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The Buddhist English Library of Seoul (Ms. Jiwon Chung, Director) is a place for the Buddhists of all traditions to come and study Buddhist texts and publications, and to listen to Buddhist lectures and meditation in English. The library shares the same foundation purpose from Songkwang-sa and Hwagye-sa International Seon Centre; to further the proliferation of Korean Seon(zen) Buddhism not only throughout Korea, but also through the world. The Buddhist English Library of Seoul opened its door on May 2007, in accordance with Ven. Cheonga’s deep meaning to spread Korean Buddhism. The library provides a space for the foreign Sangha members, renounced in Korea; or Foreign Sangha members, visiting Korea, to meet and make cultural exchanges with other foreign or Korean lay Buddhists. Through these stable and continuous exchanges, Korean Buddhism may be able to extend throughout the world.
B.E.L.S programs are created in request by Buddhist monks and nuns, and lay Buddhists, and all programs are offered in English. The space and all utilities are provided free to all Buddhist related programs and everyone is allowed to join the English Buddhist program at the centre for free. Some of the B.E.L.S’ programs are translated into Korean and broadcasted in Buddhist TV to benefit all Buddhists.
Some of the main programs offered at the Library include: English lectures by Prof. Asangha, Cheongan sunim, Cheonggo sunim, and Yongsu sunim; English Dharma teachings by Musim sunim, LingRin Rinpoche, and Acherin Rinpoche; Seon Buddhism taught by Banyaboga sunim and Kempo Nawhag Lundrup; group studies by Cheongo sunim, Jeongo sunim, Suwhana sunim, Yeoyeo sunim, Robert, Amiru; Children Buddhist English teaching offered by Sunyue sunim, Yongsu sunim, Duksan sunim, and Mr. Ryan Brench.
Out of these lectures, ‘The basic teachings of early Buddhism’ by Professor Asangha, ‘The Great 6th Patriarch: Ven. Hyuineng’ by Musim sunim, and ‘One Mind- One Chance’, ‘We are the way’, ‘Herding of Ox’ by Cheongan sunim was broadcasted in Buddhist TV, Korea.
B.E.L.S. is the only Buddhist English Library in Korea, which offers over 2,000 books received in donation by temples, such as Songkwnang-sa, Hwagye-sa, and Jahgwang-sa, as well as from other sincere Buddhists. The library offers various Buddhist texts, Academic Journals; books on Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism; Modern and Applications; and other Buddhist books relevant to Seon Buddhism and Korean Buddhism. Anyone interested in Buddhism is welcome to either read or borrow books from the library.
B.E.L.S. is expanding quickly and becoming a big part of the Buddhist Cultural Center, especially because it offers a free space for the Buddhist organizations to utilize the space when there are no other conflicting programs. Those interested in Buddhism, especially the foreign Buddhists in Korea or people interested in learning about Buddhism in English, participate more fully in B.E.L.S’ program, it’s true purpose will be realized more quickly.
B.E.L.S is operated by sincere volunteers who take on this work as part of their Bodhisattva training, and operated by generous donations offered by earnest Buddhist practitioners. Any interest in volunteering at the library or wanting to donate for a great cause should contact the below address. We greatly appreciate your help!
Buddhist English Library
Operation time: Monday-Friday 11:00~ 16:00/ Saturday 11:00~14:00
Address: Seoul Jongro Gyengundong 96-21, 3rd floor (near Anguk station)
Web page: firstname.lastname@example.org