Here it is, the big announcement that I promised. This is proof that the Universe will take care of you if you let it.
I moved out of the Translation Center last month and into a small apartment. The result of this is that I was no longer able to support the Breakfast Bar, and it was in danger of closing down. Last Thursday I received an email from a student asking if I had a Paypal account. I gave them the details of the account and thought no more about it.
Then Friday morning money began arriving in my account from all over the world! It seems that some students who had been to the Main HQ in the past had heard of the situation and, knowing how important the Breakfast Bar is to the students here, gathered together to donate money to support us! The goal was to raise enough money to cover the basic needs for a year, $300 a month or $3600 total. So far the donations have reached $1100 and more is coming. It may not seem like much, but that amount will keep the Breakfast Bar open for another three months.
It means so much to the students here that they all want to send a big Thank You to everyone involved with this project. When someone comes here for the first time they are usually overwhelmed with the cultural and societal differences that it makes staying here difficult. This little Breakfast Bar makes them comfortable and gives them a fellowship with the other students here. The people in our new support group know this because they have been here themselves, and they want to help the students here on their journey to the Truth.
If you would like to help the students be a little bit more comfortable and stay here longer then you can make donations at anytime by clicking on the “Donate” button in the right column. Please make a note that the donation is for the Breakfast Bar so we can keep track of it. Thank you to all who are participating in this and I will keep you all updated as things progress.
When I came to Korea 10 years ago I visited many cities around the country. Out of all the places I went to, the one I loved the most was Gongju. Located just west of the north end of the Gyeryong Mountain range, the city was one of the capitols of the Baekje kingdom, and has many historical sites from that time period.
The Baekje kingdom was part of the Three Kingdoms period, when the Baekje, Shilla, and Goryo Kingdoms ruled the peninsula. Baekje was a kingdom of great culture and entertained emissaries from all over Asia, possibly as from as far away as Africa. Baekje also had close ties with Japan, and one of the royal family was a mother of an early Japanese emperor.
Anyway, I fell in love with the city and the Baekje culture, and always hoped that one day I would live in Gongju. Well, after 10 years I finally got my wish.
Three weeks ago I moved into a new apartment located within the Gongju city limits. Near the Shinwonsa Temple complex, I am, technically, living in Gongju by about 200 meters!
I have a small apartment that is all I need with 2 rooms , a small kitchen and a bathroom. Total space is about 230 sq ft. It is in a house in a small community located at the base of Mt. Gyeryong near the entrance to Shinwonsa Temple. In front of the house is a little stream with an iron suspension bridge across it. I am the only foreigner living in this community and everyone has been so nice to me and check on me regularly.
I also have some more news! As of March 15 I am officially a member of Saedongnae! This is the group in Maum Meditation that operates all the farms, concessions and services we have here at the main center. Technically I have always been a member of Saedongnae, but under the auspices of the publishing company. Since I live at the main center now it just makes sense that I move into the main body of the group. As a foreigner I have different needs from the natives, and there was always a lot of confusion as to who was responsible for some of them. With this move there will be a lot less confusion in those matters.
As soon as I can get everything unpacked and set up I will post some pictures of the new place and my neighborhood. Right now we are still in the winter foliage (or lack thereof) and it's pretty drab around here. But soon the leaves and greenery will all be out and it will be so beautiful!