Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date22 Aug 2023 Read737 Comment0
“The resonating sound of chanting, the sight of people praying, and the sutra copying activity made a deep impression. The scout members expected to witness Korea’s authentic traditional culture and there it was. The experience we had today will make a memory that will last a lifetime.” (William)
“If I had to describe the experience today in one word, it would be ‘relax’. It was truly a relaxing moment. The smell of incense filling the temple yard, singing bowl sounds gently ringing, delicately crafted roof design, and monks and nuns smiling, everything was perfect.”(Gracy)
The 2023 Saemangeum World Scout Jamboree has come to an end. The event encountered various difficulties such as a heat wave, a typhoon and a lack of preparation, contrary to its etymology of being ‘a large festive gathering’ or ‘fun party’. However, the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism rolled up its sleeves and presented unforgettable memories to 430,000 scout members by sharing the excellent legacy of Korean Buddhism and authentic Korean traditional culture.
Ven. Jinwoo, president of the Jogye Order, visited the campsite in Buan, North Jeolla Province on August 7th to offer words of encouragement, and promised that the Order would do its best to support the event to the end. He made a stop at the Templestay promotion station and gave encouraging pep talks to the participants of the program. He said, “I hope these Templestay programs offer you a chance to experience and understand Korean traditional Buddhist culture and present you unforgettable memories,” assuring them that they would have a fun time.
The Jogye Order delivered the guidance for the World Scouts Jamboree to 170 or so traditional temples across the nation on August 5th,, instructing to open up the temple doors to the scouts and offer them Templestay programs and accommodation. It was intended to give the teenagers from all around the world the memory of a lifetime, drawing on its 20 years of expertise from operating Templestays.
Seonunsa temple in Gochang set up shaded areas and created an ice zone to provide a space for cooling down, as well as arranging activities to experience traditional Buddhist culture, such as meditation and the tea ceremony. Geumsansa Temple in Gimje arranged water activities in the mountain valley and provided meals and accommodation. Naesosa Temple in Buan also ran programs to experience traditional Buddhist culture, while Yeongpyeonsa Temple in Sejong demonstrated the essence of Korean Buddhist culture by performing Nakhwa(wish-making ceremony) and Beompae(Korean traditional Buddhist chant) to the Bulgarian delegation.
Jogyesa Temple ran programs for British scout members such as singing bowl meditation, incense offering and copying the ‘Heart Sutra’ in Korean. The participants exclaimed, “This is the most meaningful moment.” Beth, a member of the International Service Team, said, “The time we spent at Jogyesa Temple will facilitate the growth of the youth who engaged in the programs.” Other traditional temples included Bongnyeongsa temple in Suwon, Jeondeungsa temple in Ganghwa, and Bongeunsa temple in Seoul, which all welcomed scout members from Germany, Canada, and Argentina and other corners of the world.
Celina(18), a scout from the UK, said, “Blossoming lotus flowers and the sound of a wind chime amidst noise were so beautiful. I offered incense by myself and experienced singing bowl meditation that calmed my mind. Now I know why Buddhism is considered the religion of peace.”
Meanwhile, some scouts inquired about ordination. Beopjusa Temple said that 8 of the German scouts who experienced Templestay programs voluntarily shaved their head and expressed their willingness to get ordained. They said, “It was an invaluable chance to reflect on peace and respect for life. We were delighted to experience unique feelings and emotions that cannot be felt in Germany, in a Korean temple nestled deep in the mountains."