Self-Transformation & Naming Ceremony

All are invited to this very special day! Children are also welcome!

Every summer in August, Won Buddhists in Korea hike to the mountains where the nine disciples offered their 100-day prayer. They hold a candlelight ceremony on the spot where this historical event took place. In tandem with this holy celebration in Korea, our spiritual gathering will take place at the Chapel Hill Temple on August 20th. On this day, we will celebrate and honor the sincere commitment of those undertaking this path and those continuing on the journey.

The historical background for this celebration day, “Miracle of Blood Seal”

In WonKi 4 (1919, year 4 of the Won Buddhist era), Sotaesan sent his first nine disciples to the mountains for 100 days of prayer and meditation. Towards the end of this series of prayer, Sotaesan asked whether they would be willing to sacrifice everything for the deliverance of all suffering beings. The disciples did not hesitate to say they would do everything in their power to fulfill this vow. To ratify their resolve, each disciple pressed his thumb on a sheet of white paper. Despite the fact that they used no ink, red thumb prints emerged. Sotaesan proclaimed this as proof of the disciples’ sincerity and faith. He endowed them with dharma names as a sign of spiritual transformation and rebirth. On this day of self-transformation, we celebrate the founding spirit of Won Buddhism by dedicating ourselves fully and without hesitation to the dharma of “no-self” and the vow to serve all.

Come and celebrate this special Sunday with us. Regardless of level of practice or experience, all are invited (including children age 5 and older). Festive refreshments will be served after the event!

The program will include:
- Storytelling, meditation, dharma talk, music
- Naming ceremony for Jeff Engle, Rupal Yu, Andrew Yu, Ani Yu (age 12), Ishaan Yu (age 7)


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1:30pm 1:30pm

Belief, practice, and religion in the 21st century

3rd YoungSan University of Seon Studies International Seminar

Religion in the 21st Century

Won Buddhism Meditation Temple, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A diversity of religious traditions and cultures characterizes today’s communities. How do we maintain our own religious identity while respecting our differences? This seminar will open a dialogue to reveal both common understanding and real divergence. The 21st century requires a process of learning both about the “other” and about oneself, so we may create bridges of understanding and dismantle walls of ignorance.

Our chief aim is to bring together multi-disciplinary young scholars working on the topic of religious beliefs and practices from historical as well as contemporary perspectives. Through a keynote presentation, Q&A after each speaker, and a final discussion at the end of the presentations, this seminar will provide opportunities to deepen our understanding of the relevance of religion in the 21st century.

Religion in the 21st Century Flyer

Donations are accepted for YoungSan students scholarship fund.

If you hope to attend to this event, please sign up by filling out a form below.

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to May 29

Memorial service and Meditate-a-thon

We will have our spiritual memorial day gathering this Sunday (10 AM, May 28th), then there will be a Peace Meditate-a-thon on Monday, Memorial Day (9-5 PM, May 29th) at the Chapel Hill Temple.

With our silent meditation flowing through the day, we will cultivate peace within and let our intention for peace shine without. If you are planning to join us, please note the schedule below!

Meditate-A-Thon Schedule

9-9:25 Peace prayer

9:25-9:30 Transition

9:30-9:55 Silent sitting meditation

9:55-10:00 Transition

10:00-10:25 silent sitting meditation

...  4:30-5:00 PM final silent sitting meditation


Please use the five minute transition time for mindfully entering, exiting, and stretching. You are welcome to sit as many sessions as possible. Transitions will be indicated by the ringing of a bell, and at that time, you may mindfully enter or leave the dharma hall. You may alternate 25 minute sitting periods with 25-minute walking meditation in the temple grounds.  Please plan to stay for the entire length of each meditation period (25 min.) and drive in and out slowly.


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Great Enlightenment Day and Open House

Great Enlightenment Day and Open House: 

Please mark your calendar for April 30th (10 AM, Sunday) for our biggest annual celebration. 

101 years ago, in the first light of dawn, on April 28, 1916, Master Sotaesan was enlightened to the Truth of the Universe. Won Buddhism was born on that day, and every year, we celebrate this day as our spiritual birthday. We also recognize the great enlightenment of all the buddhas and sages throughout history, and we honor our innate, buddha nature.

After his great enlightenment, Sotaesan said:“All things in the universe are of one spiritual nature. All dharmas come from one source. In this oneness, the principle of no beginning and no ending and the principle of cause and effect are mutually grounded on one another, creating the clear Truth.”

The program will include meditation, dharma sharing, music, and community lunch. Please let us know if you would like to contribute a dish for our community lunch for this day of celebration.  We look forward to celebrating this day with you and your family. Children are welcome!

Please RSVP for lunch preparation. 

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4:00pm 4:00pm

The Meeting of East and West

(4-5:30 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2017)

Jennifer Curtis and Mi Ja Kim will collaborate to present a unique performance of instrumental music and traditional Korean dance movement.  Jennifer is an acclaimed American violinist, trained in the western musical tradition. Mi Ja is a master of Korean dance, drums, and Kayakeum, a traditional stringed instrument. These two renowned professional performers will combine the spirit of East and West through this varied program featuring their music and dancing skills. This concert will include their solo and combined performances of violin, mandolin, Kayakeum, drums, and dance, accompanied by Paul Wiancko on the cello. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind event that will bring us together and allow us to experience the fusion of East and West!

This is a fundraiser to support the temple. 

Admission at the door: $20 for adults, $10 for students and children

Pre-paid tickets: $16 for adults, $ 8 for students and children

(You may send a check or use PayPal on our website).

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Mi Ja Kim, a prominent Korean artist, has dedicated her life to traditional Korean dance and drum. She majored in dance in SangMyong Women’s College and Santa Monica College, and was a top pupil of MaeMang Lee, one of Korea’s national treasures. Mi Ja formed the SunHwa Dance Company and has led intercultural performances with African, Native American, Brazilian, and American artists. Her creative choreography was highly praised at the American College Dance Festival in 2013. She and her SunHwa Dance Company recently performed in the National Theater in Costa Rica. MiJa has now moved to the Triangle area from Los Angeles. We are blessed to have this accomplished professional dancer and drummer with us.

Jennifer Curtis is a gifted and award winning violinist with degrees from Mills College and the Julliard School of Music.  She has performed internationally, including at Carnegie Hall, where her second solo concert was described by the New York Times as “one of the gutsiest” recital programs. An improviser, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Jennifer’s versatility has led her to collaborate with musical shamans in the Andes, Kurdish refugees in Turkey, the Nrityagram Dance Company in India, and the Paperhand Puppet Intervention in North Carolina.  Currently, she is an artist-in-residence at Haw River Ballroom’s Culture Mill in Saxapahaw, and teaches violin, musicianship, and improvisation at Duke University. We are very grateful to Jennifer who has been sharing their unique musical gifts along the journey of our Temple community. 


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to Feb 22

Turtle Dharma Course

Turtle Dharma Course

Registration is now open! 

January 4th- February 22nd, 2017

(8-week class, Wednesday evenings, 7-8:30 PM)

Registration fee: $80-$100

You can make your payment through PayPal or by mailing us a check. (Please note that if you choose to use PayPal the minimum payment is $85 in order to accommodate PayPal's service fee.) 

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If you need scholarship assistance, please contact us. Cancellations must be made two weeks before the first class.  

Come and become a master of Won Buddhism’s dharma turtle! The founding teacher of Won Buddhism created its fundamental teachings and he placed them in a chart. Looking at what he created, he smiled and said, “This looks like a turtle.” Turtles are auspicious animals in Asian culture and represent longevity. 

This class will be in-depth look at the philosophy and teachings of Won Buddhism. Come and explore these simple profound tenets that are practical and applicable to daily life. 

We will meet once a week for 8 weeks. Upon completion of all the classes, you will receive a certificate of Turtle Dharma Coursework. 

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New Year Celebration Service

You are also invited:

New Year Celebration, 11 am, January 1st (Sunday), 2017

At Chapel Hill Won Temple

Come celebrate the first day of the New Year with meditation, prayers, music, dharma messages, Temple updates, and more, followed by a delicious lunch.

Let us greet the New Year together, with mindfulness and mutual support of our hopes and resolutions for the New Year! 

Please RSVP here: 

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