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PARAMITA: Jogye Order Youth Organization
Jogye Order’s youth organization Paramita’s mission is to help teenagers gain a correct understanding of moral principles, become master of their own destiny, and contribute in making a world of true humanity. Established in 1996, Paramita now has 15 branches throughout with over 50,000 teenaged members. The name of “Paramita” (Sanskrit meaning transcending ignorance to wisdom) is fitting considering organization espouses the Bodhisattva principles. Paramita also has the meaning of completion of practice, which perfectly relays the idea that the teenagers are on the path to truth and freedom and that they must practice and serve within society.
Mental Cultivation through Meditation in Everyday Life
In order to shape the character of the young, Paramita has programs for mental cultivation including meditation in everyday life. These programs intend to develop self-dignity, relationship skills, and the ability to become an independent person through meditation such as looking within for the true self. Also, since 2002, the templestay programs have given a taste of temple life to the youth. They can leave their busy city lives to come to the temple to experience tea ceremony, work practice, making lotus lanterns, hiking, formal meal, and so on. It is a rare opportunity for the youth to look into the inner world.
Traditional Culture Experience
Around the time of Buddha’s Birthday, over 20,000 teenagers compete in the Writing Sutra Art Contest, which is a traditional method to cultivate concentration and emotional peace. There are also other traditional cultural experience to cultivate appreciation of Korean Buddhist culture, such as making lotus lanterns, hanji (traditional Korean paper) art, tea ceremony, and coloring natural dye.
Compassionate Social Service
Paramita is engaged in helping underprivileged neighbors and relief service internationally to countries in need. Members of Paramita have engaged in service in , , , and since 2006. Paramita also engages in fundraisers and blood drives to help the poorer sections of society.
Promotion of Healthy Teenage Life
For all the members of Paramita, there are camps during the summer. They have temples tours, writing competitions, choir competitions, cartoon exhibitions, and diverse activity for the teenagers to share friendship and sense of belonging as well as strengthen self-confidence.
Development of Global Mindset through International Exchange and Cultural Trips
To develop a global mindset in the teens, Paramita has an international student exchange programs with since 2005 and since 2009. There are also language courses at temples in English-speaking countries. To heighten understanding of world cultures, Paramita offers the cultural trips to such places as , , , , and .