Extra! Korea

April 12, 2009

Celibate monk offers dating advice

Filed under: Buddhism, culture, humor — extrakorea @ 12:47 am

A celibate monk has been offering dating advice for seventeen years. Here’s how he explains this seeming paradox:

“Whether it’s dating or serious love, all essentially is based on human relationship. And human relationship is based on karma,” he said in an interview with JoongAng Ilbo, published Saturday.

As a monk, he is also aware that he is doing something unusual and has a good way of defending it. “Buddhism attaches a great importance to karma, arising from human relationship. So, it’s not something very strange for a monk to do dating counseling,” he said.

But he admitted that it was not easy for him to be understood. “Even other monks regarded me as an odd ball a few years back. They thought even though I did it to help other people, but then the very job of talking about dating and very private affairs itself could become a stumbling block for a monk to gain enlightenment.”

He runs the “Happiness-healing center” in the Samcheong-dong neighborhood of Seoul, and began when, seventeen years ago, he was a chaplain in the military and counseled a heartbroken young soldier.

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