Woo Myung first rented a building where people could meditate together in February, 1997. Located in the beautiful hills of Gaya Mountain, the first Ma-Eum Su-Ryun Center was a facility that could accommodate 200 people.
It was soon filled with people, and after two years, it was overflowing to the point where the neighbouring building was rented. Afterwards, a permanent facility was built in Nonsan , where the Main Center now resides.
At present, there are 225 branch centers in Korea and 105 centers in 41 countries worldwide. Woo Myung’s meditation program is the same wherever it is taught. This is possible because the meditation method is simple, clear, and universally applicable, reflecting Woo Myung’s words that the method to become Truth “must be one that anyone can follow; it must be scientific and systematic.”
Nonsan Main Center
The four story building of the Nonsan Main Center was built in 2001, in lush farming land abundant with pine trees. Located in one of the most scenic areas of Korea, Gyerong Mountain, this permanent facility for meditation was built so that many students can meditate in a more comfortable and secure place.
Garbed in construction clothes, Woo Myung led the process of building the facility with a group of volunteers. He did not stop lecturing and guiding the meditation during the construction. The students who meditated then would be very familiar with Woo Myung’s appearance at that time. He served as a good model in the fields and the construction site, as well as in the lecture room. He spent nights long after the meditation students were asleep writing calligraphy and prose. From time to time, he would pop into the meditation hall in the early hours before dawn where some students were meditating through the night to encourage them by giving impromptu lectures.
One of the first things Woo Myung did after the opening of the Nonsan Main Center was to lower the meditation fees, which was radical and unprescedented for any organization in Korea at the time. The reason he did, meditation fees were calculated just to maintain the foundation, was so that more people could come and meditate; it reflects his hopes that one day all people will be able to meditate without the burden of meditation fees.
The Meditation sessions are guided by lecturers with extensive meditation experience, and are called ‘helpers’ because their role is to give help. The program at Nonsan Main Center consists of lectures, sitting meditation as well as action meditation.
Visited by meditation students from all over the country and the world, special attention is paid to accommodations and food provided. Fresh local produce from the area make up the bulk of the ingredients used in the cafeteria with basic condiments such as soy sauce, chili and miso paste made on site in the traditional way. Bedding is laundered with bay salt and detergent made from natural ingredients and then, dried first in the sun and open air, and then again in a heated room before being folded and stored.
However, the reason many students from different backgrounds and countries feel comfortable and at home at the Main Center is because the more one throws away one’s minds, the more he is filled with Truth; and when one has the mind of Truth, everyone is like family.