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Representatives of the World’s Five Largest Intellectual Property Offices (IP5) to Tongdosa Temple
On June 6, 2014, representatives from the World’s Five Largest Intellectual Property Offices, known as the IP5, visited Tongdosa temple. Tongdosa is one of the largest and most important Temples in Korea and known well throughout the world as the first of the Three Treasure Temples in Korea.
The KIPO hosted a meeting of the heads of the five major intellectual property offices in Busan from June 4 to 6, 2014; the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The directors, deputy directors and other principal members visited Tongdosa to gain experience in Korean Buddhist culture, including tea ceremony with the abbot of Tongdosa temple, and familiarize themselves with the essence of Korean Buddhism
Ven. Wonsan, the abbot of Tongdosa shared with the participants the core meaning behind performance of prostrations, “Prostration is a greatest practice for one to gain humbleness and develop kindness and empathy in respecting others” and added, “We must live our daily lives the way we perform prostrations, with a humble heart, filled with humility.”
The representatives from the western countries, such as the U.S. and Europe in particular, showed high interest in Korean Buddhist culture. Tongdosa is particularly interesting monastery as most of the architectures remain still intact despite the devastation of Korean war. Moreover, the temple enshrines the Sarira or the remains of the Buddha and runs comprehensive monastic college with many Sangha members in practice. It is indeed a temple that maintains the tradition and demonstrates the profound history and culture of Korean Buddhism.
These Templestay programs are gaining positive feedbacks and reviews as a part of the national program to promote traditional Korean culture and improve international diplomatic relations.