Category Archives: Television

Buddhist nun and temple food aficionado invited to Berlin Film Festival

Jeong Kwan appeared in Netflix food documentary series “Chef’s Table”, discussing how temple food is eaten “to gain realization”

Jeong Kwan appeared in Netflix food documentary series “Chef’s Table”, discussing how temple food is eaten “to gain realization”


A Buddhist nun who has led the push for the globalization of South Korean temple cuisine has earned an invitation to the Berlin International Film Festival.

Jeong Kwan, who appeared in an episode from Season 3 of the Netflix food documentary series
“Chef’s Table”, plans to depart for Germany on Feb. 11 after being invited to the “Culinary Cinema” section at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.

Produced and overseen by food documentary director David Gelb, “Chef’s Table” reflects thoughts on the food-making process and cuisine made by six renowned chefs from around the world, including Jeong Kwan.

The documentary came about after Jeong Kwan appeared in 2015 on a cooking program by New York-based star chef Eric Ripert to show the essence of South Korean temple food. A New York Times Style Magazine reporter who observed a preview of the temple food at a New York restaurant run by Ripert wrote a piece titled “Jeong Kwan, the Philosopher Chef.” After seeing the article, Gelb requested the nun’s appearance on “Chef‘s Table.”

In May 2016, the producers stayed at Cheonjin Hermitage of Jangseong’s Baekyang Temple in South Jeolla Province for 15 days around the Buddha‘s Birthday holiday to record South Korea’s traditional Buddhist culture, with a focus on Jeong Kwan‘s temple food.

“I wanted to share how the entire process of preparing food for Buddha’s Birthday - which includes cleaning the ground of enlightenment, making and hanging the lotus lanterns, holding early morning Buddhist services, and preparing, cooking, and serving ingredients raised in the garden - is a form of practice and meditation in itself,” said Jeong Kwan.

“I wanted to emphasize that South Korea’s temple food isn’t just a meal, it’s food you eat to gain realization, and that I am not a chef but a practitioner of cultivation,” she added.
Jeong Kwan received her precepts as a novice nun in 1975 and as a bhikkhu in 1981. She served as chief nun at Hongnyeon Hermitage and Mangwol and Sinheung Temples before going to create a temple food education center at Baekyang Temple’s Cheonjin Hermitage, where she currently provides lectures and training.

By Kim Kyung-ae, senior staff writer

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Buddha on Screen! Propagating Buddhism in India through digital media

Buddhistdoor International
BD Dipananda

Siddhartha attains enlightenment in Zee TV’s Buddha. Source:

A popular television series about the Buddha’s life is being broadcast to a growing audience across India and South Asia. The latest, 39th episode was shown on May 25, 2014.
Buddha (TV series) is a historical and mythological drama produced by B.K. Modi, global chairman of Spice Global. The creative episodes were first broadcast on Zee TV and Doordarshan in India from September 8, 2013.

Continue reading

Ultra-cute ‘moe’ pilgrims embark on Shikoku’s 88-temple journey in new TV show

Japan Today
Scott R Dixon
MAY. 07, 2014

Ultra-cute 'moe' pilgrims embark on Shikoku’s 88-temple journey in new TV show2014 marks the 1,200th year since Buddhist monk Kukai made his holy journey to 88 temples on the southern Japanese island of Shikoku. The Shikoku Pilgrimage now attracts people from all over Japan as well as the world to visit the same temples along the 1,200 km-route.

Now, a new TV series, “Ohenro,” is out to appeal to a new generation of religious travelers and features three female pilgrims stylized in the ever popular “moe” fashion of super-cute anime characters.

But Japanese netizens, eager to soak up all things “moe,” are wondering if they will have to make their own “holy trip” since only four broadcasters are airing the show! Continue reading

Korean Buddhism Photo Exhibition

Ariang News

korean tv

To view the newcast, follow the [link].

Plea to take [Indian] TV serial on Buddha off the air

The Hindu
31 Jan 2014

Buddha, a serial being telecast on Zee TV, hurts Buddhists’ sentiments and it should immediately be taken off the air, says a petition in the Bombay High Court.

The court on Friday issued notice, asking the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit in two weeks.

“We won’t go into minor factors. If two different philosophies are followed, we will not interfere. If something is an offence and there are clear grounds for that, we will look into it,” said Justice S.J. Vazifdar, who, along with Justice B.P. Colabawala, was on a Bench. Continue reading

“Bones of The Buddha” explores one of the most significant religious finds in history

Media Update
7 May 2013

When workers stumble upon an ancient Indian tomb in 1898, they uncover one of the most amazing discoveries in Buddhist history: a huge stone coffer containing stone jars and urns, over 1000 separate jewels – as well as ash and bone.

One of the jars has an inscription indicating that these are the remains of the Buddha himself. But the most extraordinary find in Indian archaeology has been marred in doubt and scandal for over 100 years. For some, the whole thing is an elaborate hoax. For others, it is the final resting place of the messiah of one of the world’s great religions. Continue reading

Buddhism in Popular Media: Namaste. Portlandia’s Meditation Crush.

American Buddhist Perspective
Justin Whitaker
November 11, 2012

portlandia-meditation crush

The popular sitcom Portlandia has released a sneak-peek into next season, including this humorous clip showing characters portrayed by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein at what is presumably their first time at Vipassana meditation.
Of course it’s funny because it’s true. But like many things, that truth is only partial.

Much of meditation is what you bring to it. If you come neurotic, whiny, and selfish, then your meditations are often going to be spent dealing with these things. If you’re dealing with bad relationships or past trauma, these will consume your meditations. If your own ethics are poor, this will show up in meditation (see the video in my last post for some discussion of this by John Peacock).

But, just like going to the gym, or therapy, or taking certain drugs (pick your analogy), the initial difficulties are soon overcome. While new ones develop, there develops a certain momentum and confidence that allows you to keep going. It’s a wonderful thing.

And soon enough you can laugh at your (old) self for being so very _____ (fill in the blank) in the early days of meditation. And you can show kindness and compassion to people like the characters here, who are just beginning on that journey.