Full Moon Over Jincheon

22 Jul

It’s Monday morning in Paju and the new workweek has begun.  This weekend slipped by all too quickly, but not without much benefit and restoration! Wow, what a great time I had this weekend.  I went on a retreat with my SGI Buddhist group here in South Korea.  We met up with our chapter members, an international and mostly English speaking group, living all over South Korea at the SGI Training Center located in Jincheon, South Korea.

When I heard we were going on retreat… it brought up childhood images of church related retreats – simple settings and a little bit of “roughing it”.  How surprised I was when we arrived in the bus from Seoul at the training center greeted by a beautiful setting of rolling hills and surrounding lake as well as two impressive and welcoming buildings.  It was great to be out of the my regular surroundings for a bit and even better to be someplace beautiful and grand.

As we were welcomed into the building, given our nametags and room assignments… I had no idea what to expect for my lodging… did we have our own rooms?  Were they lovely and luxious?  What I found was a bit unexpected, but totally suitable just the same.  My room was shared with two other female SGI members and our respite for the evening was a Korean style mat that we pulled out of the closet and placed on the floor.  Despite its simplicity, that evening I had a restful and restorative night sleep and easily and naturally shared the space with the other members.

The training and activities of the weekend were a great inspiration and continued my education in the practice of SGI Buddhism.  The philosophy of SGI emphasizes happiness through overcoming obstacles and a “can do” spirit and attitude.  The benefit of the chanting that is the heart of the practice is that it leaves me feeling physically, mentally and spiritually shifted, restored and lifted up.

SGI is an international Buddhist organization with a strong and committed Korean community in South Korea.  Fortunately for me, there is also a zesty English speaking chapter here.  At the retreat I met members living in South Korea from the UK, neighboring Asian countries, as well as Cananda and the US. There are quite a few members who like me are living here teaching English or are American serving in the Military.

I am truly inspired by the generosity and commitment of the SGI members I met – willing to be available and to be of service to make my stay just a little bit better.  The Korean staff at the center even brought out telescopes on Saturday night with easy views of the bright nearly full moon… as well as a good look at Saturn, rings and all.

I left the retreat and returned to my Paju/English Village life shifted in a positive way and more committed to my own life and journey.  It also left me refreshed and inspired by the SGI spirit – rooted in deepening my practice of chanting and overcoming the obstacles in my life with added vigor for living a life of victory!

Photo taken on my cell phone camera through the lens of the telescope at the SGI Jincheon Training Center, staring at the bright light of the almost-full  moon.

2 Responses to “Full Moon Over Jincheon”

  1. Yumi Mano 07/22/2013 at 13:07 #

    Super happy to know that you had such a wonderful experience over there!!!! Someday, I like to visit there while you are there~~we miss you!

  2. nancieteresa 07/22/2013 at 13:21 #

    Hello Yumi! Thanks so much for writing! It’s great to hear from you!

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