Won Kwang Sa Location and History
Won Kwang Sa temple is located in heart of the Carpathian Basin, Europe, Hungary.
The Carpathian Mountains encircle the fertile plains of the River Danube and the River Tisza. Winds are milder, and the climate is generally more temperate. Nowhere else in Europe can we see such a large area almost completely protected by tall and strong mountains.
The temple valley is surrounded by national preservation area from East, West and South, and a rim of forest from the north. Far enough from cities, there is no urban or traffic noise, no throughways.
Won Kwang Sa is accessible by car, but also by bicycle or on foot.
There are two marked tourist paths leading from Esztergom, the nearby city, through lush old-growth forests to the temple.There are several lakes in the temple area, all within 10-15 minute walking. The surrounding landscape offers quiet and healthy daily walks.
The entire Pilis Mountains were frequented by shamans and Christian monastics for centuries. This mountain is considered by many, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be the heart chakra of the Earth, a designation not lightly given to any mountains. Interestingly, the fortress Visegrád is in the Pilis too, having served as the stronghold for generations of royalty of Greater Hungary.
The seat of the Catholic Church, a large cathedral made as the 1:2 replica of Saint Peter¡¯s in Rome, was built in Esztergom on top of an old shamanistic sacrificial and burial site.
Except for the perimeter, the mountain remains largely uninhabited, reserved mostly for national parks. This saves the original energy of the mountain and keeps it suitable for deeper spiritual practice.
Besides natural beauty and good geomancy of the temple area, Eszergom City has the largest cathedral in the Carpathian Basin, and more attractions like hot baths and museums.
Travel connections are excellent, InterCity and EuroCity trains arrive and depart several times daily at Sturovo station (25 minutes by car from WKS), linking our temple directly to Bratislava, Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw and Kosice.
Trains from Budapest arrive at Esztergom station (15 minutes by car from WKS) and it takes about 90 minutes to get to the Ferihegy International Airport near Budapest.
The nearest highway, M1, is about an hour from our temple.
Why we should build a temple here
During the Buddha¡¯s time, Buddha always encouraged his disciples to go to places where his teaching had not spread before.
Our founding teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn, was truly remarkable in putting Buddha¡¯s word into action in many places where the Dharma had not gone before.
After his passing into Nirvana, we want to continue his great vow, and offer the path of clarity, peace and help to all who wish to practice one-mind.
Europe¡¯s mental foundations have been torn into dualities for the last 2000 years, and the wounds have shown in wars of unprecedented motivation, scale, and ferocity.
As we see suffering, we seek its end, and establishing our lives on different foundations gives us a chance to bring about a positive, meaningful and evolutionary change, which may prevent similar events to happen in the future.
Additionally, constructing a temple in Hungary for monastic training and retreats helps our tradition develop in Europe.
Won Kwang Sa Temple is now the only place of the Kwan Um School of Zen in Europe where students can enter a monastic training, as well as a place where there is continuous practice 3 times a day, long winter retreats, summer kido and regular short retreats over the year. Having such place greatly benefits our practice and allows us to help all beings.
Merit for donating to Bul Sa
"Everything is empty, so helping other people is possible. Nothing can hinder you.
At that point, your moment-to-moment job becomes clear: every one of your actions is truth, and it completely connects with the suffering of all beings.
"How can I help?"
"How can I help?"
This is our human job.
This is the truth. This is the complete way, the true way, the big way.
Compassionate action is not some idea or action.
It is universal substance itself." (Zen Master Seung Sahn)
The concept of merit is elusive and has many explanations.
What is evident, clear and irrefutable is the cause and effect relationship we have between us and the universe.
The universe will give you the necessary answer: all you need will appear in your life at the right place and right time, simply because you help construct a place which is designated for attaining Enlightenment and helping this world.
Your contribution is appreciated by humans and all beings in the higher realms, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas rejoice to see another place where minds can attain liberation.
Won Kwang Sa History
2003 September Search for land begins in the Pilis mountains
2004 September Discovering the temple location
2005 February Fundraising and land purchase begin
2005 July First 35,000 EUR raised for the temple construction
2006 Spring Residential life and building construction begin
2006 July Visit by Zen Master Dae Jin, Chong Shim SN and Hye Won SN
2006 October First visit by Zen Master Soeng Hyang
2006 November Beam Raising Ceremony with the Sudoksa Bang Jang Seol Jeong SN
2006/2007 winter Construction of support building (kitchen, bathrooms, furnace room)
2007 July Buddha¡¯s Eye Opening Ceremony in the small Dharma Room
2007 May Construction of teaditional Zen Hall started
2007 Summer First Summer Hwa Um Soeng Jung Kido
2007 Fall Support building operational
2008 December Connection to the electrical power grid established
2008 December Meditation weekend & New Year¡¯s Eve Celebration
2008 Jan-April First 90-day Winter Kyol Che at Won Kwang Sa
2008 April Choen Do Jae Ceremony
2008 Summer Second Summer Hwa Um Soeng Jung Kido
2008 September The Whole World Is a Single Flower 2008 participants visit WKS
2009 Jan-April Second 90-day Winter Kyol Che
2009 April Sangha Weekend with nearly 100 participants
2009 Summer 100-day Kwan Seum Bosal Kido
2010 Winter Third 90-day Winter Kyol Che
2010 April First Sangha Weekend of the Kwan Um School of Zen Europe at WKS
2010 April Zen Hall Grand Opening Ceremony
2010 April Buddha Hall Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony
2010 Summer 100-day Kwan Seum Bosal Kido
2010 September Autumn 49-day Kwan Seum Bosal Kido, including
2010 October 1-week Hwa Um Soeng Jung kido, meditation weekend
2010 November Winter Kwan Seum Bosal Kido
2010 December Meditation weekend & New Year¡¯s Eve Celebration
2011 Jan-April Fourth 90-day Winter Kyol Che
2011 Autumn Projected beginning of traditinal residential building construction