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First Dharma Propagation Grand Conference
“Dharma Propagation is Our Hope”
Over 10,000 Buddhists gathered for Jogye Order’s 1st Dharma Propagation Grand Conference at the Olympic Gymnastic Arena with over 300 monks and nuns. Since the establishment of Jogye Order’s Bureau of Dharma Propagation in 1994, this is the first major conference. More than 10,000 voices recited the Diamond Sutra in unison during the first part of the conference. In the second part, diverse propagation groups presented their profiles, activities, plans, and resolutions. The theme for the conference was, “Dharma propagation is our hope.”
During his speech, the Director of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation said, “It is very meaningful to have all of the organizations under the Bureau such as laity groups, educational organizations, Jogye Order schools, and all involved in dharma propagation gather in one place.”
In a message read by Ven. Milun, the Supreme Patriarch, Most Ven. Beopjeon said, “This gathering is a place to arouse the cloud of compassion, to turn the wheel of education, sound the drum of truth, and heighten the Jogye Order tradition.”
In the third part, there were a dance performance from the Buddhist Recreation Association and a Taekwondo demonstration. In addition, Buddhist celebrities such as soccer player Pak Jiseong, Judo player Jeong Seongsuk, and singers Kim Heungguk and Kim Gukhwan were appointed as honorary Buddhist representatives. There was also an award ceremony with the Dharma Propagation Award going to the WolbongsaTemple abbot, Ven. Oshim. Twelve others received the Mission Awards for Dharma propagation. Four people received the Service Award and other groups and individuals received the Special Award. The highlight of the ceremony was the video of the dharma propagation activities of Ven. Domun, the recipient of the Dharma Propagation Grand Award. In his acceptance speech he said, “This award belongs to all the Buddhist and dharma propagators who have gathered here today.” He donated the award money to Jogye Order’s Bureau of Dharma Propagation.
The five-hour long conference ended with the four great vows. At the end, the head of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation Ven. Hyechong said, “This has been an opportunity to raise our pride as Buddhists and present the dharma propagation we have done so far. Next year, we plan to have the local areas hold their own dharma propagation conferences.”
Winner of Grand Propagation Award, Ven. Domun
Ven. Domun is a member of Jogye Order’s Council of Elders. Although, he is at the advanced age of 75, he is very active in fulfilling the wishes of his master Ven. Yongseong to propagate the dharma. Ven. Domun has translated more than 20 Buddhist texts and freely distributed more than 1,400,000 Buddhist books. He has also given the refuge and lay vows to more than 1,005,000 Buddhists. In GangwonProvince, he was particularly active holding numerous positions to spread and promote dharma. In addition, he led the establishment of the Yeongnam Buddhist Junior and Senior High Student Association, Seoul National University Student Buddhist Association, and the Government Employee’s Buddhist Association. He also gives around 50 to 60 Dharma teachings throughout Korea at temples and army bases. He served as the abbot of Magoksa, Gounsa, Baekyangsa, and other temples. In 2007, he joined Jogye Order’s Council of Elders to be designated as a Great Patriarch (Daejongsa). He is currently serving as the spiritual patriarch of JuknimjeongsaTemple, DaeseongsaTemple, and DaeseongSeokasaTemple (Lumbini, Nepal ).