The Old Popkyesa

Popkye-sa was started in 2005. Before that we had held our monthly meeting in a Vietnamese temple near Geneva. How happy we all were to have our own place with a beautiful Korean Buddha carved in wood by Mogami Park Chan-soo, Living National Treasure No. 108! (108 is a special number for Buddhists.)

Do you see those two large glass windows and the door below? That is the Buddha Hall. Yes it is a little unorthodox to have the hall under the living area but we have to manage as best we can and Popkye-sa is very small.

In spite of that, we can accommodate 40 people squeezed in! Also upstairs, if we sit on the floor we can eat altogether.

The aim of Popkye-sa is joy. Most people today have hectic lives and are quite exhausted by the endless demands of society and family and, and, and. So when they come to the temple, they need to be refreshed, they need to leave joyful and happy. They should leave with some new ideas on how to make their lives more meaningful, more fulfilling, more satisfying. For just worrying about money and growing old and dying are not sufficient for any human being. We need to learn and change throughout our lives so that eventually, as we age, we can grow old beautifully and die in the peace of having no regrets.

The aim of the Buddha’s teaching is that we become genuine and happy: no more games with ourselves, no more pretense with others, able to accept and deal with whatever life offers us (= the results of our karma, the results of what we have thought, said and done).

And so at Pokyesa we look at and discuss daily life. We remind ourselves to practice, to

continue to become better people (= less greedy, less self-centred, more open, more balanced) because we know it is up to us; no-one else can do the work for us.