Jogye Order Head Ven. Jaseung Leaves for Pyongyang, North Korea

 “To lay the fertile ground for mutual understanding.”
 Ven. Jaseung left on the 9:15 a.m. plane on January 30 from Incheon to arrive in Pyongyang at 3:20 p.m. via Beijing. Before departure, he held a service at the Incheon International Airport dharma center to present the Aspiration Prayer for Mutual Understanding and Harmony. 
 From the prayer Ven. Jaseung read, “Our fatherland is the only nation in the world that is divided and live oppose to each other. The Korean people and all the world’s people wish for the South and North to meet without conditions to walk the path of sincere understanding and harmony and to walk the path of unification.”
 Ven. Jaseung said, “Today I leave with the conviction that understand and harmony must be applied in the actual place. I follow the example of Lord Buddha who through out his life, showed the path of happiness in the actual suffering world.” He continued, “I hope this will be a turning point for cultural and Buddhist exchange between the North and South, and lay the fertile soil for all the citizens of the North and South to open their hearts with gladness for mutual understanding. I hope that all Koreans can come together in union to break open the stream of mutual exchange to establish genuine peace and unification.”
This visit came about at the invitation of North Korea’s Committee for Ethnic Reestablishment. Ven. Jaseung, Ven. Yeongdam (head of Dept. of Administrative Affairs), Ven. Hyekeong (head of Dept. Social Affairs), Hainsa Temple abbot Ven. Seongak, and other Jogye Order leaders visited Pyongyang for four days and three nights. The trip finished on February 2. The group met with members of the Committee for Ethnic Reestablishment and the North’s Joseon Buddhist Association to devise ways to increase activity between the two nations. The group also visited several Buddhist temples in Pyongyang. The group also will visit major landmarks in Pyongyang. 
 Ven. Jaseung discussed the restoration and active maintenance of North Korean temples, collaborative restoration of Buddhist cultural artifacts, construction of a facility for humanitarian causes in Pyongyang, a pact for active inter-exchange between the main temples of the North and South, and the invitation of North Korea to the 2011 Celebration of 1000 Years of Triptaka  Koreana. 
 Ven. Jaseung and group returned to South Korea on February 2. 
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