Tag Archives: Buddhism

Chong An Sunim: the blue-eyed monk from Hungary

Chong An Sunim became the first Hungarian to be designated as a teacher of Korean Buddhism.   Chong An Sunim entered the Providence Zen Center in Rhode Island, founded by Seung Sahn Sunim. Then, he came to Korea and took … Continue reading

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Poem delighting in simplicity

A Korean master expresses delight in simplicity in this way.   Unaffected by the passage of time I remain bright and quiet while I sit. A bowl of porridge, A plate of wild greens, And a cup of tea: I … Continue reading

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Buddhism: 5 Precepts 오계

In South Korea, the lay Buddhist ordination is called sugye 수계.  It is a public ceremony where the student affirms their Buddhist practice by accepting the Five Precepts  (ogye오계). The Five Precepts I vow to abstain from taking life. I vow to … Continue reading

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Buddhism: Objects on the altar

What is the significance of the objects on the altar – the rice, water, candles, and incense? 4 Elements: 土 风 火 水 Zen Master Seung Sahn  : “Our universe is made of four elements – earth, air, fire, and … Continue reading

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Ji Jang Bosal 지장보살 – Chanting for the deceased

Korean temple compounds include a special hall dedicated to Ji Jang Bosal. In India he is known as Ksitigarbha, in China as Dizang 地蔵, in Korea as Jijang Bosal 지장보살, and in Japan as Jizo Bosatsu. Ji Jang Bosal is … Continue reading

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Zen Poem by Master Seung Sahn

Poetry can be a way to teach.  Here is one poem from Bone of Space: Zen Poems by Master Seung Sahn. Autumn leaves fall in the cold wind. Is there right or wrong in this? Here is a scripture not made … Continue reading

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Koan 공안

Koan in Zen Buddhism is a problem or riddle that admits no logical solution.   (Korean: 공안, Chinese: 公案) The term is a compound word, consisting of the characters 公 “public; official; governmental; common; collective; ” and 案 “table; desk; … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 勺 spoon, ladle 작

It doesn’t take long watching Korean dramas before realizing that Koreans like to eat, and they are fond of eating together. At the Cambridge Zen Center, I got to experience their ritual for eating together as part of the Buddhist … Continue reading

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Exploring religion

  With the hope that some day I might do a Temple Stay in Korea, I want to learn more about Korean Buddhism. I was raised a Protestant Christian, and I practice Metta (loving kindness) meditation.  My knowledge of other … Continue reading

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Jam by any other label would taste as sweet

“Dinner with Buddha” is a fiction book by Ronald Merullo.  It is about a 51 year old New Yorker Otto and his brother-in-law who is a Russian monk.  They embark on a road trip and meet interesting people along the … Continue reading

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New England Peace Pagoda

The New England Peace Pagoda is a peace pagoda located in Leverett, Massachusetts. The structure was built under the guidance of Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist monks. This order was founded by Nichidatsu Fujii, who was deeply affected by the bombing of … Continue reading

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108 Korean Buddhist Bows

As I learn more about bows (배), I’m told the three bows a Buddhist makes as he enters a temple are – to the Buddha (불타) – to the teachings (dharma, 달마) – to the community (sangha, 교단)

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Korean Bows

Practitioners of the Kwan Um School of Zen bow every morning.  The Cambridge Zen Center in Massachusetts was founded by students of Zen Master Seung Sahn, the first Korean Zen master to teach in the west.   Beginners to Zen practice can … Continue reading

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Seon Poem: Mosquito

Mosquito Without knowing you were born a weakling You drink too much blood and can’t take to the sky By all means, don’t covet other people’s precious things Later on, you’ll certainly have to repay in full From KoreanBuddhism.net Jogye Order … Continue reading

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Dictionary of Korean Buddhist Terms

A practical dictionary of Korean-English Buddhist Terms Also, New World Encyclopedia’s entry on Seongcheol a key figure in modern Korean Buddhism.

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