every Sunday at 2 PM, and recently won the first place in singing competitions among various Korean religious choirs in Boston area. In addition, the temple also maintains a children choir, which practices regularly on Friday at 4 PM.
Mun Su Sa Temple observes the four Buddhist holidays: the Buddha’s birthday, Renunciation day, Enlightenment day and Nirvana day. Mun Su Sa Temple offers Ullanbana (the 15th day of seventh month by the lunar calendar) and Jijang memorial services for the deceased and their family members and wedding ceremonies upon request.
Mun Su Sa Temple participates in the annual Independence Day parade in the town of Wakefield MA as a community activity.
Mun Su Sa lay Buddhists also participate in local Korean and Asian society’s sport activities such as golf, soccer and softball competitions and have won many prizes in these competitions.
The abbot of the temple, Ven. Dobum Sunim, is currently the President of the Sangha Association of Korean American Sangha in East Coast and has been working hard toward the peace and harmony of Korean-American temples, sunims and lay Buddhists from Florida State to New England.

September 4, 2006
Submitted by True Enlightenment, Ernest Unhoi Do