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One Korean's Approach to Buddhism: The Mom/Momjit Paradigm (Suny Series, Korean Studies) Hardcover – January 29, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


There are several eye-opening moments in this book where the reader will be truly inspired, and this, I believe, comes from the author s willingness to deal directly with the fundamental issues in philosophical and religious discourse The book is written in a way that allows the general public, and not just academics, to appreciate the sophistication of Buddhist philosophy. Jin Y. Park, Philosophy East & West
One Korean s Approach to Buddhism explores nondualism, one of the major conceptual paradigms that characterize East Asian Buddhism, by employing what the author calls the mom-momjit paradigm The author incorporates various personal experiences in his discussion, which makes the book more accessible for those who are not familiar with Buddhism; to those who are already well versed in Buddhism, it also demonstrates how to apply or understand Buddhist philosophy with respect to everyday life events. Religious Studies Review"

From the Back Cover

This book presents the author's lifelong study and practice of Buddhism from a Korean perspective. With depth, sensitivity, and candor, Sung Bae Park discusses his country's contribution to Mahaµyaµna Buddhism and also shares his personal experience. A monk in the Korean Chogye order during his early twenties, Park is uniquely qualified to offer the reader some valuable insights into the experience and philosophy of the Zen Buddhist.

Focusing on the Korean concepts mom (which refers to the body) and momjit (which refers to its gestures or functions), Park examines their nondual, interdependent nature and their relevance to ordinary human beings who are living in these turbulent times. He also introduces a specialized spiritual practice using the hwadu, which aids the religious practitioner in loosening his conceptual, intellectual grip on his life and the world around him. In addition, the author explores the relevance of his views to other religions and philosophies, including Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. Those well acquainted with Buddhism will find much food for thought here, as familiar topics such as emptiness, nonduality, and enlightenment are presented in a refreshingly original way, and those new to Buddhist thought may find themselves stimulated to learn more. A helpful glossary of terms is included.


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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series, Korean Studies
  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (January 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791476979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791476970
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,518,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. C. Muller on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book represents a summary of the study, practice, and religious philosophy of a noted scholar of Buddhism after a long career. Park integrates his scholarly mastery of Buddhism with his own practice through the framework of the essence-function (Korean: Mom/Momjit) paradigm. Thus the discussion is taken up in a very personal manner, interspersed with anecdotes from the author's own experience as a student and teacher of Buddhism.

His views on the meaning and content of Buddhist practice are novel and refreshing, and his discussion of _hwadu_ meditation is a must-read for any serious _koan_ practitioner. Insights on Zen in general are extremely valuable. This book can easily be read and enjoyed by those with even a small amount of background in Buddhism, and would also work well in a college course on Buddhism or Zen.
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The author is a Korean Buddhist who apprently can't speak English. That being said, however, the author is really knowlegable about Korean Buddhism and his idea about essence vs. function is interesting.
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