The Korean Seon (Zen) master Venerable Pomnyun Sunim (법륜스님) wears many hats: Buddhist monk, teacher, author, environmentalist, and social activist, to name a few. As a widely respected Dharma teacher and a tireless socially engaged activist in his native South Korea, Ven. Pomnyun Sunim has founded numerous Dharma-based organizations, initiatives, and projects that are active across the world. Among them, Jungto Society, a volunteer-based community founded on the Buddhist teachings and expressing equality, simple living, and sustainability, is dedicated to addressing modern social issues that lead to suffering, including environmental degradation, poverty, and conflict.
The following article shared by Jungto Society is part of a series of highlights from Ven. Pomnyun Sunim’s writings, teachings, public talks, and regular live-streamed Dharma Q+A sessions, which are accessible across the globe.
Q. When discussing reunification on the Korean Peninsula, it’s likely that the problem of wealth disparity between the two Koreas will become significant, and negative issues such as jealousy, arrogance, and crime could come to the forefront. What kind of education should we provide to young people who display indifference or opposition toward reunification?
Ven. Pomnyun Sunim: If North Korea were to collapse and South Korea were to merge with it, numerous social problems would arise. Unification would result in North Koreans becoming the second-largest population in a unified Korea. Looking at the reunification of Germany 30 years ago, despite their political proficiency, an income gap between Germans from the east and west persists. There were various side effects, but few Germans believe that not reunifying would have been a better option.
▶️ Published by BDG on August 1, 2023