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"I was a perfectionist with obsessive and negative disposition."
"I am enjoying daily meditation practice after attending four days of all-night
"It helped me to have a better understanding of myself and other fellow beings."
Jan Henrik(32 years old) studied music education in Germany and his first visit to Korea was in 1999. He was an exchange student and studied at Seoul National University for a year. His visit to Bulguksa Temple was very impressive. Another impressive experience he had while he was in Korea was an outdoor stage performence he saw during his tour around the country. It was entirely different conception from the Western point of view and he loved it. That was the reason he came back to Korea in 2004 to study the outdoor performance art.
Jan was rather shy, not positive, or introvert rather than extrovert. He did not associate with others very much, and seemed to be obsessed with the idea of perfectionist. It might have been the influence of his father who is teaching Christian science in High School. It is understandable that his father wanted him to be a model stuent, and it was meditation practice that turned him to have an interest in the mechanism of the mind or meditation.
Jan first visited Anguk Seon Center with KBS PD Lee Jang-jong to make a documentary film about Seon, and started his four-day all night vigorous meditation practice with a Hwadu, "Who is this one that moves my finger?" "My problem of the first day was sitting position. You must sit tight legs crossed without any movement. The next day, I was very excited and felt like laughing while practicing meditation. It was a strange experience. On the third day, I started to shout and wanted to do some extremely wayward things. On the fourth day, I was able to control and concentrate my mind and have a peaceful mind."
As a perfectionist, he was naturally obsessed with the idea of breaking the Hwadu during his meditation. Somehow he became an entrely differen person and was able to see himself objectively and accept himself as he is. After the experience, he visited many temples in the country, twice a month on weekends.
"Now I can approach and talk with other people. I even called my ex-girlfriend in Germany, and I want to reunite with her when I return home in this summer. It is something unimaginable before. The most profitable experience of the meditation was a better understanding of myself and other fellow beings," he says. But he knows that it is just a start.
"Christianity in Korea is very aggressive," he says. "It is not like that in Europe. Religion is to help the people with truth and should never force other people to accept his/her religion or try to predominate the society. It is very fortunate that the majority of the people in Korea are Buddhists, which must be the reason that there is no religious strife here. In Europe, there are only Japanese and Tibet Buddhism. I think Korean Sunims should learn English to propagate Korean Buddhism in the abroad." This was his advice to the Korean Buddhism.