By Craig Lewis

“In 1991, a newly ordained Buddhist monk traveled to India on a spiritual pilgrimage. While walking in the street, he encountered a young mother who pleaded for Rs60 to buy milk powder for her baby. Because this was his first visit to India, and his travel guide had cautioned him that he should never give more than Rs1 to any of the numerous beggars he might encounter, the monk refused her request.

A short time later, after he had taken some time to reflect on his decision, the monk realized how little money Rs60 really was and felt ashamed for coldly refusing to help the woman as if she had asked him for a great fortune. He resolved to use the experience as the inspiration for a project that would benefit the struggling and underprivileged in India many times over.

The monk was Korean Seon (Zen) master Venerable Pomnyun Sunim (법륜스님),* who has since earned renown in his native South Korea and around the world for his insightful yet accessible Dharma talks and for his far-reaching humanitarian activities and projects as a socially engaged Buddhist.” Read more