Saturday, January 7, 2012

Korea's isolated Buddhism opening doors

In the last decade or so, a rise in the popularity of Buddhism-related practices has brought the formerly isolated Korean Buddhism much closer to everyday life, even for non-Buddhists and non-Koreans.

Meditation retreats, recreational yoga or templestay programs are now a familiar routine in the lives of many people within and outside Korea.

In this backdrop, the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist sect under the leadership of Ven. Jaseung, has placed domestic and overseas missionary work as one of its main goals. One of the key policies of the Jogye Order, running many of Korea’s oldest and most prominent Buddhist temples, is to globalize the nation’s Buddhism which was first introduced here through China.

A U.S. chapter of the Jogye Order was established in New York in September for the first time, overseeing the administration of 30 Korean temples in the New York and New Jersey areas.

Compared to other Asian countries like Tibet, Japan or China, Korean Buddhism has largely remained inside the country.
“If Korean Buddhism was known to the world, the national brand and status could be spontaneously uplifted together,” Ven. Jaseung said during a press conference held during his Paris visit.

Ven. Jaseung said that the order will support students majoring in Korean studies at the University of Columbia in the United States every year with grants totaling $100,000 and strengthen overseas campaigns by increasing assistance to foreign monks practicing Korean Buddhism....

Continue reading from The Korea Times here.

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