The New Year’s Press Conference Statement of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation
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The 2560 Buddhist New Year’s Press Conference Statement
of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
2016, 2560 in the Buddhist era, is the 21st year since the establishment of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation at the Jogye Order in 1995. In order to succeed the fruits earned from the efforts until last year, we have set the following four major tasks in line with those of the Administrative Headquarters of the Order.
First, we will continue to support the Dharma propagation activities of local temples in various ways nationally and internationally.
The Bureau has been expanding the efforts of Dharma propagation by establishing the local network of Dharma propagation, designating the temples of Dharma dissemination, appointing Dharma disseminators, recruiting the Dharma canvassers, to list a few. We continue these efforts in 2016 and support all of them by revising the relevant laws and policies, researching and publishing the guidelines/manuals/reference books for Dharma propagation, supporting Dharma dissemination efforts in overseas countries, strengthening the cooperative network among the central and local temples, and establishing the strategies of Dharma dissemination targeting the new towns.
Second, we will strengthen the foundation for the Dharma Propagation specifically for the young including children, teenagers and university students.
Unfortunately, the Order witnesses the decreasing trend of young lay Buddhists’ participation in the Buddhist activities. For example, although there are 145 Buddhist circles in the universities across the country, their activities are decreasing year by year. In order to boost up the participation of young lay Buddhists, we will encourage and support local temples to hold the family Dharma ceremony, Dharma gathering for teenagers and university students, Dharma school for the kids, etc, for which the Bureau will provide guideline or reference book, adoptable and readily usable programs, and events like contests, etc.
Third, we will
develop more demand side contents like meditation and personality cultivation
program, which are popular and highly demanded by the modern society.
In order to help individual Buddhist monks who work hard on the ground in conducting Dharma services, we will continue to provide them with Dharma contents inclusive of social issues and Buddhist insights, considering the young Buddhists, and contents tailored to the elder lay Buddhists considering the current aging society. In response to the modern society’s need and demand towards meditation, we will enforce fostering Buddhist meditation teachers and making use of meditation in the Dharma propagation. Last but not least, we will disseminate the Korean version Dharma ceremony and encourage individual temples to conduct Dharma ceremony in Korean.
Fourth, we will promote and encourage lay Buddhists to practice Dharma on a daily basis and help the networks and organizations among lay Buddhists to work in a more active and vitalized way.
Dharma practice of lay Buddhists is a key to the development of Buddhism. We have established the systematic education such as basics, refresher course, professional course and leadership course. We have many layers of lay Buddhists circles including the Order’s lay Buddhist groups, individual temples’ lay Buddhist groups, etc. In this year, we will guide them to contribute for the betterment of temples, the Order, and local communities they belong to, by providing more opportunity, strengthening the training programs, upgrading the education materials, and improving the administration system that keep track of and support the lay Buddhist members, to list a few.
The year 2560 is a meaningful one starting another third decade since its establishment. We will use this year as a platform of preparing the future. We will continuously do our best on the way of Dharma propagation in this year and request for your warm-hearted support and valuable support throughout the course. Thank you.
Jan. 13, 2560 in the Buddhist Era (2016 C.E.)
Ven. Songmuk, Acting Director of the Bureau of Dharma Propagation
in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism