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Third anniversary of Ven. Beopjeong's passing commemorated
by Emi Hailey Hayakawa, BTN, Mar 10, 2013
Seoul, South Korea -- The third year funeral ritual of Ven. Beopjeong was held on March 7th, 2013 at Kilsangsa monastery in Seoul, Korea.
Venerable Beopjeong’s secular name is Park Jae-cheol. He was born in Haenam in 1932. While he was in university in 1954, he became a Buddhist monk by becoming the leading disciple of revered priest Hyobong.
Beopjeong trained himself and worked hard on his Buddhist studies at Songgwang Temple in 1975. After publishing his essay collection, “Without Possession,” in 1976, he continued to print other essays and other translation works. That’s how his spiritual philosophy became well-known to the public.
We need to meditate on the meaning of “pure poverty.” It means to suppress one’s urge to possess more. People need to feel satisfied with what they have right now. Pure poverty means not to envy others or become jealous of what others have, but to be satisfied with what has been bestowed to them in reality. It’s not to have unnecessary things.
People need to understand underprivileged people. We can’t own everything. We are all integrated in some ways, depending on each other. It’s unreasonable for a human being to possess a lot while their neighbors suffer. Though the things they own are theirs, it’s like taking away something others should have possessed.
The “non-possession” philosophy was born at the Buril hermitage, a small temple built in the deep mountain behind Songgwangsa. The secluded home was built by Beopjeng at his own expense. It was here where the late monk put his teaching of “non-possession” into practice by preparing his own meal, doing his laundry, and cultivating the soil. (excerpted from the biography of Beopjeong sunim)
The abbot of Kilsangsa temple states that, “Ven. Beopjeong did not allow us to have a funeral ritual for him. But despite his wishes, as his students we decided to have a funeral ritual out of great respect to the formalities and morals.”
Currently, the students of Ven. Beopjeong are also working to reconstruct the house that their master grew up in in Haenam.