There is a man. No. There was a man. He was a Buddhist monk. And he was a bestselling author at the same time. Many people, including me, have loved him and deeply respected him. He is Beop Jeong, the most respected and beloved Buddhist leader in Korea.
He was born in Haenam in 1932 which is famous for its nickname, "the end of the South Korea". His real name is Park JaeCheol. He, of course, was not a monk at first. When he was 20, The Korean War(1950~1953) broke out, which made him think seriously about life and death. When he was a junior in college, he left his school in the end. He left in search of the truth.
He became a monk at Songgwang Temple in Suncheon. But as soon as his book came out, he became very famous. "Nonpossesion", his first book, became a bestseller. However, he got tired of getting spotlight. That's why he moved to a small cottage. He lived alone there and practiced himself what he told people to do.
You might think I am a buddhist. But I am not. I just love him regardless of his religion. It goes back to high school days. You must know how much Suneung gave us a hard time. Not only physically but even mentally. I was just one of those students who prayed every single day that I could escape from this hell or the world would end when I woke up tomorrow.
Whenever I didn't want to study, but had to do something that looked productive, I used to go to the library. There, this book, "non-possession"(or "Musoyu"), captured my attention. I even transcribed it to keep all his teaching in mind. In this book, he asked us to live a life where we are not ruled by material things.
I would like to talk about him more. When I first saw his picture, I felt like being overwhelmed by him. Of his face, the eyes particularly impressed me. We, Korean, often say like "Eyes are alive". I didn't know the exact meaning before. I came to understand what exactly it meant seeing him. His eyes are literally alive. Think of the elderly we usually see around us. Think of there eyes. And then, look at his picture again. You must find the differences,the sharpness and the brightness.
He passed away at the age of 78. He had suffered from lung cancer for several years. Before he died, he expressed his wish that his books should not be published anymore. In accordance with his last will, all publishers decided to discontinue sales of his books. I remember many people rushing into buying his last books at that time.
Even thought he left this world, all his teaching will last forever.