Monks share advice on living in frustrating world

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Monks share advice on living in frustrating world

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Three monks at the Woljeong Temple shared some of their insights on living smart in a frustrating world.

The Venerable Jungnyum said that the best time for short-term training was when “those underlying problems in life need to be answered.”

He added that a heartfelt desire and a visit to the temple results in participants feeling confident about the challenges of the world.

“Life is hard and painful, but we have no choice but to soldier on,” he said.

“Through the short-term program, you get to learn how to survive while sowing a seed of hope in the mud that is life.”

Meanwhile, the Venerable Maga, who spoke on the topic of creating your own happiness, said, “Healing does not come easy. I must die and do away with my stubborn nature to be healed.

“If you give away one, you’ll get back one. If you let go of a hundred, you will receive a hundred in return. That is how the world works.”

In this line of thought, the monk said that if you harbor hatred toward a person, you are unable to love.

“Forgiving others is the biggest gift you can give yourself,” the monk said.

Although he now has inner peace, Maga said that his past was far from serene.

“At 20 years old, I thought about killing myself. My father had left my mother when she was 7 months pregnant with me. Then, when I tried to become a pastor, he attacked my pastor. I thought killing myself would hurt my father, and I decided to do it,” said Maga.

“It was in the middle of winter and I started walking without a destination in mind.

“After 30 days, when I felt like I’d come to the farthest point from home, I overdosed on sleeping pills.”

Maga woke up three days later at Woljeong Temple and, after undertaking training to become a monk, he was able to forgive his father.

“When the resentment went away, I started seeing the world in a different light. Before that, I was unsatisfied and thought the world was a corrupt place.”

Maga said he would advise individuals not to walk away from tasks that seem too daunting or unpleasant.

“Doing those things we don’t want to do is training, in a way. Of course, do away with those that are impossible to complete, but undertaking difficult tasks leads to a capacity for happiness and freedom to become the author of your own life.”

The Venerable Seoksang said each moment in life was the beginning and the end.

“Don’t regret the choices you’ve made. Keep on going no matter what. You can fail, but don’t give up or you’ll never grow.”


BY PARK HYE-MIN [carlasunwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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