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International Buddhism and Eco-Dharma to Feature in Korea this Week


The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism will host the 2021 Seoul International Buddhism Expo from 11–14 November. The theme for this year’s expo, which seeks to build bridges between traditional culture and industry, will be “Green Life, Wisdom for Sustainable Life.” The event is organized by Korea’s Buddhist Newspaper and Bulkwang Media and will be held at the Seoul Trade Exhibition Center (SETEC).

Exhibits will explore topics ranging from the climate crisis and carbon neutrality to developing contentment by living a simple life and Buddhist views on the environment.

A guest country exhibition at the event will feature “The Happiest Buddhist Kingdom in the World: Bhutan” in collaboration with the Korea Bhutan Center. Works of Bhutanese art and culture will be on show along with demonstrations of life in Bhutan.

The event will also feature a Buddhist art festival with a “300,000 [US$254] won exhibition.” The goal of the exhibition is to help revitalize the Buddhist art sector, which has struggled over the last 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Industries devoted to reducing their carbon footprint will be on hand with 360 booths from more than 200 companies exhibiting eco-friendly products and ideas, including housing, tea and tea ware, temple food, art products, and social activities.

Major exhibitions will look at how Buddhism, culture, and art respond to climate change. One is titled “Green Buddhism is our Future” and was prepared by the Buddhists’ Solidarity for the Environment. The exhibition looks at the Buddhist philosophy behind activities such as “green” temple construction. Another exhibition, “Green Meditation Meets with the Sound of the Field and Art,” combines sounds recorded in nature and the works of Korean artists Park Jin-gyu, Im Ok-sang, and Choi Young-wook.

Additionally, a “Buddha Stage” will be set up for popular speakers to give lectures. Included in the program are Ven. Yongsu speaking on “How to find peace of mind, like a lion not surprised by sounds,” Ven. Wonbin on the topic of “Goodbye to anger for a green life!,” Ven. Wonje on “Changing the focus of the mind: Zen and Ganhwaseon,” and more.

The exhibition follows the opening of South Korea after months of COVID-19 restrictions. Last weekend marked the beginning of the first of the three-stage “living with COVID-19” plan to slowly phase out restrictions now that more than 70 per cent of South Korea’s population has been fully vaccinated.

Jogye Temple in Seoul. From

On 7 November, Jogye Temple, the headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in central Seoul, hosted around 200 people in its large meditation hall. “I am glad we can pray together again, although I have to say concerns linger over breakthrough cases,” said Kim Jeong-ja, 81. (Yonhap News)

South Korea reported 1,759 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, marking the first day below 2,000 after five straight days above 2,000. The total number of cases rose to 379,935 with active cases at 40,420, an all-time high.

The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism is a school of Seon (Zen) Buddhism. It traces its roots back 1,200 years to the Unified Silla (also known as the Later Silla) kingdom (668–935). The school emerged as a distinct entity in the late 11th century under the monk Bojo Jinul, who sought to combine Seon practices with sutra-based schools including Korean Pure Land Buddhism. The Jogye order is now the largest order in South Korea, administering some 1,900 active temples and more than 13,000 monastics across the nation.

See more

2021 Seoul International Buddhism Expo to Be Held Under the Theme of ‘Wisdom for a Sustainable Life’ From Buddhism and Tradition (Yahoo Finance)
Crowds pack religious facilities on 1st weekend under ‘living with COVID-19’ (Yonhap News)
2021 Seoul International Buddhism Expo

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