Rev. WonGong (also known as Rev. Wow!Gong) started her training in 1988 and was ordained a KyoMooNym (dharma teacher) in 1994 after seven years of intensive training in Korea. She subsequently served in the Kang-Nam Temple in Seoul and the Rockville Temple in Maryland. As a pioneering Won Buddhist priest in the West, she has established temples in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, North Carolina. Wow!Gong guest lectures at schools and colleges, provides life counseling, and leads retreats, youth dharma camps, and cultural enrichment programs. She has been active within the international interfaith community and teaches meditation and dharma to people of all ages. Wow!Gong is a leading Korean-to-English translator of dharma teachings. She is a kind, compassionate, wise, and experienced teacher who also loves gardening and singing; she recently released the CD, “Chants of Samadhi for Daily Practice.”
Won Buddhism is a modern, eclectic form of Buddhism, originating in Korea in 1916. Its founder, Sot’aesan, envisioned a practice that emphasizes equality among all economic groups, races, and genders—and between priests and laity. He believed that great enlightenment is possible without removing oneself from the everyday world, and that practicing Gratitude and the Threefold Study (Cultivating Equanimity, Wisdom, and Mindful Action) leads to individual awakening and transforms the world into a Paradise.