Won Buddhism is a modernized and contemporary form of Buddhism established by the Founding Master Sotaesan (Park, Chungbin) in 1916 in South Korea. Won Buddhism is rooted in practicality and application of the buddhadharma in daily life. Rather than living a strictly monastic life as an adherent of Buddhism, Won Buddhism encourages practitioners to live an engaged life with society, becoming active benefactors to themselves as well as those around them.
When Master Sotaesan first started the Won Buddhist Order and before teaching the dharma, he first created a savings union in his impoverished village so that he and his fellow villagers may improve their livelihood, gain self-power, and practice the dharma more effectively through characteristics such as diligence, efficiency, and frugality. Master Sotaesan also started a project to build a levee to reclaim lost land from the sea for rice cultivation. This was a substantial task requiring a year of consistent and arduous labor. With completion of this great effort, the order was able to self-sustain and continue to grow from its founding 10 members.
Won Buddhism has three primary channels to interact with the public; these are: Edification, Education, and Charity. With an empowered laity and well trained ordained ministers, each of these channels are actively engaged throughout the world today.
The Won Buddhist Order has recently established its first headquarters outside of Korea in the USA. From this new headquarter, the Order wishes to continue to help deliver those in the seas of suffering and to establish a great religious order for future generations to come.