Korean Buddhist Cultural News

Korean Buddhist Cultural News

The “Committee on the Dalai Lama’s Visit to Korea”
Holds a Symposium on Korean Buddhism and the Dalai Lama

The “Committee on the Dalai Lama’s visit to Korea” (chaired by Master Keumgang) held an international symposium on Korean Buddhism and the Dalai Lama. It was titled “Dalai Lama’s Teaching of Peace and Coexistence” and was held on June 2nd at the Center for Traditional Culture and Art Performance in the Memorial Hall of Korean Buddhist History. At the symposium, Jeffrey Hopkins, a professor from University of Virginia, introduced various accounts of his encounters with the Dalai Lama. Afterward, he presented a series of lectures: “The Dalai Lama’s Thoughts on Mercy and Practice,” “The Dalai Lama and Female Buddhists,” “Human Rights and the Dalai Lama” and “Religion’s Role in Korean Society and the Meaning of the Dalai Lama’s Visit to Korea.”



The International Seon Center of Dongguk University and the Institute for the Study of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism Hold a 4th International Seminar on Ganhwaseon titled “Illuminating the Mind.”


The Institute for the Study of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and the International Seon Center of Dongguk University held their 4th International Seminar on Ganhwaseon (sometimes called “phrase-holding meditation”) titled “Illuminating the Mind.” In this seminar, held in Seoul and at Baekdam-sa Temple in Inje, Korean scholars and seven well-known international scholars gave presentations, and about 40 people, including scholars, participated in a 6-day practice session of Ganhwaseon.


Seoul’s Yeonhwa-sa Temple and the Bhutan Cultural Center Invite Thubten Dorji of Bhutan to Attend a Korean Buddhist Service

Thubten Dorji, a Master of Bhutanese Buddhism, visited Korea from June 25th to July 9 at the invitation of Seoul’s Yeonhwa-sa and the Bhutan Cultural Center. The “Wisdom Consecration Buddhist Service” (智慧灌頂) was held at Yeonhwa-sa on July 4th and a Dharma talk for Korean Buddhists was held in the Dabowon in Seoul’s Dabo Building by invitation of the Buddhist Broadcasting Service (BBS) on July 6.



Buddha’s Birthday Celebration for Year 2560 of the Buddhist Era Included the Lantern-lighting Ceremony and Other Events

On May 14, various Buddhist ceremonies and events were held in downtown Seoul and temples across the country. After the Lantern-lighting Ceremony at Gwanghwamun Plaza on April 20, exhibitions of traditional Korean lanterns were held at Jogye-sa Temple, Bongeun-sa Temple and Cheongye-cheon Stream from May 6 to 15. On May 7, an “Eoullim-madang” has held in the stadium of Dongguk University from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the lantern-lighting parade proceeded from Honginji-mun Gate to Jogye-sa from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The day’s festivities were wrapped up with the Hoehyangmadang (“the transference of one’s accrued merits to another”) in front of Jonggak Station. On May 8, a Jeontong-munhwa madang (traditional cultural outdoor performances) was held from noon to 7:00 p.m. A Gongyeon-madang was held on the stage in front of Jogye-sa from noon to 6:00 p.m., and a Yeondeung-nori (lantern-lighting performance) was held in Insa-dong and nearby Jogye-sa from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Just as in past years, many foreigners participated in various events and performances to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday. On May 14 at 10:00 a.m., Buddha’s Birthday, Buddhist ceremonies were held in most temples across the country in celebration. Homepage : www.llf.or.kr


Jungdo (“middle way”) Foundation Holds Opening Ceremony for “Hwangyongwon Jungdo Tower,” Resembling Hwangyong-sa’s Nine-storied Pagoda.


On July 6th, the Jungdo Foundation opened to the public “Hwangyongwon Jungdo Tower,” located in the Bomun Tourist Complex of Gyeongju City. The Jungdo Tower, resembling Hwangyong-sa’s nine-storied pagoda, was begun in 2011 and was built with steel beams and wood. It was completed this past June. The building has nine floors, is 68 meters high, and covers 54.000m2. The Jungdo Foundation said it was built to symbolize the people’s aspiration for peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and for a harmonious and prosperous future for all humankind. Spaces can be rented by companies, schools, temples and the general public at reasonable prices. Homepage : www.hwangnyongwon.com, Tel : 054-760-0500


National Association of Bhikkhuni Conduct 1st Educational Session to Train Buddhist English Translators

From August 10th to the 31st the National Association of Bhikkhuni (Buddhist nuns) held its first educational session for Buddhist English translation in order to train bhikkhuni to translate Buddhist materials and gain knowledge of international affairs. Twenty-one trainees were selected through tests and interviews which determined they had the qualities to convey the Buddha’s teachings in this age of globalization. They meditated and held Buddhist services early every morning and went to class afterward. During the 21-day class, Jin Wookee (director of the Institute of Lotus Buddhist English Study), Hong Yeon-ju (a simultaneous translator specializing in Buddhism),?Kathryn Mary Moor (Dong-guk University professor) and Amy Goalen (Seo-kyeong University) helped the students with English conversation. In addition, Julie Somark assisted with TESOL tutoring and pronunciation.


New Publications in Korea

A Collection of Dharma-talks in Korean and English
What is Seon? : The Path that Leads Home

Author, Seon Master Jinje / Published by Maeil Business Newspaper

A new book is on the market titled What is Seon? : The Path that Leads Home, written
by Great Seon Master Jinje, Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. This book contains both the original Korean text and English translations to make Ganhwaseon easier for foreigners to understand. Ganhwaseon is a Seon meditation method that seeks the direct attainment of enlightenment through the investigation of a “keyword”/ Kor: “hwadu” / Jap: “koan”). This book also includes a Dharma-talk presented by Ven. Jinje in May 2015 at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Plaza on the occasion of the “International Ganhwaseon Gathering for 70 years of Independence and World Peace.”



Everything about Bhikkhuni (Buddhist nuns), Buddha’s Student Bhikkhuni


Ha Chun-saeng, author / Published by Foundation of International Culture


A book all about bhikkhuni (Buddhist nuns) has been published. The author, Ha Chun-saeng, has studied bhiks.un.i – and their history for a long time. In this book he summarizes the history of bhikkhuni from the first bhiks.un.i – to receive the Buddhist precepts and those mentioned in early scriptures to Korean bhiks.un.i – that greatly influenced Korean Buddhism. He introduces not only the history of their establishment and their family connections, but also the history of 49 bhikkhuni temples. Eventually this book will be published in English and sent to the libraries of famous universities in other countries. The Foundation of International Culture was established in 1968 to introduce Korean culture to other countries.

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