Korean Buddhism for International Readers
Lotus Lantern Festival is coming! Full schedule in this issue.
Supreme Patriarch Most Venerable Beopjeon Sunim President & Publisher Most Venerable Jaseung Sunim Editor Ven. Hyekyung Sunim Contributing Editor Ven. Yongsu Sunim Art Director Jogye Order Publishing
Jogye Order Feature Ⅰ 02
New Year’s Message by the Most Venerable Beopjeon, Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Ven. Jaseung Asks Jogye Order Buddhists to Unite for “Resolution for Introspection and Reform”
Jogye Order Feature Ⅱ
Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism 45 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea TEL : (82)2-2011-1830 FAX : (82)2-735-0614 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org www.buddhism.or.kr www.koreanbuddhism.net(English page) Free Subscription available for Buddhist organizations. Please send organization name and mailing address to : email@example.com
0 6 Engaged Buddhism 0 8 “We made friends while doing volunteer work in Cambodia.”
10 Focus Ⅰ
Jogye Order Monastics and Laity Offer 1080 Bows for the Preservation of Korea Culture 2011 Schedule of Lotus Lantern Festival for Buddha’s Birthday
12 Focus Ⅱ
14 Dharma Group 0 8 Celebration Committee 16 Dharma 0 8 Faith in 18 Cartoon 19 Essay Ⅰ 0 8 “What
Our Inner Buddha-Essence
More Could You Want?” and ‘Wrong’ of the Great Vow) Exhibition
21 Essay Ⅱ 0 8 ‘Different’
23 Buddhist Culture 0 8 Jijang Bosal(Bodhisattva 26 Korean Seon Masters 0 8 Seon Master Choui Cover templestay 29 Buddhist Books 30 Jogye Order News
Jogye Order Feature Ⅰ
New Year’s Message by the Most Venerable Beopjeon, Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
“Until the day when eternally inexhaustible suffering turns into the circle of light”
each household bursting open the gate to immeasurable joy that transcends life and death.
Today, the light from time immemorial magnificently illuminates the first morning of the Year of the Rabbit in
The heaven constellates the elements of the universe so as to grant the world a tender and compassionate energy. All creations, immersed in bliss, open their eyes to heavenly rapture.
Mountains, rivers and fields spin the flower garland of Dharma out of their innate beauty. Every blade of grass and each branch of the tree shines and hums with shades and notes of Enlightenment.
Everyone in his heart houses clear Dharma and crystalline blue sky. Everyone is born already knowing how to stuck will brave obscurations and advance only forward on the path to enlightenment. Those who are obsessed can free themselves by emptying their minds, Those who are possessed by greed can be liberated by putting it down. Those who know how to use today’s sufferings as the source of compassion tomorrow, Will see the day when eternally inexhaustible delusions turns into the circle of light. Let go, and the sun and the moon in your heart will shine. Embrace and look after your neighbors, and may all the sentient beings live in peace.
reveal it and live it in this samsara. Those who went too far will check themselves to achieve balance; those who are
January 1, 2011/2555
spring 2011 5
Jogye Order Feature Ⅱ
Ven. Jaseung Asks Jogye Order Buddhists to Unite for
“Resolution for Introspection and Reform”
“resolution for introspection and reform.” The press conference was held on January 26, 2011 at the Jogye Order administration building (Korean Buddhist Culture and History Center). expresses concern over the current development in society of a distorted view of Korean culture, a biased religious understanding, and the fostering of religious conflict. The path of “welfare of the people and preservation of Korean culture” is not about looking outside rather it We are walking a difficult path now. The Jogye Order
is a path of changing oneself and one’s outlook. In addition, the destination of the path must be where we are one with society, one with the Korean people, possessing a modern outlook to make a new history for Korean Buddhism. The path of Korean Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism, which embodies the compassionate mindset of the Bodhisattva. It is only right that the temple properties, which are
cultural properties designated by the government and is managed by governmental law should receive support
from the government. However, it is a time to look for a fundamental solution no matter how difficult it may Ven. Jaseung held a New Year press conference where he announced the new “resolution for introspection and reform.” For this, he said that he will gather the will and feedback from all the temples and Buddhists of the Jogye Order. He outlined five major areas of reform: practice, culture, life, sharing, and peace. The following is an excerpt from Ven. Jaseung’s exposition on the
as 10 years (which normally would take 2 or 3 years), we must do it with our own means. In this process, we must boldly stop relying on the government and external have been become used to the comfortable situations. In
be. Although a temple construction job will take as long
sources. We must purify our minds and bodies, which addition, we must again keep within our heart the importance of the Buddhist followers and the value of the Bud-
dhist community. We must remake the future of Korean Buddhism with the interest and inspiration of the Korean people.
share with our neighbors and society 5 Peace Resolution: Peace between religions and peace between the North and South, leading to world peace
How to Apply the “Resolution for Introspection and Reform” Buddhists and temples to get together to discuss how to go forth with the “resolution for introspection and reform.” The order will proceed in making “Committees for the From this time forth, we request all the Jogye Order
form” as the foundation, we will continually go forth to
Using this kind of “resolution for introspection and re-
oppose, observe, and criticize religiously biased policies, struction to Korean native culture.
the fostering of conflict between religions, and the de-
Dear Jogye Order members and all Buddhists! I set out our motto of “Buddhism through communication and cooperation.” I also laid out various plans for my four-year term. Now a year has passed and we have seen As I became the President of the Jogye Order last year,
Preservation of Korean Culture” in the respective areas the movement of this resolution. We intend to collect the
and districts. Through this process, we will go forth in viewpoints and the resolve of the elder monastics and all
the monks in the meditation temples, monastic colleges, Vinaya schools, as well as lay Buddhists from various lay organizations. We will meet with social organizations and leaders to hear their advice. In order to look for the direction for Korean Buddhism and the Jogye Order, we siums. Through this process of communication, we will clarify the will of the entire order for this resolution. In
notable results. However, for the future of Korean Buddhism, we have come to the conclusion that a more fundamental remedy and reform are necessary. I am aware that to begin such a change is an extremely difficult task. However, I believe in the wisdom of the Buddhist community. I also believe that living by the teachings of the Buddha will gain the trust of the people.
will hold regular “Revival of Korean Buddhism” sympo-
this way, the people, themselves will empower this resolution movement. We will go forth with this in five broad ways.
ly earn the trust of Korean Buddhists and people. According to the direction of the order, I have made some year. We will accomplish the revival of Buddhism by
Now, the Jogye Order is preparing a reform to sincere-
modifications to the original plans that I presented last walking the path as a religion, which has the trust of Korean Buddhists and people. We rely on your great wisdom and support. I pray for the future welfare of Korean Buddhists and people. I will do my best with the same to the Buddha. Thank you very much.
1 Practice Resolution: Establish the original station of Buddhism and properly uphold religious teachings 2 Cultural Resolution: Proper understanding of Korean native culture and preserve it by ourselves 3 Life Resolution: Living together in harmony and the conservation of the environment 4 Sharing Resolution: Make the temples a place to
sentiment as when I daily offer three bows and incense
spring 2011 7
“We made friends while doing volunteer work in Cambodia.”
Paramita launches a project to build a bridge of friendship in Myanmar and Cambodia
Paramita Youth Buddhist Association of Korea carried out acts of compassion in
Myanmar and Cambodia, engaging in volunteer activities from December 9 to 29, 2010.
Paramita started its charitable endeavors at Aungparihita Elementary School in Myanmar. The association, in a joint
effort with Dongguk University Medical Center, provided medical services and basic training on hygiene, such as
distributing parasiticides and teaching the children how to brush their teeth. Paramita also arranged recreational and seled ball used for a traditional Korean sport), and took pictures dressed in traditional Korean costumes, which was particularly well liked and drew active participation of 1,800 locals thanks to the popularity of Korean TV series Daejanggeum and Jumong aired in these countries.
cultural activities. Visiting volunteers and local residents together made prayer beads, paper lanterns and jegi (a tas-
ita chapters in Daejeon, Jeonnam and Chungbuk, such as stationery and clothes. The Teachers Buddhist Association in Seoul and Kyeonggi-do and Paramita also collected cash donations that were passed onto local residents.
Paramita also went bearing gifts from Seoul Senior Citizen Welfare Center, Dasom Kindergarten, and local Param-
bong School and neighboring villages located in an underdeveloped and remote region. They helped digging up wells
In Cambodia, 50 volunteer workers mainly consisting of Paramita leaders and Korean youths visited Kasetipoti-
and building bathrooms for the residents of 3,000 and hosted a party to befriend the community. Volunteers were Welfare Center, Dongguk University Medical Center Buddhist Chapel, and other organizations were distributed.
enthusiastically welcomed by the villagers as medicines and stationary for children donated by the Senior Citizen The medical community also jointed Paramita for this project. Seven medical professionals including three doctors
from Dongguk University Medical Center participated in this trip and helped those who were suffering from various illnesses and medical conditions.
Paramita Youth Buddhist Association of Korea
Paramita Youth Buddhist Association of Korea was founded in 1996. As of 2007, Paramita has 12 local chapters in major cities with 21 branch offices and 500 sub-groups. There are 30,000 active Paramita members all over the country.
1) Paramita’s banner
2) Paramita’s mascot (Pako)
■Contact Phone : 02)723-6165 ■Homepage : www. paramita.org ■E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
spring 2011 9
Friends on the Path stages ‘Happiness through Emptiness’ campaign
Campaign event staged at Bosingak on third Friday of every month
Friends on the Path is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 to promote the spirit of sharing and compassion in line with the principles of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. The organization is currently helping out low-income families by extending support to their medical bills and living expenses. Other various activities include an emergency relief fundraising, “Sonjae’s Gift Giving” and “Rice and Coal Briquette Sharing.” Friends on the Path also stages a monthly campaign titled “Happiness through Emptiness.” that help Buddhists implement the principle of emptiness.
‘Emptiness’ broadens people’s perspective about the world. Friends on the Path is now promoting the three practices The first practice involves body. Reflecting oneself and appreciating everything that helps create his or her life, the practitioner does the 108 bows every month. The second practice concerns the mind. The practitioner select 108 objects that are meant for neighbors and pray for the happiness of one object per month. The third practice is about the sharing of material wealth. The practitioner donates $10 to a cause for helping out the people in need each month in order to bring about real changes in society through the spirit of prayer and gratitude.
The campaign was launched by 108 leaders from various walks of life includjoin the campaign, visit the campaign’s blog at http://thenanum.tistory.com
ing politicians, professors, business leaders and broadcasting professionals. To
‘Sonjae’s Gift Giving’
Donators’ direct participation in the program draws positive reviews
“Sonjae’s Gift Giving,” a charity campaign staged by Friends on the Path, aims to offer a sense of hope and courage to children and youth of low-income families, with the help of those who donate the gifts. Sonjae’s gift package includes vitamins, an inspiring book about future dreams, a muffler and a hat, the challenges they face.
as well as a heart-warming card -- a set of items that the donators hope will encourage children in need grapple with
A total of 2,500 gift boxes have been delivered to Lotus Nurseries, Hwagyesa Temple, Life Shelter in Gyeonchang County, Children’s Center in the Solnae area and other places.
Phone : 02)737- 9595
: www. thenanum.org
spring 2011 11
Another 1080 Bows for Welfare of the People
as other Buddhists offered another 1080 Bows at Nakdan Dam of the Nakdong River for the preservation of Korean culture and the welfare of the people on February 18. Over 300 began bowing Jogye Order Administration’s monastics and employees as well
around noon and finished around 4 p.m. with the Four Great Vows. of the people. The first time was on January 10 at Cheongyecheon Stream in Seoul.
This is the second time 1080 bows have been offered for the welfare
preservation of the Korean culture, as well as self-introspection and reform. The Director of the Committee for the Preservation of Korean Culture, Ven. Jangjeok said, “In order to preserve Korean aspiration to go forth on the path of the Mahayana with society and
The participants resolved to do their best to contribute to the
culture and reform, we Buddhists must change ourselves. It is an the Korean people. The participants here resolve to walk together with the wish to do better.”
with the Korean people and uphold Korean Buddhism correctly This practice meeting was held to repent of the lack of participa-
tion by Korean Buddhism in society in the past and for the respeople. In addition, this meeting was held for the preservation of pants resolve to personally preserve and uphold the Korean culture. As the participants offered bows to the stone Buddha, it was a
toration of democracy for the happiness and safety of the Korean Korean culture and to pray for interreligious harmony. The partici-
time of self-reflection on how they could not stop the environmental damage done by the Four Rivers Project of the government. It was a time to resolve that they will do their best to preserve Korean culture. ture. There will be another 1080 bows at the end of the 100 days, which will be March 23. These practices are a part of the 100 days of practice for the welfare of the people and preservation of Korean cul-
society and the preservation of Korean culture at the Cheonggyecheon Plaza. This event was sponsored by the Jogye
On January 10, Jogye Order monastics and laity offered the first 1080 bows for the welfare of the Korean
Order Committee for the Preservation of Korean Culture. Jogye Order administration’s monastics and lay employees (over 300 total) met at the Cheonggyecheon Plaza on a cold Monday morning. They began by chanting the refuge everyone bowed together 1080 times.
prayer and heart sutra. Thereafter, an aspiration speech was read. This was written for the citizens of Seoul. Then,
spring 2011 13
May 6~8 (Fri~Sun) 2011 (2555 Buddhist Era)
2011 Schedule of
A Tradition of a Thousand Years! Brightens the Heart and Brightens the World!
2011 Festival Schedule
Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns Eowulrim Madang (Buddhist Cheer Rally) Lotus Lantern Parade Hoehyang Hanmadang (Post-Parade Celebration) Buddhist Street Festival Stage Performances in front of Jogyesa Temple Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration) Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Service & Lantern Lighting
May 6~10 (Fri~Tues) May 7 (Sat) 4:30~6:00 pm May 7 (Sat) 7:00~9:30 pm May 7 (Sat) 9:30~11:00 pm May 8 (Sun) Noon~7:00 pm May 8 (Sun) Noon~7:00pm in front of Jogyesa Temple May 8 (Sun) 7:00~9:00 pm May 10 (Tues) Dharma Service 10 am Lantern Lighting 7 pm
Bongeunsa Temple (Samseong-dong) Dongguk University Stadium Jongno Street (Dongdaemun~Jogyesa Temple) Jonggak Intersection Street in front of Jogyesa Temple Performance Stage on the street in front of Jogyesa Temple Insa-dong~Street in front of Jogyesa Temple Jogyesa Temple and All Other Temples
Lotus Lantern Festival Guide
Suggested schedule for one-day participation : May 7 (Sat) Suggested schedule for two-day participation : May 7~8 (Sat~Sun) Suggestion for May 7 (Sat) ・Around 2 pm : Bongeunsa Temple ・Around 5 pm : Around Insa-dong ・Around 7 pm : Jongno Street ・Around 9:30 pm : Jongno Intersection Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns Dinner Lotus Lantern Parade Hoehyang Hanmadang
(Post-Parade Celebration) (finish around 11 pm)
Suggestion for May 8 (Sun) ・Around 2 pm : In front of Jogyesa Temple ・Around 5 pm : Around Insa-dong ・Around 7 pm : Insa-dong Street ・Around 8 pm : Intersection in front of Jogyesa Temple Transportation KTX Train (Arrive at Seoul or Yongsan Station, then take Subway Line # 1 to Jonggak Station) Express Bus (Arrive at Express Bus Terminal, then take Subway Line # 3 to Anguk Station) Car (Parking at Sejongno Parking Lot or Kyeongbok Palace Parking Lot) Accommodation Accommodations around Insa-dong, Jogyesa Temple, or Jongno Street Buddhist Street Festival Dinner Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration) Lotus Lantern Performance Groups
(finish around 9 pm)
Celebration Committee for Buddha’s Birthday
#45 Gyeonji-dong, Jongnogu, Seoul Tel : 02)2011-1744~7 Fax : 02)725-6643 Homepage : www.llf.or.kr/eng Email : email@example.com
Exhibition of Traditional Lanterns
See the meticulous and exquisite advancements of lantern making. Each traditional lantern tells a story behind the magnificently formed lantern art. | May 6~10 (Fri~Tues) Bongeunsa Temple (Subway Line # 2, Samseong Station)
Lotus Lantern Parade
100,000 Lotus Lanterns brighten the heart of Seoul! A brilliant ocean of light from the countless handheld lanterns and the giant lantern floats in the festival’s main event. Not to be missed! | May 7 (Sat) 7:00~9:30 pm From Dongdaemun to Jogyesa Temple, along Jongno Street (Subway Line # 2, Samseong Station)
Hoehyang Hanmadang (Post-Parade Celebration)
Following the parade, Buddhist entertainers put on a show! Audience gets into the act and dance hand in hand. Joyful night with a rain of flowers! | May 7 (Sat) 9:30~11:00 pm Jonggak Intersection(Subway Line # 1 Jonggak Station)
Buddhist Street Festival
Experience firsthand multiethnic culture and festivities! Make Lotus Lanterns, create Buddhist art, experience Buddhists cultures of Thailand, Tibet, Mongolia, etc., try temple food, play folk games—don’t miss this experiential event, a favorite in the festival! | May 8 (Sun) Noon~7:00 pm Street in front of Jogyesa Temple
Yeondeungnori (Final Celebration)
The final party of the festival features the singing and dancing of the Lotus Lantern Performance Groups. It’s a chance to let down our hair, and laugh and dance. A joyful conclusion to a brilliant festival! | May 8 (Sun) 7:00~ 9:00 pm Insa-dong~Street in front of Jogyesa Temple
May 10 Tuesday (8th day of 4th Lunar Month) This is the biggest Buddhist holy day of the year as almost all Buddhists go to the temple to attend the Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Service. Foreigners are also welcome!
What is Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival)?
Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) is a thousand-year old Korean folk festival. It began in the Shilla Period and lasted through the Goryeo and Joseon periods to its full grandeur of modern times.
spring 2011 15
Celebration Committee for Buddha’s Birthday
The Lotus Lantern Festival is from May 6~8, 2011. All Korean temples will be busy in
preparation for the biggest Buddhist celebration of the year. However, the busiest group will be the Celebration Committee for Buddha’s Birthday. This committee is in charge of preparing for ties of the Lotus Lantern Festival. The committee also oversees the regional festivals held by temples all across Korea. the Lantern Parade, Buddhist Street Festival, Post-Parade Celebration, and all the other festivi-
If you were to enter the offices of the celebration committee at the basement of the Jogye Order Administration Building, you might think it’s already festival time due to the light and joyful atmosphere with posters and lanterns all over the place.
The motto of the committee for the Lotus Lantern Festival is “Voluntary Participation.” Each
year, the committee wants to increase the volunteer participants. The committee is firmly resolved in bringing to the world this time-worn festival and showing the importance of Korean Buddhism. They want to show off the beauty of the Buddhist tradition in a dynamic way through the Lotus Lantern Festival.
Park Sang-hee is the Event Planning Coordinator. She is in charge of the preparation of the
Lotus Lantern Festival and its events. She said, “The participants of the festival must be enthu“The events should have some correlation with Buddhism yet must be fun and joyful.” She also admitted that dancing and music are not strong points for Buddhists. However she added, “As much as the Buddha’s Birthday is a joyous occasion, I hope that many people will participate in the events and sing and dance happily.”
siastic and joyful so that the festival-goers will be enthusiastic and enjoyable.” She continued,
The Lotus Lantern Festival, which celebrates the Buddha’s Birthday, is no longer just for Bud16
dhists. This is because not only Koreans but also numerous international guests come to the
festival. Every year, international guests experience traditional Korean culture by making lanterns and the like at the Buddhist Street Festival. They even make early reservations for seats at flowers. The festival offers Koreans and foreign guests alike a unique opportunity to partake in Buddhist culture and the distinctive Korean way of having fun. the Post-Parade Celebration to take part in the revelry of dancing under the traditional rain of
One foreigner had attended festivals in both North and South Korea. He observed, “The festivals that represent the North and South would be ‘Arirang’ for the North and ‘Lotus Lantern Festival’ for the South. These are the biggest festivals of both countries. The North’s festival, an event of great scope, is a government festival whereas the South’s Lotus Lantern Festival is a grand festival with volunteer participant.” The Lotus Lantern Festival has come to represent Korea in the eyes of the world.
The Lotus Lantern Festival in now making new
history. It is a festival of the ordinary people.
They are the stars of this traditional Korean folk for splendor and excellence.
festival. It can now match any festival in the world
During festival time, from kids who can barely walk
to the elderly grandmothers, all light a lantern to
walk in the lantern parade. The festival has become gather to join in.
a folk tradition where mans participants naturally
spring 2011 17
Faith in Our Inner Buddha-Essence
| by Seon Master Daehaeng
become a Buddha. Then, like a gardener taking care of a plant, you have to make this Buddha-nature bloom. However, most people have forgotten about this Buddha-nature. Even though flowers bloom and drop according to the season, everyone knows that there is the power inside of plants to bloom again the following year. But people have forgotten
Above all else, you have to believe that you have Buddha-nature, the power within yourself that enables you to
that there is also such ability within themselves. If we can realize that we are at the greatest moment of transformation after having gone through innumerable lives, then we will truly know that inside ourselves there is the power to become a Buddha.
If you do not believe in yourself, you cannot receive the key to house be given to you if you do not believe in it? You already throw away those thoughts that you are great or no good. True
this fundamental mind. How can the key to the treasure storehave every kind of treasure there is, so believe in yourself and self can do all things, even things that you imagined were impossible. If you have faith that true self can do it, you can survive even on top of a barren rock. If you believe that your true self does everything and can resolve everything, then your true self the Dharma, or can manifest as the Medicine Bodhisattva and show the Dharma. Thus there’s no need for calling out “Buddha, dhas and Bodhisattvas, all awakened beings, and all the profound ability and power of the universe exist inside of belief.
can instantly manifest as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and teach
help me!” or “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, save me!” All Bud-
Unenlightened people do not know what is truly good and what is not good. Therefore, the best thing for people to
do is to strongly believe that their fundamental Buddha-nature is always taking care of everything. However, many people ask, “What happens if I believe and entrust things to my Buddha-nature, but then they don’t turn out the way I want them to?” This is not belief. Once you truly have faith, entrusting something takes only an instant, and there’s nothing left over for you to worry about. Your Buddha-nature never ignores your faith. Everything is done through sincere belief; belief is the key.
Belief rewards you in proportion to your faith. It gives everything to those people who wholeheartedly believe, and
it gives half to those people who halfheartedly believe. This is why complete belief in your fundamental, true nature is emphasized. Don’t be discouraged when hardships confront you. Even if hardships arise from your foundation, as long as you have faith, your foundation can also solve those problems.
When you have unwavering faith that “Buddha-nature can solve it,” you begin to find your true self. When you have you. If you don’t have faith in One Mind and your Buddha-nature, no matter how well you are able to do things there when the stalk is sturdy, the seeds will ripen.
strong faith like this, you will be free from fear and doubt, and you will be unshakable yet open to whatever confronts is still an unseen fifty percent that you haven’t taken care of. When the root is healthy, the stalk will be sturdy, and
By Seon Master Daehaeng, adapted from “No River to Cross,” Wisdom Publications, 2007.
spring 2011 19
While freshening up the wardrobe for the spring cleaning I found a closet full of clothes woefully out of fashion. Once flashy and stylish, now they are mere embarrassment for their owner. Suddenly, my mind races to the things I presently cherish and treasure. I wonder if I am vainly clutching on to things of transitory nature Out of momentary and futile desire.
| by Bae Jong-hoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“What More Could You Want?”
| by Ven. Beopjeong translated by Brian Barry
shaving my head and bathing. Instinctively I feel clear and clean both inside and out, and that’s when I feel most lighthearted. It feels like just having been born. The significance of shaving the head is the severing of secular attachments. Monastic regulations call
If you asked me when I feel best in my daily routines, I would unhesitatingly answer that it’s right after
for shaving the head and bathing twice a month, on the days before the new and full moons, respectively. But depending on the season and one’s own considerations, it doesn’t matter if monks do it more spotless results in a very splendid, lighthearted feeling of innocence, and you feel like you’re about to take off and soar like a bird. It’s totally exhilarating. often. There are some Zen monks who do it everyday as part of their routine. The attempt to be totally
facility on the first floor. On one of the walls in the bath, someone had written in candle wax, “What more could you want?” He had written it as a kind ofhumor after shaving his head and bathing; but it makes you wonder how exhilarated he must have felt if he had made the effort to write that on the wall. We’re supposed to be greedless, but could there be anything greedier than this, than wanting the statewhere there’s nothing left to be desired?
About ten years ago I was staying at the Zen center of a large monastery. There was a large bathing
* * * * * There’s an old adage that “a monk can’t shave his own head.” In a broader sense, it means that there are some things in his own field that even a professional can’t do. For example, a writer finds
spring 2011 21
it hard to proofread his own work so others have to do it for him. But concerning a monk not being able to shave his own head, nothing could be more further from the truth. In the temples monks shave one another’s heads so everyone knows how to do it, even if they had never been a barber. Just about time you do it yourself?
everyone can shave his own head. But how could you ever convey the feeling of satisfaction the first A few years ago, the monk who had usually shaved my head for many years was hospitalized. I
thought of asking another monk to do it for me, but I didn’t want to impose so I decided to give it a try me. And sometimes it occurred to me that I would have to do it if I ever were to go and live alone in an isolated hermitage. I sat down and shaved very carefully, and contrary to expectations I did quite a fine job. I felt as good
myself. To tell the truth, I had felt bad all those years bothering this or that monk to shave my head for
as if I were having my head shaved for the first time upon entering the temple. And really, there was age to the Buddha.
nothing more that I could have wanted. Out of gratitude, I put on my robes and went up and paid homI was so delighted the first time that I shaved my own head that, to commemorate the event, I went
out the next day and bought a mirror and wrote on the back of it, “Shaved my own head on such-andsuch a date”. Ever since then, whenever I feel like it, I shave my own head in front of that mirror. It doesn’t matter
what kind of a mood I’m in. Each time I do it, it’s like being reborn. And sometimes if something’s really bothering me, I’ll shave my head again just to scrape and wash those cares away. (1975)
Diversity is a part of the unavoidable reality in the world we live
in. However, we often have a hard time accepting it, and contemporary some time that people confuse ‘different’ and ‘wrong’ and often use
Korean language usage reflects this attitude. It has been observed for
| by Mok kyoung chan
When they should have said, “you are different,” people say instead “you
are wrong,” and say “you think wrongly,” instead of “you think differently.” I do not know when and how this has started in Korea, but it has become one of the most common mistakes. People nowadays make this
error too consistently and frequently to dismiss it as a mere slip of the tongue. It perhaps signifies a notion deeply rooted in Korean’s psyche that oneself is the center of the universe and the ultimate standard by which everything else should be judged.
Koreans often joke about this. ‘If I do it, it is a romance; if others do it, it is an affair (adultery).’ Koreans also say, ‘If I drive slowly, I am driving safely; if others drive slowly, they are driving like a coward,’ ‘If my son tive young adult; if another’s son does it, he is being a loud-mounthed, is shady speculation.’ There are many more jokes in this vein.
speaks in a loud voice at a public place, he is being a positively asserspoiled brat,’ or ‘If I do it, it is a legitimate investment; if others do it, it
If people can have a good laugh and forget about them just as jokes, it velop into an embedded conviction that any ideas or concepts different
would be fine. However, these thoughts, if repeated, are likely to defrom our own are wrong. More often than not, such entrenched beliefs
will be translated and manifested into actions and habits, which make
spring 2011 23
people implicitly force others to do what is right according to what they they are universal, thus right, and therefore others must follow them too.
themselves think. One assumes his or her views are shared by all others,
I have a friend who is a small business owner. When sales are strong and profits are high, he would take his staff out and treat them with nice and generous boss who knew how to have a good time and shared fancy dinners and visits to karaoke bars. He prided himself on being a his good fortune with his employees. But one day, he started doubting his self image. He thought that company dinners and drinking parties were what his employees wanted; but he eventually found out that some
of them would rather go home to their families early. He realized that
he might have spent money not for his employees’ happiness but for their discomfort in the form of forced gaiety. He wondered that perhaps it would have been wiser if he had given out cash bonuses instead of spending rather large sums of money for dinners and drinks.
Parents also do everything in the name of love, what they think is best for their children. However, it may be perceived only as fetters and shackles by the children on the receiving end. Everyone is different,
living a different life; therefore, it is only natural everyone has different
characteristics and different views. It would be naively stupid to believe others will like what we like. Even identical twins grow up to be different personalities. Assuming people born of different parents in different absurd as believing there are rabbits with horns or turtles with hairs. time and space will all share the same thoughts and preferences is as
Language mirrors our ingrained habits and thought patterns. On the other hand, we may be able to change our behavior and way of thinking journey, but it is definitely worth trying.
if we change our language use. It may be a slow process and difficult
<Very Special Happiness, from A Three-leaved Clover>
(Bodhisattva of the Great Vow)
Amrita Painting, Joseon 1682, Colors on Hemp, 204×236.5㎝, Chungyongsa Temple, Treasure No. 1302
The theme of this exhibition was Jijang Bosal (Kstigarbha Bodhisattva) who is one of the four main Bodhisattvas
realms. This exhibition focuses on Jijang Bosal and the Korean Buddhist view of the afterlife for sinners. This exhibition includes a seated Jijang Bosal bronze statue from Seonunsa Temple Seongbo Museum. The exhibition has six Cultural Treasures and 76 artifacts total. The exhibition is divided into four sections. Section 1 Myeongbu World (afterlife realm where judgment takes place for sinners) By the calling of the Ten Kings of the Myeongbu
of Zen Buddhism. Jijang Bosal made a great vow to not enter Nirvana until he saves all the suffering beings in the hell
World, Yama the Lord of Death will bring the sinner
with all of the negative karma accumulated in one’s life to the Myeongbu World, which is the afterlife for acous world without light. Here the Ten Kings will judge the person according to one’s sins. Each king judges punishments. cording to Korean Buddhism. It is a dark and treacher-
different aspects with different methods, and different
Buddhist Sculptures of Myeongbujun Hall in Yongmunsa Temple , Joseon 1684
spring 2011 25
Ten Kings of Hell Painting Joseon 1744, Okcheonsa Temple Museum
Gilt bronze king, Late Goryeo, H.26.2cm Dongguk University
Karma Mirror, Late Joseon , H. 96.5cm Jikjisa Temple Museum
In this section, we can see the Ten Kings and the Buddhist view of hell.
our understanding of the various forms of Jijang Bosal. We can also learn about the figures in Jijang Bosal’s retinue. Section 2 (part 2) Ceremonies for the Dead
Section 2 (part 1) Until all the hell beings are saved
The role of Jijang Bosal is to save and teach the beings in existence). Therefore, he is the main Bodhisattva of the Myeongbu World.
hell, which is one of the six realms of Samsara (worldly
Ceremonies for the dead have existed for a very long
time. These ceremonies are to console and send the deceased to a better place. However, they also serve the living as a way to send off their loved ones and comfort the grief of loss. These ceremonies for the dead were first widely performed in the late Goryeo Period. Then in the latter Joseon Period (when Confucianism dominated), these ceremonies again gained popularity as evidenced
The artifacts here in part 1 of section 2 are to help our
understanding of Jijang Bosal. Buddhist scriptures about Jijang Bosal are displayed here as well as artifacts to help
Gilt Bronze Seated Ksitigarbha Early Joseon, H. 100cm, Seonunsa Temple Museum Treasure No.279
Wooden Seated Ksitigarbha Early Joseon , H. 53cm, Yongmunsa Temple Museum
Wooden Half Sitting Ksitigarbha, Early Joseon , H. 49cm, Dongguk University Museum
Sutra of the Ten Kings, Late Goryeo 27.5×11cm, Kirimsa Temple Museum, Treasure No. 959
Tripitaka Painting, Joseon 1758, Colors on Silk, 173×280㎝, Silleuksa Temple
Hyeonwang Painting, Joseon 1887, Amrita Painting, Joseon 1887, Colors on Silk, Colors on Cotton, 167.5×175㎝, 166.8×174.8㎝, Gyeongguksa Temple Dongguk University Museum
by the numerous ceremony manuals published at this time. Confucianism’s lack of ceremonies for the dead as well took on various forms according to the purpose and people. This section contains various ceremonial artifacts and a recreation of a ceremony for an easy to understand presentation. From Hell to Paradise Since death is unavoidable, human beings have always been curious about the afterlife, and have prepared for death. Therefore, in order to avoid the hells and go to Paradise, Koreans have held ceremonies human being’s wish to enter Paradise after death.
as a lack of understanding of the afterlife was supplemented by Buddhist ceremonies. These ceremonies for the dead
and contributed to temples. This section has artifacts that deal with a
Gilt Bronze Seated Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha from Pagoda in Muryangsa Temple Late Goryeo or Early Joseon, H. Avalokitesvara 25.9cm Muryangsa Temple Chungchengnamdo Tangible Property No. 100
Gilt Bronze Amitabha Triad Late Goryeo(14C), H. 21.5cm Dongguk University Museum
Shrine of the National Preceptor Gobong Goryeo H.23cm, Songgwangsa Temple Museum Jeollanamdo Tangible Property No.28
Bronze Shrine and Gilt Bronze Amitabha Triad and from Pagoda in Maegokdong, Joseon 1468, H. Amitabha 12.2cm, Avalokitesvara 11.4cm Ksitigarbha 9.7cm, Gwangju National Museum
spring 2011 27
Korean Seon Masters
Choui Uisun (1786~1866)
calligraphy and painting, from the Buddhist perspective he is judged highly as both artist and a man of letters, erudite in all aspects of the culture of his age. Career to the squabbling of power politics and the correctives offered by the appearance of “practical knowledge” (silhak) were losing their power. In addition, with the second wave of nationwide suppression against the burgeoning religion The late Joseon era society of Master Choui’s age, founded on the world view of Sung Confucianism, had devolved
representative Seon master of the late Joseon dynasty, Seon Master Choui became known as the “Korean
Tea Sage” for reviving Korea’s traditional tea ceremony. In addition, owing to his remarkable skill in poetry,
of Catholicism having inflamed the public sentiment, the king’s power was also in decline, bringing about a state of affairs that could not easily be rectified. Buddhism as well barely survived, lacking any energy for vital reform or selfstrengthening, owing to the Joseon dynasty’s policy of sungyu eokbul, “revere Confucianism, suppress writing and actions, excelling even among those traditional scholars imbued with the that time. This monk was none other Master Choui Uisun.
Buddhism.” It was during such times that one monk showed exceptional skill in both his wide-spread bigotry of arrogance and contempt that most held toward monks at Master Choui was born April 5, 1786, in Samhyang township, Muan County,
studied the Tripitaka (Buddhist Scriptures) and at 21 he concluded his studies of the In 1801, Dasan Jeong Yagyong, the consummate scholar of the “practical knowledge”
Minseong at Unheung Temple in Nampyoung. At Daeheung Temple in Haenam, he
with Buddhism. At the age of 15, he was tonsured under Master Byeokbong
verge of drowning before a monk rescued him, thus forging his intimate connection
Cheonnam Province. At the age of five, he fell into some water and was on the
(silhak) school of late Joseon and exceptionally erudite author of a compendium
exceeding 500 volumes on the fields of chemistry, history, politics, military affairs, economics and others, was exiled to Gangjin in Cheonnam Province, accused of being a and thought were deeply influenced by Dasan. Through
1890, and a two-volume collection of his poetry, called the Choui Shigo (Anthology of Poems by Master Choui), was published in 1906.
leading figure in the Catholic church. Master Choui’s life his relationship with Dasan, he learned Confucianism and matured in his prose and poetry, developing a close Choui exchanged intellectual discussion and friendship friendship in the process. Even after his thirties, Master with a wide range of the highest Confucian intellects of
Doctrinal Distinction his ideas on Seon and his ideas on “the way of tea.” To begin with, we can examine his Seon thought through his Seonmun Sabyeon Man-eo, written as a critique of the Seonmun Sugyeong, a work written by his contemporary, Seon Master Baekpa (1767~1852), addressing practice methods and theories based on the capacities of practitioners. Master Baekpa’s argument, based on his “three categories of Seon” in a hierarchy of patriarchal Seon (Josa Seon), tathāgata Seon (Yeorae Seon), and Master Choui’s ideas can largely be separated between
his age, men who had participated directly in the cultural friends was Chusa Kim Jeonghui (1786~1856), scion of the imported Ching culture, based primarily on the fields
and political history of late Joseon. One of his closest a prominent traditional Confucian family, and pioneer of of epigraphy and textual study. Upon Chusa’s banishment to Jeju Island, Master Choui even went so far as to visit him five times to offer him consolation. Coming into his forties, as his own fame began to spread, Master Choui returned Daeheung-sa Monastery in Duryun Mountain, where he built the Ilji-am Hermitage on a valley on the east side of the Monastery. There, he spent roughly forty years writing and practicing samatha/vipassana (jigwan) meditation until on August 2, 1866, at the age of 81, he passed into nirvana. There are also many other surviving works written by
estimation of the respective merits of Seon, divides the
theoretical Seon (Uiri Seon), and classifies patriarchal Seon and tathāgata Seon as “extraordinary Seon” (Gyeogoe Seon). It is this categorization itself that Master Choui refutes as fundamentally incorrect. He argued his should be four categories of Seon—patriarchal Seon and tathāgata Seon, extraordinary Seon and theoretical Seon. difference of opinion with Master Baekpa, that there
The controversy regarding the different approaches Choui’s critique of Master Baekpa’s Seonmun Sugyeong would rage for almost a century.
to meditation that began in the late 1700s with Master
Master Choui, whose time of composition is unknown. Sunmun Sabyeon Man-eo; the Choui Seon-gwa (Choui’s
These works include the representative critique, the Seon Teachings), a gloss on the main points of Hyesim’s Seonmun Yeomsong; the Jinmuk Josa Yujeokko (A Biography of Master Jinmuk); and others. After the am Munjip (Collected Works from Ilji-am), came out in
viewpoints were quite distinct, both of them shared a
Though the differences between their fundamental
common goal to both sincerely clarify and offer solutions They offered significant contributions in arousing an atmosphere committed to clarifying the core tenets of
to the problems faced by the Buddhist community.
Master’s death, a compilation of his prose works, the Ilji-
the sect and rediscovering the “Seon spirit.” Having
spring 2011 29
developed this type of Seon theory, in being neither
partial only to Seon meditation or doctrinal study (gyo),
tea ceremony. His “way of tea” was an ordinary routine of life that involved lighting a fire, boiling some water and then drinking the properly prepared combination of the nature of tea was inherently unselfish and impartial likened to a “pure original source.”
Master Choui’s practice of samatha/vipassana meditation Seon thought. This fact is expressed in the following
(jigwan) reveals the distinguishing characteristic of his passage taken from Sin Heon’s Choui Daejongsa Tapbimyeong (Stone Pagoda Engravings about the Lineage Master Choui):
well-steeped water and quality tea. He noted also that to desires, and he said that this nature was something Master Choui stated that it was in this way that tea
The other day, a monk asked me, “Master, are you solely devoted to the practice of Seon?” to which I replied, “As there in no difference whether I devoted myself only to Seon or to studying the scriptures, why would I insist upon only Seon? scriptures, it is very difficult not to forget the only practicing Seon, it is difficult to acquire the principles of Seon.”
possessed a sublime and exquisite essence, and if one did not become attached to that essence, one could
arrive at a perfectly free state of transcendent perfection (Sanskrit: pāramitā). Accordingly, he stated, “Since you drink of tea’s undefiled spirit and energy, the day of great enlightenment can’t be far off.” In addition, Master Choui said that tea and Seon
For those who devote themselves only to the principles of the teaching, those who insist upon
are not two separate things and that in drinking a cup of tea, one must experience the “meditative bliss of experiencing the joy of the dharma” (beophui seonyeol). Such words reveal the thought in the dictum, “the one
jigwan together with a combination of doctrinal study and Seon, more than a devotion solely to the practice of Seon. We can observe Master Choui’s other main line of
In this way, Master Choui advocated the practice of
exquisite flavor of tea and Seon” (daseon ilmi). Like this,
Master Choui’s “way of tea” stands as a testament to
his image as a sincere truth seeker, enjoying his Seon practice while simultaneously engaged in asceticism. We does not separate but rather seeks to connect the world of can say that this Seon master’s modern attitude, one that enlightenment and the world of our daily life, shown to thought that was being led by the Confucian school of
thought in his view on the way of tea, as expressed
in the Dongdasong. As it was cast in the form of a
Buddhist song (gesong, or gatha) that praised the tea (da) produced in Korea, which the Chinese referred to as Dongguk (Nation of the East), this work was called the Dongdasong, or Ode to the Tea of the East. With few
us by a Seon monk, is a Buddhist response to the modern silhak. Moreover, it could also be said that his Buddhist practice was a means by which the Buddhism that had from the mundane world, could creep just a little closer to the masses.
references to the proper methods for preparing tea or the
previously been cast to the mountains and kept a distance
proper implements used therein, Master Choui reveals
his intention to avoid the formalistic complexities of the
The Colors of Korean Buddhism(30 icons and their stories)
The Korean Buddhism Promotion Foundation, in collaboration with The Korean Times pulished a series of newspaper articles from February to August 2010, entitled “Icons of Korean Buddhism”, which introduced thirty of the greatest or most typical Korean Buddhist cultural items, personages or symbols. This series aimed to explain these icons in straightforward language for an international audience interested in Korean culture. Consequently, The Korean Buddhism Promotion Foundation published the whole series of articles in a guidebook for reader who have an interest in the Buddhist aspects of Korean culture. The foundation hopes this volume will be valuable in navigating this vibrant culture, and that it will also contribute to further support people to experience Korean Buddhism. Such as in the popular Templestay program and beyond.
Published by Korea Buddhism Promotion Foundation / Contact Phone : 02)719-1855 / Homepage : www.kbpf.org
Diary of a Korean Zen monk
Diary of a Korean Zen Monk is a three-month record written by Ven. Jiheo of his experience in the Seon(Zen) retreat at Sangwonsa Temple on Odae Mountain in 1973. Not only is this a good record in which each episode reveals the feel and view of Seon meditation retreats in the 1970s, but also we can really sense the intense energy of the meditation monks seeking enlightenment. Likewise, we can satisfy our curiosity of what happens behind the doors of the mysterious world of the Seon meditation retreat.
Published by Bulkwang Publishing / Contact Phone : 02)420-3200 / E-mail : email@example.com
Latest edition of Korean Buddhism booklet published
The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism has published a revised edition of its PR booklet, reflecting the editing by the 33rd administration. The booklet sums up the history of Korean Buddhism and the Jogye Order, as well as other Buddhism-related information such as training programs for monks, characteristics of Korean temples and Buddhist culture, education programs for lay Buddhists and a wide range of activities. The booklet is published in four languages: Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese. The Jogye Order plans to use the booklet as a key introductory material for promoting Korean Buddhism across the world.
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Jogye Order News
1. Professor Bae appointed as 7th chairman of IDIA
International Dharma Instructors Association appointed professor Bae Gwang-sik as its 7th chairman. Professor Bae joined the organization in 2005 and served as vice chairman in the past four years. Professor Bae plans to secure supporting staff members for the temple stay programs in line with the Jogye Order’s drive for globalizing Korean Buddhism. In addition to the globalization of temple stay programs, Bae said he will push for a closer tie with the International Seon Center. Other initiatives Bae will plan to implement include the development of English-langauge Buddhism education materials targeting children, and city tour and other events for foreign workers.
■ Contact Phone: 02)722-2206 ■ Homepage : www.idia.or.kr ■ E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Jogye Order Prays for Slaughtered Animals
The Jogye Order held a ceremony for the diseased spirits of the slaughter cows and pigs in the foot-andmouth disease epidemic. This service included prayers for the swift ending to this epidemic, which led to the slaughtering of over two million cows and pigs. At the beginning of the service, there was a report by the Animal Protection Society on the current status. Ven. Hyechong said in his speech, “By the merit of offering this service, may the spirits of the slaughtered animals find rebirth in the Pure Lands by the great compassionate will of the Buddha.” He continued, “Lord Buddha taught to consider all sentient beings as our parents. If beings were to understand that we are born in different circumstances according to our karma, then we could create a Pure Land where we recognize each others’ value.” In this way, Ven. Hyechong emphasized the value of life. Ven. Hyechong also said taking numerous lives of beings by the great greed of humans is destroying the natural order of the world. He said, “Let us learn to be content. Let us create a world where all beings can live together.”
Lee Hyeon-su, the President of the Jogyesa Temple Laity Association recited the aspiration prayer called “Aspiration for World Peace.” Thereafter, Cheongryangsa Temple abbot led the ceremony for the repose the spirits and to send the diseased to a better rebirth. After the ceremony, participants went around the Jogyesa Temple grounds in a farewell ceremony. Then, a fire ceremony, burning the names of the diseased, ended the services.
3. The first smart phone application developed by the Jogye Order
The Bureau of Dharma Propagation of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism unveiled its first smart phone applications, which were developed as part of the Jogye Order’s efforts to adapt to and utilize the ever changing digital space for the propagation of Buddhism. Ven. Jeongho, Head of the Department of Propagation Research, the Bureau of Dharma Propagation held a press conference at the meeting room on the 2nd floor of the Korean Buddhist Culture and History Memorial Hall and introduced new smart phone applications entitled ‘Hello Dharma School’ and ‘Heart Sutra (chanting).’ Developed by the Department of Propagation Research, these apps will be distributed and made available for free at Apple’s App Store, Android Market, T Store and KT Olleh Market. The ‘Hello Dharma School’ app is based on the English program for Buddhist children televised on BTN (Buddhist Television Network) and English materials for Buddhist youth education published on Buddhist newspapers. The application is expected to generate much attention due to its unique contents and layout specially designed to appeal to children. The ‘Heart Sutra (chanting) ’ app is deliberately uncomplicated and straightforward for ease of use. The pure and clear chanting voice and the beautiful image will serve as ‘a refuge of the heart’ for many people fatigued by the exigencies of modern life. The ‘Hello Dharma School’ and ‘Heart Sutra Apps (chanting)’apps can be downloaded free of charge on all smart phones.
spring 2011 33
Jogye Order News
4. 4th Jakata Story Competition Held
The 4th annual Jakata Story Competition was held by Jogye Order’s IDIA (International Dharma Instructors Association) on January 22. Children make a presentation of a story from the Jakata Tales (stories of the previous lives of Buddha) in English. The first competition was held in January of 2008. This year, there were 33 teams and 42 children who participated. From these, 14 teams and 19 children advanced to the finals. The parents and other audience members looked on with encouragement and enthusiasm. This competition is to encourage children to learn Buddhism and English together and affords them an opportunity to make presentations in front of an audience. The children not only improve their English skills but they can also benefit from the moral message in the Jakata Tales, which teach compassion and wisdom. Professor Bae, the President of IDIA said that the competition is a natural way for children to learn about the law of cause and effect, which is one of the main tenets of Buddhism. After the presentations, last year’s winner Song Da-hyeon made a repeat presentation to the delight of the audience. Before the competition, there were performances by “Cheong,” a Korean traditional instrument band and a quiz game put on by the Buddhist Recreation Association. The winner of this year’s competition was Bak Ye-won, a fourth-grader from Munrae Elementary School. Second place went to Lee Su-yeon (6th grade) and third place was Jang Hyeon-ji (6th grade).
5. Russian Buddhist Republic Seeks Relations with Jogye Order
Ms. Benova, a government official from Kalmykia, a small Russian Buddhist Republic visited Jogye Order President Ven. Jaseung on February 7 at the Jogye Order Administration Building. They exchanged pleasantries and spoke about cultural exchange between the two nations. Ms. Benova said, “Korea and Kalmykia are far away from each other, but through Buddhism we can become one. I hope we can have cultural exchange for the development of each nation’s Buddhist communities.” In this regard, Ms Benova requested that monks and nuns from Kalmykia could come to Korea and study with the Jogye Order. Ven. Jaseung said, “To hear about your nation, arouses my curiosity about Kalmykia. We will do our best for the development of Buddhism in both our nations and to share Korean Buddhism in Kalmykia.” Kalmykia is one of 21 Russian republics with the population of over 300,000. It is the only Buddhist republic in Europe with 80% of the population being Buddhist.
Don’t pay attention to the endless thoughts that arise Only become a person who looks at the imprints that have fallen from the countless thoughts.
Relax! Let go of life’s stress. Let things be just as they arise Don’t block anything, let them drift away.
Thought to Begin Your Day