Social Buddhism

and the Yun Hwa Sangha
A TeachingHistory

Our monastery is the Yun Hwa Denomination of World Social Buddhism. This monastery is not only connected to one nation; it comes from the lineage of Shakyamuni Buddha and is international. It is connected to the whole world.

The meaning of the Yun Hwa Denomination of World Social Buddhism is to practice Buddhism in the social life and to realize the Buddha (the absolute, truth) in the social life, so that all individuals can live a correct life, benefit each other, and make each other happy. Through this, each person builds up virtue, making each other prosperous, and making the society, the country, and the world prosperous, so that peace will be brought to this world.

Then, life after life, we are born, we come, and we go without being tainted by the five desires, and yet we always live such a beautiful, wonderful life, and become true, sincere sons and daughters of Buddha, so that we can have an infinite and joyous nirvana life.

The purpose of Social Buddhism is to live for others and, through the teachings of Buddha, to make oneself clear, so that we can all have a more appreciative, meaningful life while we exist in this world.

Without hurting each other, we can always understand each other, embrace each other, and do our correct duty and function as human beings.

Thus, we can truly satisfy ourselves and through that, live a secure life. This means that we do not just come and go in this world; we do not even get caught by samsara. Yet we go for samsara for others, so that we can infinitely save all sentient beings. I hope all of you understand and realize this meaning.

The most important teaching from Shakyamuni Buddha’s Enlightenment is that we should not be attached to our small I, my, me, because when we are attached to our I, my, me, we suffer.

That is why, after His Enlightenment, He taught us how to eliminate our suffering by teaching The Four Noble Truths. These are:

  1. Suffering.
  2. The cause of suffering. 
  3. The end of suffering.
  4. Enlightenment. 

Afterwards He taught The Eight-Fold Noble Path. This is:

  1. Right view
  2. Right thought 
  3. Right speech
  4. Right karma 
  5. Right life 
  6. Right practice 
  7. Right Mindfulness 
  8. Right meditation 

Social Buddhism means to live life on the Eight-fold Path, to live the correct life, which brings the correct existence in our lives, and through that, to be free of all attachments and to attain emancipation.

Thus, as we are born and reborn, we never become exhausted, and we always enjoy the living nirvana. In fact, this is the motto of our Lotus Denomination World Social Buddhism.

A teaching about Social Buddhism

7080 October 28, 2011 Lotus Buddhist Monastery

Hinayana Buddhism lays importance on eliminating one’s impurity and ignorance. Mahayana Buddhism also teaches the same, but with the mind to save all sentient beings and become a Buddha oneself. The practice of Zen Buddhism points directly to the mind, seeing the nature and attaining enlightenment.

Social Buddhism, in fact, like Hinayana Buddhism, aims at eliminating one’s impurity and ignorance and, like Mahayana Buddhism, in practicing and helping all sentient beings. At the same time, one lives together with others in this world of sentient beings and, like Zen Buddhism, helps them to be clear, so that they always stay on the path of Buddha with His great protection. Thus, one benefits and makes everyone’s life satisfying, with the purpose of helping them to become Buddhas and Bodhisattvas themselves.

It is just like this: no matter what kind of Buddhism is practiced, we all want to become clear and save sentient beings. Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha’s teaching is the same for everyone but, according to one’s individual karma and concepts, what is accepted and utilized varies. However, in all types of Buddhism, it is most important to practice and polish oneself because, irrespective of what kind of treasure or important dharma speech is listened to, how one accepts, learns and practices, determines what one realizes; but most of all one has to make it one’s own. In this way, this precious teaching can be relayed to others once one attains realization.

Buddha’s teaching is not meant to be kept only for oneself but should be relayed to others so that it becomes much more shining. Therefore, please avoid becoming a parrot and do not simply copy. One’s practice and realization, together with true speech and Buddha’s teaching, will touch the hearts of others so that they can very truly believe.

Those who learn and practice the teaching of Buddha, together with all other sentient beings in this world, are actually the daughters and sons of Buddha.

When we look at our ten fingers, each one has a different length, but all make one hand.

Do not forget: Buddha and sentient beings are one.

What I am teaching you is not new. You heard about it before in either this or a past life. This daily teaching is simply to remind us so that we can be clear and live correctly in this and future lives. Believing this teaching is entirely the decision of the one who reads it. In addition, applying one’s own concept to this teaching is the choice of the reader himself or herself. © Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim


Social Buddhism is the Dharma (Teaching) of wisdom for daily living and the vehicle to attain enlightenment. Neither above nor below sentient beings, it is within and together with us, eliminating ignorance so that we can realize and skillfully enact the realm of emancipation.

The origin of Social Buddhism begins with the time of Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha. The records of Buddha’s teachings (Pali: suttas; Sanskrit: sutras) reveal Him interacting with and providing wise and compassionate guidance to people from all levels of society — from manual laborers to royalty — in meadows, on mountain peaks, in parks, private homes and palaces.

All these teachings take the form of conversations between the Buddha, His disciples, (both ordained and lay students), and people living in the villages and towns He visited. Most often the teachings begin with the Buddha being asked a question emerging from the daily life experiences of those fortunate enough to meet Him. Thus, from its very beginnings Buddhism has been socially engaged.

Today, Social Buddhism is most thoroughly exemplified by the teachings and practices of the Supreme Matriarch Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim of the Yun Hwa Denomination of World Social Buddhism.   

Social Buddhism is omniscient and the most encompassing form of Buddhism, embracing teachings and practices from Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and Zen Buddhist traditions. As in other forms of Buddhism, Social Buddhism brings together monks, nuns and laypersons through the teachings of Buddha (the Absolute, the Truth), the study of suttas or sutras, meditation practice and the formal teaching of koans (Korean: kongan; Chinese: gongan).

In Social Buddhism, one has to know and revere both the Dharma taught by the Buddha, and the ethical precepts (Vinaya) that inform the Buddhist community (Sangha). But one must also honour the customs and manners appropriate to each place and time. First and foremost, however, Social Buddhism teaches the means-to and the meaning-of living a correct life every single day, exemplifying a correct mind, moment-to-moment.

What distinguishes Social Buddhism from other forms of Buddhism is a doctrine so direct, pure and all-encompassing that it is able to improvise fluently with the patterns and dynamics of contemporary life, while resolutely guiding people onto the path of Buddha. Some traditions have become tightly bound to specific cultural norms and constrained by fixed paradigms and dogmas rigidly adhered to for centuries. But Social Buddhism is more than flexible enough to respond to the minds of people as they have come to be through individual karma, all while following the original Dharma of Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha.

Although it was Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha’s intention to teach Social Buddhism, He had to respond to the people living during that period and the quality of their thoughts and mindfulness. Because of their ideologies and concepts, Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha was obliged to stress a stricter and more ascetic teaching and practice.

Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha was most appreciative that one of His lay students, Vimalakirti, taught a form of Social Buddhism, and even sent Moon Soo Bodhisattva (Manjusri), the Bodhisattva of Awareness and Wisdom, to attend him. But even Vimalakirti was unable to develop Social Buddhism to its full extent because the mind of the people was more inclined toward ascetic practice.

Social Buddhism is unique in providing the daily life wisdom to perform one’s correct function and duties as a human being while also offering the means to attain enlightenment. Without going into the mountains and living apart from society, one can live together with others and also be able to see oneself clearly and reflect upon oneself correctly. One can realize the highest levels of attainment in the very midst of the social world through cultivating true and clear relationships. Social Buddhism is truly boundless.

Supreme Matriarch Ji Kwang Dae Poep Sa Nim is recognized by many to be one of the few masters since Sok Ga Mo Ni Buddha who has dared to teach and demonstrate what Social Buddhism is by being a living exemplar.