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Cho Oh-hyun (Musan)

Cho Oh-hyun's Buddhist name was Musan. His other names were Manak and Seorak.

Cho was born in 1932 in Iyeon-ri in Gyeongsangnam-do. He joined the Buddhist community at Eunseonam Hermitage (on Jongnamsan near Miryang City) at age 5. He made a commitment to uphold the Ten Precepts at age 27 years and was later ordained as a Buddhist priest at Jikjisa under the guidance of Venerable Seong-jun. ln 1968, he took the 250 Precepts (Upasampada) Oath in 1968 at Beom'eosa under Venerable Seok-am. Later, he was a member of the 8~11 Central Temple Council, the editor-in-chief of a Buddhist publication, and an editor for a Buddhist review. He was the abbot of Gyerimsa, Haeunsa, and Bongjeongsa before serving as chief monk (abbot) of Sinheungsa, the third parish's principal temple. He served as an international missionary in the United States for three years beginning in 1981, imparting the essence of Korean Seon Buddhism through meditations and sermons. He attained Enlightenment in 1989 while engaging in religious purification at Naksansa, an experience about which he wrote a well-known poem.

1932

Born in Ilyeon-ri in Gyeongsangnam-do. Enters the Buddhist community at Eunseonam Hermitage on Jongnamsan, near Miryang City, in 1937 at the age of 5.

1959

At the age of 27, under the guidance of Venerable Seong-jun, is ordained as a Buddhist priest and swears to uphold the Ten Precepts. Under the guidance of Venerable Seok-am, he swears allegiance to the 250 Precepts (Upasampada) in 1968 at Beom'eosa.

1968

Sijo Literature magazine carries his first published poems: "Pasque Flower" and "The Road to Mt. Biseulsan". He afterwards commits himself to writing sijo poems.

1973

While devoting himself to Buddhism, he serves as the chief monk (abbot) of Haeunsa, and later of Sinheungsa, Bongjeong, and Gyerimsa.

1979

Simudo (Portrait of a Man Finding His Cow), the first collection of Cho’s poems, is published in the journal Korean Literature, (Hankukmunhaksa Press), covering a decade of his poetic output.

1981

Returns to Korea after three years of lecturing and teaching meditation practices as an international missionary for Buddhism in the U.S.

1989

He finally reaches Enlightenment while committing himself to Buddhist practices at Naksansa. He writes a poem about the experience.
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