Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dharma Talk - Wisdom

Talk Given By: Dae Yong - Candace Palopoli (IBS USA Seminary/MWZ Dharma Student)
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Duration - 21:48

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dharma Talk - The Brahmaviharas

Talk Given By: Bup Mee (Kevin Hickey)
Sunday, May 22, 2011.
Duration - 26:25

Monday, May 16, 2011

MWZ in Modern Buddhism!

Scan of the story on Muddy Water Zen and the Overseas Taego Parish in the May Edition of Modern Buddhism

Modern Buddhism Scan

Dr. Richard Davidson Lecture at Jewel Heart (Ann Arbor) This Thursday!

Thursday, May 19, 7:30 – 9pm
with Dr. Richard J Davidson.
This talk will review the short history of the development of contemplative neuroscience as a hybrid discipline. It will showcase important new findings as well as methodological strategies in the study of meditation. The talk will also highlight the important role of contemplative practice on the part of the scientists who are conducting this research and will invite the audience to consider the complementary goals of each.

Visit for more about Richard Davidson’s work.

$5 – $20 Sliding Scale

“Dr. Richard Davidson, one of the world’s leading experts on the mind-body connection. Davidson calls buddhist monks the Olympic athletes of meditation, making them ideal candidates for research into how a positive disposition affects our health.” – Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN.

For more information, contact

Jewel Heart Headquarters & Jewel Heart Store
1129 Oak Valley Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

By phone: 734-994-3387

Dharma Talk - Planting Seeds

Talk Given By: Bup Chon Sunim
Sunday, May 15, 2011.
Duration - 16:54

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Last view of a Korean army Dharma hall

Most large Korean army bases also have Dharma halls. This may strike some as strange, but Korea has the draft, and just about every man, regardless of religious faith, ends up in the military.

One of the Dharma halls I look after is on a base that’s relocating as part of a consolidation project. As a result, the entire base is being emptied and demolished. So last night, which was also Buddha’s Birthday, we had a concluding ceremony and Dharma talk. It was really a celebration of a place where people have been able meet and grow for the last 23 years. (Here are some pictures before the ceremony; I got distracted and forgot to ask someone to take pictures of the event itself. Sigh. You can see some photos of last year’s celebrations here, as well as a larger Korean Army Dharma hall.)

Read more from Wake Up and Laugh!

In praise of religious harmony

On the occasion of Buddha’s Birthday yesterday, voices calling for religious harmony were heard across the country. Leaders of major religions - including the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), the Catholic Church, and Won Buddhism - all gathered in an event organized by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism to celebrate the 2,555th anniversary of Buddha’s birth. The head of the Korea Muslim Federation also participated in the event for the first time since its foundation in 1964.

Considering such diversity and compatibility in the religious community, Korea can now be called a mature country in terms of religious reconciliation. One can hardly find other countries where Buddhists, Protestants, Won Buddhists and other people of other religions not only coexist peacefully, but also prosper. Lately, Islam is also taking root in Korea as the number of migrant workers increases. While the rest of the world suffers from religious conflict, Korea appears to have established a successful multi-religious society.

Read more at Joong Ang Daily

The benefits of meditation

Studies have shown that meditating regularly can help relieve symptoms in people who suffer from chronic pain, but the neural mechanisms underlying the relief were unclear. Now, MIT and Harvard researchers have found a possible explanation for this phenomenon.

In a study published online April 21 in the journal Brain Research Bulletin, the researchers found that people trained to meditate over an eight-week period were better able to control a specific type of brain waves called alpha rhythms.

“These activity patterns are thought to minimize distractions, to diminish the likelihood stimuli will grab your attention,” says Christopher Moore, an MIT neuroscientist and senior author of the paper. “Our data indicate that meditation training makes you better at focusing, in part by allowing you to better regulate how things that arise will impact you.”

Read more at MIT News

A measure of Buddhism’s currency: Lanterns

At last weekend’s Lotus Lantern Festival in Jongno, central Seoul, a helmet-and-goggle-wearing baby penguin cartoon not only symbolized Korean Buddhism’s attempt to appeal to youth, it also presented a unique measure of the religion’s currency: lanterns.

More than 10,000 lanterns shined brightly at this year’s May 5 to May 8 festival, but a lantern that wasn’t even there due to a licensing dispute drew the most attention.

On May 3, Ocon Animation Studio accused the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism of failing to acquire the licensing rights for the popular children’s character Pororo, prompting the lantern to be pulled from the festival.

Read more at Joong Ang Daily

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dharma Talk - Awareness

Talk Given By: Rev. Hye Kyong Bup Sanim
Sunday, May 8, 2011.
Duration - 12:26

Buddha’s Birthday: Streetfair in Seoul

Post by Chong Go Sunim for Wake Up and Laugh!

The Buddha’s Birthday is almost upon us, (tomorrow in fact) which means that yesterday was the street fair in front of Jogye Temple in Seoul. For an entire block, the road was filled with activities and booths set up by Buddhist organizations and NGO’s from around the world. I can’t imagine any other place in the world where one could see so many different types of Buddhism and Buddhist organizations. In fact, I have too many photos, and not enough time, so I’ll have to divide this post into two parts. (You can see larger images of most photos by clicking on the image.)

See all the photos here.

Interview: Seon Buddhism seeks spiritual guidance

Religion has improved the quality of spiritual life of human beings and influenced societal development for a long time through various moral roles in the public sphere by giving ethical inspiration to civil society activity and political discussion.

Zen-Master Subul, head of the Anguk Zen Center, stresses the very essence of Buddhism, particularly Seon (Zen) Buddhism — the spiritual guidance — to show people the right direction with a balance between materialistic and spiritual civilizations.

To commemorate Buddha’s Birthday which falls today, Master Subul, who puts the Buddha’s teachings into practice, talked about his vision on Seon Buddhism through “ganhwaseon” in an interview with The Korea Times. Ganhwaseon is a traditional way of Seon meditation in which the main practice is to investigate “hwadu” in order to attain enlightenment toward True Nature.

Read the interview from Korea Times.

Lantern festival to light up world for harmony

Making and hanging lotus lanterns is one of the oldest Buddhist traditions, which continues until today. Yeondeunghoe is a traditional Korean folk festival that goes back to the Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57-935 A.D.). It was inherited as the Lotus Lantern Assembly in Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) and continued as the Lantern Celebration (Gwandeung-nori) during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).

For the welfare of the community and fulfillment of personal wishes, the Lotus Lantern Festival will be held May 6-8 just ahead of Buddha’s Birthday which falls on May 10 this year. Buddha’s Birthday is the biggest day of the year as Buddhists celebrate by attending the Buddha’s Birthday Dharma Service at temples.

More than 100,000 colorful lanterns in various shapes such as dragons, elephants, phoenixes, drums, turtles and lotuses decorate the main streets nationwide along with diverse programs and activities.

The lanterns are symbols of light, wisdom and compassion that dispel the dark and suffering of the world. Through the lotus lanterns, the dark become bright as Buddhists believe that the light brings enlightenment to those who are in pain and are lost.

Read more at Buddhist Channel.

Buddha’s Birthday in Korea, a preview

From Wake Up and Laugh!

The Buddha’s birthday celebrations won’t begin until this Saturday, but on Sunday we(Hanmaum Seon Center) had a preview of the activities our center’s groups are planning. There’s nothing else for it, but to say they were incredible! The planning and effort they’ve put into the designs and rehearsals really show up.

The Lantern Parade will begin at around 6pm or so from Dongguk University(Saturday, May 7). There will be performances beforehand, I think. The parade will go up to Dongdae-mun, and then down Jongno to Jogye Temple. On Sunday the 8th, there will be the street fair on the road in front of Jogye Temple, to be followed by more performances and a party in the evening. On the day itself, Tuesday May 10, there will be activities all day long at all the major temples in Korea.

View more photos here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I Would Say to Osama bin Laden

Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh talks about how listening is the first step towards peace.

If you could speak to Osama bin Laden, what would you say to him? Likewise, if you were to speak to the American people, what would you suggest we do at this point, individually and as a nation?

If I were given the opportunity to be face to face with Osama bin Laden, the first thing I would do is listen. I would try to understand why he had acted in that cruel way. I would try to understand all of the suffering that had led him to violence. It might not be easy to listen in that way, so I would have to remain calm and lucid. I would need several friends with me, who are strong in the practice of deep listening, listening without reacting, without judging and blaming. In this way, an atmosphere of support would be created for this person and those connected so that they could share completely, trust that they are really being heard.

Read more:

Osama bin Laden is dead. One Buddhist’s response

“In the Shambhala warrior tradition, we say you should only have to kill an enemy once every thousand years.” –Chogyam Trungpa

So, Osama bin Laden is dead. We killed him. There really was no choice. We were clearly in an “us or them” situation and if we didn’t kill him, he was going to continue to do everything in his power to kill us.

As Buddhists, we are supposed to abhor all killing, but what do you do when someone is trying to kill you? Obviously great theologians have pondered this question for millennia and I’m not going to try to pile on with my point of view, which would be totally useless.

Instead, I’ll pose this question: How do you kill your enemy in a way that puts a stop to violence rather than escalates it?

Read the full post from Susan Piver here.

Dharma Talk - Understanding Yebul Moon

Talk Given By: Bup Chon Sunim
Sunday, May 1, 2011.
Duration - 25:37

Yebul PDF

Buddhist service for Japan's tsunami dead

Soma, Japan -- Buddhist priests burned incense and chanted yesterday for Japan's tsunami victims, marking the 49th day since the disaster and closing the period when the dead were believed to be wandering restlessly through destroyed home towns.

About 1,200 mourners attended a ceremony organised by 170 priests in the north-eastern town of Soma, where much of the coast remains buried in debris from the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

On an emotional occasion many carried framed photographs of lost family and friends. Some clutched wooden tablets showing Buddhist names assigned to the dead to help them find their way into their next phase of existence.

Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Dalai Lama has presided over prayers for victims of Japan's tsunami at a temple....

Continue reading at Buddhist Channel.

Divides in the Pure Land

Kyoto celebrates two major Buddhist influences of Japan


The portrait of Honen Shoin (13th century) is known in Japanese as “Kagami no Miei” (mirror portrait) and shows the famous Buddhist priest seated on a mat, slightly slumped and holding his nenju (rosary). For the title of another famous 13th-century depiction of a well-known Buddhist priest, Shinran, the same kanji characters are given a slightly different reading. This time the mirror portrait is titled “Kagami no Goei.”

It is an exceedingly subtle difference, but one that invokes the mirrorlike refractions and reflections that occur within evolving religions. Like the rays in the “Mandala of Saving and Never Forsaking,” which represents the light of the Buddha falling on only those who practiced the nembutsu (invoking Amida Buddha’s holy name), enlightenment never follows a straight path....

Continue reading at Buddhist Art News.

In Praise of Buddhist Art

Brush-drawn images of Ch’an and Zen adepts, exemplified by the monk Feng-kan napping with his pet tiger, represent another pole of the genius of Buddhist art. The image is marvelously droll and informal, with zinging brush strokes and offbeat characterization. And yet it confronts us with some of the central ideals of Buddhist practice, implicitly invites us to persevere to the point that all persevering ceases, all strain concludes: to sleep, in that anticipated time, is no different than to wake, and one’s tiger is affable.

For a work to be truly alive, each of the thousand hairs of the brush must be energized. —A calligrapher’s proverb

Continue reading and find the full link from Buddhist Art News.

An Ancient Buddhist Model For Today's World

From Lewis Richmond @ Huffington Post:

In my ongoing effort to find ways to adapt Buddhism to modern American life, I have long been influenced by the example of Vimala-Kirti, the "householder sage" of ancient India (pictured). According to the Vimala-Kirti Sutra ("sutra" means scripture), Vimala-Kirti was a wealthy layperson or householder who was one of the Buddha's leading lay disciples. Even though he was a householder, however, his wisdom was said to exceed that of all of the Buddha's leading monk disciples. Much of the Sutra is spent recounting arguments between Vimala-Kirti and the monk disciples about Buddhist doctrine -- disputes which Vimala-Kirti invariably won. The notion of a layperson's wisdom excelling that of a monk is only one of many radical notions put forward by the Sutra....

Continue reading here.