Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Table of Contents

  1. Do the characters (자립) have a meaning?
  2. What are the Three Refuges?
  3. What are the Eight Precepts? I thought there were only five...
  4. How do you include Korean characters in your site?
  5. How did you learn Hangul (the Korean alphabet)?
  6. Where have you been? What are you up to?

  1. Do the characters (자립) have a meaning?

    Yes. 자립 is my Buddhist name written in Korean. 자립 is written and pronounced "Chalip" in English. I received my Buddhist name at Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple on May 16th, 2004 (16th day of the 5th month of the Buddhist Year 2548) when I formally took the Three Refuges and Eight Precepts and embraced the teachings of Buddhism.

    Table of Contents

  2. What are the Three Refuges?

    The Three Refugues could be considered the "Holy Trinity" in Buddhism. Buddhists take refugue in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Buddha refers to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and can include all Buddhas of the past, present and future. Dharma refers to the teachings of Buddhism. Sangha means community and includes both the community of monks and laypersons who practice Buddhism and the community of all beings. In Western Zen temples/sitting groups you may hear the Three Refuges chanted (spoken aloud) in Pali, Sanskrit or English. This handout provides all three translations.

    Table of Contents

  3. What are the Eight Precepts? I thought there were only five...

    There are five basic precepts that are the foundational vows all Buddhists undertake. They are:

    • To refrain from killing
    • To refrain from stealing
    • To refrain from sexual misconduct
    • To refrain from false, harsh, and idle speech
    • To refrain from intoxicants that cloud the mind

    At Still Point, laypersons take these Eight Precepts (or, vows) when they formally accept Buddhism as their spiritual path. It is common for monks and nuns to take additional precepts when they are ordained.

    Table of Contents

  4. How do you include Korean characters in your site?

    There are several things you need to do. Here is the basic overview:

    • In the <HEAD> section of your HTML document, add this META TAG to denote that you want to use UTF-8 or Unicode character encoding on your web page:
      • <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
    • Make sure your HTML editor can support Unicode characters.
    • Change the settings on your Windows XP Language Bar (Add Input Language: Korean).
    • Change the input language on the Language Bar from English to Korean... Use the IME Pad to draw the character and enter it into your HTML editor. You can use the Korean keyboard if you are working in Microsoft Word then copy the characters into your HTML editor if the IME Pad is awkward.

    For more information, see this helpful article from Declan Software.

    Table of Contents

  5. How did you learn Hangul (the Korean alphabet)?

    At first, I found a few websites that I used as a reference:

    Then I found a great software package by Declan Software. The specific product you need to learn Hangul is called Read/Write Korean. You get a 30% discount if you buy the Korean language learning suite (suite includes instruction on the alphabet, computerized flash cards, grammar lessons, a dictionary).

    Table of Contents

  6. Where have you been? What are you up to?

    I've maintained this site since 2004 but I'm not always actively blogging on a consistent basis. When you don't see me posting in this space, I'm either working on a demanding project or...

  7. For More Information

    If your question wasn't answered here, feel free to e-mail me. I will make periodic updates to this FAQ.

  8. Table of Contents