When I was in kindergarten, I asked my father why I had to go to school. Why couldn’t I just study at home? My dad then proceeded to explain the hundreds of reasons why I should go to school, ending with a threat of a spanking if I didn’t go. As a child, I thought that I didn’t need to be in school to learn. But as I grew up, I was proven wrong, and I realized that being in school with a teacher is quite as important as the learning itself, and that learning institutions and teachers vary as we continue onward through the endless process of learning that we call life. Ever since then, I have always looked forward to learning in diverse ways.
It is for this reason that I was so thrilled when my visa for Korea was approved. I really thought it was a great opportunity to learn more about Jeung San Do. After years of study in my own country, I could finally go to Korea?to the origin of the teachings of Sangjenim and Taemonim. I could finally hear the voices of Taesabunim and Sabunim live. I just couldn’t contain my excitement and was unable to sleep the night before my flight. Upon my arrival, I almost ran to the plane door, eager to descend and start my new learning experience.
As I anticipated, there were a great many things to learn. I came to fully understand the differences between my studies back in the Philippines and actually being in the Jeung San Do Education and Culture Center. The basic content is the same, but the energy of the teachings is more vibrant here. It’s like seeing the same thing from a different angle. The education programs provided here gives new breath to the topics that I first encountered years ago. I was just in time to participate in a two-week education program that included a tour of the Sacred Sites. I’ve learned a lot about the Dojeon through the program and through the sacred sites tour. I’ve learned more about Sangjenim’s dosu while visiting the sites at which the dosu were made and proclaimed.
Despite the obvious language issue, I can truly say that I have learned very many things here that I couldn’t have learned back home. The opportunity to feel the depth of the teachings directly from Taesabunim and Sabunim has been a truly remarkable experience. When I listen carefully, I feel that I can actually hear heaven and earth’s voice and feel their true message for humanity. The atmosphere in this place is so special that it inspires one to study, to acquire a better practice, and to fully realize the purpose of this faith: saving people by sharing the truth. In my Jeung San Do practice, I have now experienced the difference between learning outside the institute and learning inside it. The actual lessons that you retain best are the ones that you experience firsthand. My experiences here have given me information to share, more things to ponder, and more experiences to cherish and value. I would not have had these if I had chosen to stay home. I wouldn’t have had the chance to realize the utmost value of honing my practice if I had refused to leave my comfort zone.
Time flies so fast, and my stay has been short. I will be leaving Korea, but I will never forget the lessons that I have learned here. I was given a wonderful opportunity to learn more, to reflect more, and to see a totally different view of the things that I was beginning to see as mundane. This experience enlarged my perspective and made me realize the things that I can do to be better, not just for myself but for the people around me. I might forget these lessons from time to time, but as long as I feel the breath of the teachings of Sangjenim and Taemonim, through Taesabunim and Sabunim, I know that I will always remember and treasure this learning experience.