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The First Female Military Dharma Instructor: Bhikkhuni Myeongbeop
On March 14th of this year, Ven. Myeongbeop was successfully accepted as a military dharma Instructor. Bhikkhuni Myeongbeop has the honor of becoming the first Bhikkhuni ever to attain the designation of Military Dharma Instructor Officer in Korea.
Ten military officers and four assistant officers, in total of 14 Buddhist monks successfully completed the ‘military education program’ which lasted approximately 10 weeks in January of this spring.
Ven. Myeongbeop will begin her official training in April 22nd, which will last until June 27th in Goesan Central Military School. Starting July 1st, she will formally begin her services at the National Military Dharma Hall.
Buddhist Military Dharma Instructors and Education Officers were first commissioned during early 1968, but she is to be the first Buddhist nun (Bhikkhuni) ever to attain the title of Military Dharma instructor. Since the Ministry of National Defense first allowed women Dharma officers at the military base last July, 14 other women officers (including 8 Protestants and 6 Buddhist officers) will attain the status of military officer and will be stationed in Korean military base sometime before May of 2018. With Ven. Myeongbeop as the first women Dharma instructor, numbers of women officers are expected to rise gradually in the near future.
Ven. Myeongbeop stated during an interview, “feminine energy encompassing more emotional side of human nature will bring fresh perspectives in the military base” and added, “I will try my best to contribute to the propagation and progression of Buddhism.”
Ven. Myeongbeop joined the Sangha in 1999, with Ven. Seoksan as her main instructing master. She studied at Dongghaksa Sangha University while continuing her studies in Dongguk University. She graduated from Dongguk University last February with Buddhist Studies as her major.
Original article and picture can be found in http://www.ibulgyo.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=132397