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Jogye Order International Seon Center Opens
The Jogye Order International Seon Center is now open to be a center to promulgate Korean traditional culture and Korean Buddhist meditation (Ganhwa-seon) to the world. The opening ceremony for the newly built center in Seoul was held on November 15. Jogye Order President Ven. Jaseung, members of the Council of Elders Ven. Jeongmu and Ven. Jongha, Director of the Bureau of Education Ven. Hyeoneung, Director of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation Ven. Hyechong, President of the Central Council Ven. Boseon, National Assemblymen Choi Byeong-guk and Jo Yun-seon, and local officials and other monks and nuns with over 1000 people attended the ceremony.
Ven. Jaseung said, “Of course, this center is to share Korean Buddhism with the world, but I hope it will serve the local people regardless of religious background.” He continued, “The opening of the International Seon Center, which will become the signpost to share Korean Buddhism with the world, is a very meaningful event. The purpose of holding the World Religious Leaders Forum in 2013 and the construction of the International Seon Center are one and same.”
President of the Central Council Ven. Boseon said in his congratulatory speech, “This center is a place for the world to experience our nation’s great spiritual culture. I hope our cultural legacy will enrich the lives of the people of the world.”
International Seon Center Abott Ven. Hyeonjo said, “The International Seon Center is for Koreans and foreigners to easily encounter Korean traditional and Buddhist culture. The Seon Center hopes to be a place for a friendly exchange of ideas and agreeable coexistence. The center aspires to widely promulgate the richness and excellence of the Korean spiritual culture.”
International Seon Center to Widely Promulgate Korean Spiritual Culture
The International Seon Center will be the main place for promulgating Ganhwa-seon (Zen meditation), which is the origin of the Korean spiritual legacy, to the world. Its role is to transmit Korean traditional and Buddhist culture with the world. It will serve as the center to share Korean Buddhism with the world. Let us examine the current programs and layout of this new Seon center.
It occupies the area of 2,110㎡ with a total floor area of 10,600.34㎡. It has seven floors above ground and 3 floors under ground. It features a mediation hall, a dharma hall, a dormitory for temple stay, and a culture center. It runs programs to experience Korean Buddhist culture such as English dharma talks, Seon meditation, Templestay, lectures on Seon culture, temple food cooking class, and more.
The great emphasis for the new center is “world promulgation of Ganhwa-seon.” The mission is to spread throughout the world the main practice of Korean Buddhism. Ganhwa-seon (Korean Seon meditation) will be taught at Geumcha Seonwon (Here and Now Meditation Hall) at the new center. In addition, the center will hold academic seminars on Seon meditation, inter-religious exchanges, exchanges with other practice centers, and forums on practice methods. In these ways, the Seon center will contribute to spreading widely Ganhwa-seon and transmitting Korean Buddhist practice methods.
The Seon center will also have the very popular cultural program, templestay. The center will have templestay for foreigners as well as a “temple life” program. The center will welcome foreigners living in Korea as well as tourists to learn about Korean Buddhism. There is also an “information center for foreigners” within the building.
The International Seon Center is not just to promulgate Buddhist culture. It will serve as a “welcome place” for Koreans and foreigners to encounter Korean culture. The center will also have Sunday dharma talks and dharma classes for children. The center is a place for friendly exchange of ideas in both the Korean and English languages.
In addition, the International Seon Center will have temple food cooking classes to promote Korean temple food, which is good for the environment. Ven. Hyeonjo said, “We will have a program to experience firsthand temple food, which is becoming more popular around the world. We will do our best to make temple food more popular in everyday life, in the community, and the world. There will also be diverse programs for the local people.
319-11, Shinjeong 6 dong, Yangcheon gu, Seoul (in front of Mokdong Middle School )
Tel. 02- 2650-2212 Fax. 02-2650-2201