|[The mind is a reflection of self] |
The blue-eyed monk from Hungary - Chong An Sunim
The first Hungarian to be designated as a teacher of the Dharma in the history of Korean Buddhism abbot of Wonkwangsa International Zen Temple, the first Korean Buddhist temple ever to be built in Europe! Although there has recently been a boom of Buddhism in the U.S. and Europe, it is still an unfamiliar religion to many Westerners. But Chong An Sunim traveled halfway around the world to become a monk and propagate the teachings of Buddha worldwide. Learn more from the Hungarian monk, who is trying to pass on the wisdom of Buddha to people around the world, on the INNERview.
A 25-year-old man, becomes a Buddhist monk
As the only child of two doctors, Chong An Sunim had a happy childhood with all his needs met. He majored in English and Hungarian at ELTE (Eotvos Lorand University) in Budapest and had a bright future ahead of him. But his life changed completely when he met Seung Sahn Sunim. He had always questioned who he was, and when Seung Sahn Sunim gave him a satisfying answer, he decided to become one of his students to lead his life as a monk. However, because his parents had little knowledge in Buddhism, they could not understand his decision at the time.
Chong An Sunim becomes the first Hungarian to be designated as a teacher of Korean Buddhism in 1999
Chong An Sunim went ahead with his decision and entered the Providence Zen Center in Cumberland, Rhode Island, founded by Seung Sahn Sunim. Then, he came to Korea and took percepts at Haeinsa and Tongdosa temples in the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism. He had to give up many worldly things in order to become a monk, but he has no regrets, explaining that he faced challenges since he's only human but these challenges actually made him stronger.
Founded Wonkwangsa International Zen Temple in 2006
Chong An Sunim returned to Hungary in 2000 and stayed at a small Zen center before undertaking a project to build the first Korean Buddhist meditation temple in the mountains in Europe in 2006. Chong An Sunim's goal is not to attract as many followers as he can, but to make it into a quality temple where people can gain clear minds and attain enlightenment.