Posted January. 31, 2015 07:37,
A Korean proverb says you may be able to take three fleas with you by force, but you cannot go with three Buddhist monks.
When this reporter met with Rev. Jugyeong (chief monk at Buseok temple in Seosan) at a meeting, the Buddhist monk said, This is testament to the strong stubbornness of Buddhist monks. He made the remarks as if he is not one of them, but he is no exception. After graduating from Dongguk University, he became a Buddhist monk by joining Sudeok temple in 1986, and has been serving as the temples chief monk for 16 years.
The title of his book contains altruistic mindset suggesting "you first before me," the credo that this stubborn Buddhist monk who is just as stubborn as anyone else has been following.
The book also includes lines suggesting that he made efforts to better understand women. He has been doing that after being criticized for little understanding about women by a female Buddhist, a long-term acquaintance since his college years. Perhaps as a result of this, Jugyeong said he hears something like this nowadays: You have never married. How do you know what women have in their mind so well.
Inevitably, lessons of Buddhism are the underlying color of the book. However, Woobomalli (walk slow for a long trip), which addresses daily routines happening at a Buddhist temple, including dialogue with female Buddhists, and carries episodes concerning the sutra, gives readers the wisdom of life: "walk slow for a long trip."
Despite carrying stories from a Buddhist temple, the book enables readers to realize that life at the temple is not much different from worldly life of ordinary people. The monks consistent message is that it is much easier to change myself rather than trying to change all the people in the world.
Rev. Jugyeong also introduced a story about his own stubbornness regarding Buddhist monks robe. I present new one that I received as gift to others, and I take over secondhand robe from other monks. If you take care of others first, you will find it comfortable and dignifying, he said.