On November 6, eight members of the Seoul Group of the Asia Pacific European Chapter got together at the Seonyu-dong Education and Training Center. The members came from all over South Korea, including Busan, Jinju, Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi-do, Gwangju, Incheon, and Seoul. There was even a member who came all the way from Japan. They communicated in advance, so those living close by could carpool.
Since May, the Seonyu-dong Center has been opened to the Jungto Society members on the first Saturday of every month. Under the guidance of the Dharma Teacher Seonju, the Dharma teacher in charge of the Seonyu-dong Center as well as the Jungto Society International Division, the members who come to volunteer carry out various tasks necessary for the maintenance of the center grounds. They include farming, trimming the bushes, planting seasonal flower seeds, and pulling out the weeds.
Since Jungto Society was changed into an online format due to the pandemic, the members haven’t been able to see Dharma Teacher Seonju in person for over a year, so they were happy to see her, work together, and enjoy one other’s company.
lt while working together and any personal experiences they wanted to share. Two members who frequent the Seonyu-dong Center to volunteer shared theAfter working for 3 hours, they had a lunch break to eat the packed lunch each person had brought from home. Even during the meal, they were careful to follow COVID-19 quarantine regulations. After completing the volunteer work for the day, the members had a sharing session to talk about how they felt while working together and any personal experiences they wanted to share. Two members who frequent the Seonyu-dong Center to volunteer shared the following:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Jungto Dharma Centers have been closed and switched to online formats, which has proven to be a positive change in many ways. However, I like visiting the Seonyu-dong Center because it kind of feels like going to the Dharma Center. I love listening to Dharma talks, but I also enjoy doing volunteer work that require physical exertion. I hope the volunteers can create an energetic atmosphere at the Seonyu-dong Center as Dharma Teacher Seonju envisions and that it can soon be reopened. – Hyungcheol Yoon –
On the way to the Seonyu-dong Center in Mungyeong, I am always excited at the thought of seeing familiar faces in a comforting place. I am happy to see my fellow practitioners and catch up on old news. Also, doing physical work helps to clear my head, invigorate my body, and cleanse my mind. I am very grateful to get together and work with the other volunteers. – Seo Eun-sil-