Our Happy Temple (참좋은 우리 )

Update: 01/06/2021

Our Happy Temple (참좋은 우리 )


I came to Korea on a late day of spring when the Covid-19 epidemic was still raging everywhere. The land of Kimchi welcomed me with cold air and strict quarantine.

After more than four hours of waiting for check-in at the airport and checking to come into the quarantine place, I was finally brought back to the site to "rest" to avoid the epidemic of the people entering the country.

Junior Thich Tam Hy arranged for me to stay in the room of Hau and a new student who had just moved to Korea. In spite of not being from the same hometown, but in the same nation, I feel no difference of region or geography.

The house has two rooms and a kitchen, the facilities are quite complete, and so it is a blessing for me when being away from home. I have been given up a room where Hau's Buddha worshiped, he was originally a Buddhist, and so his room was also quite spiritually presented.

After fourteen days of quarantine with two Covid tests, I was "out", with monks Tam Hy, Tam Hau and Tam Thuong in Incheon. And finally, I was to debut with the monks in Jeonju City, Chamjoeunuri Temple (참좋은 우리).

I have been to this temple two or three times, but this time is different from previous times. Although, I knew the name of the temple, but I didn't really care what it meant, until I learned about Korean to know, the name of the temple is unique, strange, and only one in this Korean country, 참좋은 우리 절, Chamjoeunurijol, means our happy temple.

When choosing a name for a temple, monks often choose the name of a Buddha, Bodhisattva or a certain place or historical site. I have never seen anywhere with such a name to name the temple. Indeed, such a name makes people wonder. If there is a chance, I will ask the Abbot why he named the temple like that. Everyone wait.

The temple is located on the outskirts, not far from the city center of Jeonju. Here, there are two monks and two nuns now plus me, for a total of five people. The abbot was a very close person, more than fifty years old but looking younger and more robust than his same age. He is a person who is open and social, so he always comes up with new programs to support the foreign community, especially Vietnamese living, studying and working in Korea.

In the thought of spreading Buddhism to life and being a spiritual support for expatriates, the monk always thinks of their difficulties and helps wholeheartedly. Mentioning this matter, it reminds me of the merit of my master at Hoang Phap Pagoda, Senior Thich Chan Tinh, who also has the will to transform the human world and turn it into a Pure Land. He always encouraged young monks and nuns to strive for an intellectual career.  These masters' vows to save beings are immense and boundless in the midst of the tempting life of fame and enjoyment.

Walking on Korean soil, I thought it was strange but familiar. It is strange, because the pace of life, culture and people here is not like my country; but it is familiar, because I see people like my Master who are accompanying me on the road to leading the happiness of beings. I chose a temple called Our Happy Temple. (Continue...)

 Jeonju, 2021.06.01

Tam Dong

Translated into English by Lien My

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