|▲ Monk Seokcho|
A thousand year old Eunjeogsa Temple is nicely nested at Soryong-dong, Gunsan City. It is known to be built by Monk Won-gwang in 613, the 14th year reign of the King Mu of the Baekje Kingdom. The first syllable ‘eun’ means ‘hiding’ and the second syllable ‘jeog’ means ‘trace’ which came from a story that Taejo Wang Geon of the Goryeo took a shelter there in suffering a defeat against Gyeon Hwon of the Baekje.
Seokcho, the chief monk of Eunjeogsa Temple left his home at the age of 20; he and his mother visited a temple one day and a monk called Bubwoo said to him “you are destined to be a monk’ thus he left home and went into a temple which lasted only 10 days. It was when he was 27 that he left home again to be a monk and was enlightened in 1995 under the teachings of Bubwoo who gave the Buddhist name ‘Seokcho’ meaning a strong and pertinacious life that is not swayed by any hardship or temptation.
September 2018, Seokcho published his first book <Having Thought of> by gathering his notes and conversations with the Buddhist believers at Eunjeogsa Temple; a poet believer there encouraged Seokcho to publish those goods words and willingly paid a thousand dollars of publishing cost which followed by more donations from the same-minded believers.
“I was encouraged to spread these good words to the people in general over the believers of Eunjeogsa Temple alone. And I thought it worth doing it since good words tend to spread fast and there was no harm in it” says Seokcho.
In the book, Seokcho delivers his message of knocking off the worldly desires to avoid unnecessary pains; by practicing this knocking off on a regular basis one can be the protagonist of his own life and affects the people around with positive energy; he adds that pain starts from the desire for fame; the book concludes to his enlightenment ‘the world is but one’.
Seokcho says that all those teachings of the wise are linked to one thing, whether it is Jesus or Buddha or Allah: ‘the truth is not different but one’; the way to express might be different but the communication is the same.
“God is not the existence outside but the expression of the true me inside the human nature. The actions of thinking, making decisions and creating something are the ‘spiritual actions’ on this human nature. The word ‘sin’ of ‘Jeongsin (spirit)’ in Chinese means ‘god’ and this Jeongsin based on human nature is called the ‘nature of Buddha’ in the Buddhism or the ‘divine nature’ in the Christianity.”
“Likewise, there is no difference between ‘you’ and ‘me’ but ‘harmony’ is what it takes to create a better and harmonious society and world. This is the value that all leaders of the world must take as top priority.”
In his book, he emphasizes that one who knows how to stand, that one does not fear falling over also; it is the ‘I’ who can overcome the fear through strong spirit and mind. Currently, the book <Having Thought of> is sold out and it is scheduled to re-release around March this year.
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