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2560 Buddhist New Year’s Press Conference Statement of
the Bureau of Monastic Training in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Accelerating the development of Buddhism in Korea
through the Monastic Training Helping to Achieve Deeper Wisdom and Compassion
For the past 6 years of conducting monastic trainings, we have pursued the goal of "establishing the right Buddhist perspective and fostering Buddhist monks dedicated to practicing compassion and transmitting Dharma." As a great number of people in modern society look for religion as a refuge to their psychological comfort and console, Buddhism should feel responsible for and be able to respond to the request. For this, we encourage individual Buddhist monks to become a leader of wisdom and compassion in each community that one belongs to. The Bureau of Monastic Training thereby chose the slogan as "Accelerating the development of Buddhism in Korea through the Monastic Training Helping to Achieve Deeper Wisdom and Compassion" and set the following tasks for the year 2016.
we declare the year 2016 (2560 in the Buddhist era) as the start of the
promoting monasticism campaign to the public.
For this goal, we produced 6 different kinds of posters that promotes the monastic life of Buddhist practitioners and distributed throughout the country. In addition, we will conduct many different activities such as active promotion through the website (monk.buddhism.or.kr), organizing talk shows in universities, as well as lectures in middle and high schools funded by the Buddhist foundation.
Second, all monastic training institutes will administer credit system from 2016.
The monastic university has adopted the standardized monastic training curriculum since 2011 and since last year 2015, it operated the credit system for two semesters to begin with. In 2016, we will have all institutions adopt the credit system and it will be helpful for Buddhist monks when going abroad as exchange students to the overseas sisterhood schools.
Third, we will launch the 1st Jogye Order Debate Championship for Buddhist Novices on September, 2016.
We held the 1st Jogye Order Chanting Competition for Buddhist Novices in 2014 and the 1st Jogye Order Foreign Language Speech Competition for Buddhist Novices in 2015. Following them, the 1st Jogye Order Debate Championship for Buddhist Novices will be held in 2016. We would like this opportunity to develop creative thinking, improve debating skills, and the capacity of transmitting Dharma based on the right Buddhist knowledge and perspective.
Fourth, we will keep fostering professionals among Buddhist monks and build the database for their future contributions.
Currently, there are many professional Buddhist monks being produced through many different routes such as Dongguk University, the Bureau of Monastic Training, etc. They could greatly contribute to such fields as translation, compilation of works, Buddhist arts and interdisciplinary research on Korean Buddhism, and transmission of Dharma overseas. To enable them to contribute to the development of Buddhism in many different fields, we will establish the database and find practical ways to utilize the abilities appositely.
Fifth, we will expand and develop training programs for all levels of monastics.
In 2016, we plan to offer a total of 44 training including 25 lectures and 8 pilgrimages available to all monastics throughout the year. The subject of lectures covers the following: temple management, Buddhist sutras, transmission of Dharma, rank and status among the Buddhist monks in Korea, and others like humanity, culture and science. For the past years, the training program was mostly available in Seoul and its vicinity. But starting from this year, we will provide training programs in other provinces such as Chungcheong and Gyeongsang for easier and wider participation of monastics.
Sixth, we will continue to make different sorts of educational books and disseminate them nationwide to strengthen the monastic training.
Educational books to be published in this year are Buddhist precepts that will be used as a textbook in Sangha University, online texts for 23 lectures used in e-learning education center, and six volumes of the project "English Translation of the Most Representative Modern Korean Buddhist Literatures" that began in 2013, to list a few major ones.
Based on the 6 major tasks, we will continue to hold onto the big vow to produce Buddhist monks of great wisdom and compassion. We sincerely pray for your warm-hearted support and attention to the blessing of Buddha and all bodhisattvas to this great and long march of the monastic training reformation in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Thank you.
Jan. 20, 2560 in the Buddhist Era (2016 C.E.)
Ven, Hyuneung, Director of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation
in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism