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Karma Retreat

Posted October. 30, 2006 07:03,   


The wall clock inside the Buddhist temple of Beopjusa, which is the head temple situated on the slope of Mount Songni in Boeun County, Chungbuk Province, was out of order. In front of managers of Cheil Communications advertising agency, a small Buddhist nun (biguni), sitting with her legs crossed, said in a low voice to “forget about the time, if only for this moment.”

Beyond going through the same routine such as struggling along with the advertisement proposals, on this very day, however, they were away from the tainting influence of the world.

Cheil Communications has arranged an overnight workshop, called “temple stay (an experience of a temple life,” for the 50 heads of all its divisions. For what purpose did the top executives of this 1.7 trillion won advertising company, the biggest in Korea and 18th in the world, visit Beopjusa?

Finding the Real Me-

“What are your strong points? Please list 20 of them.”

As Rev Maga, who hosted the workshop, asks the question, some managers sigh out.

“It would be much faster to list my weaknesses…,” “Wouldn’t 10 be enough out of 20?

Manager Kwon Yoon-ki at the Samsung’s electric home appliances advertising team scratched his head, when he could not think any of his strength until someone complimented him.

Whereas the usual company workshops put emphasis on organization and teamwork, the topic of the day was “Who am I?” as well as “my strengths, the strengths of my family, things that I hate, things to forgive…”

Rev. Maga said, “When the room is lightened, light naturally shines through the chinks of the door. In order to be a person having good influence upon others, the first thing to do is to know myself and manage myself as well,” and also added, “For a leader being in an influential status of the organization, it is very important for him to manage himself before everything.”

President of Cheil Communications Bae Dong- Man explained the whole idea behind the workshop as “to provide a turning point for the managers who have passed their middle age and look oneself back away from the world.”

You Are the Most Precious One in the World-

The temple life deep inside the mountains starts at three in the morning. The executives bowed 108 times while the rest of the people in the world were still sleeping. The last section of the temple experience was to exchange bows with all colleagues in turn. “You are the most precious person in the world. A precious person acts like one and also treats others in that way as well.”

After the 24 hour long field trip, the executives, reluctant to leave the unworldly place and hoping that the trip would have lasted longer, returned back to the every day world.