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Dan’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 22 Mar 2006

Location: Dajeon, Korea (South)


Yesterday i took the bus from Seoul to Dajeon. The bus ride took about two hours for the 140ish km ride. It cost 11 bucks. The same trip in Japan would have cost me more like 60, so this is totally doable. I then took a taxi to the temple which is located a little bit outside of town. I arrived at Jakwangsa Temple and nobody knew who i was or what i was doing there. Although i have had this all planed months in advance, they were not aware of my arrival that day. The fellow who organizes the temple stay had ...OHH forgotten to mention that i was coming to the people in the office. Awesome. And this fellow, well he's in Seoul. Double awesome.

After the confusion had settled, i was shown to my room and given some books to read on Buddag and his teachings. At 445, a monk came to my room and told me to follow him outside. He took me to the bell tower and he showed me how to ring the bell. By swinging a five foot tree stump against a six foot bell one creates a low mezmorizing sound. After every gong, one circles the bell once. We then went to the evening ceremony which lasted an hour. An hour seems like a day when you are sitting with you legs crossed on a thin pillow in a freezing cold room.

After the ceremony the monks and i had dinner. Korean food is so spicy..Veggies that look harmless can burn your mouth in no time at all. For someone that isn't a huge fan of spicy things, this is definately not my favorite food. I bet it will only get hotter as i go on through asia. I went to bed around 730. I knew the next morning would have an early surpise.

Five AM. I was woken by the sound of drumming. I quickly got dressed and stept outside into the freezing cold. I entered the main hall and prepared myself for the morning ceremony. Another hour long ceremony which felt good for mind and spirit, but not so good for my bum and knees. The ceremony was followed by a nice breakfast. Following Korean tradition it was spicy.

That's all i have for you guys right now. I'll try to post pics today sometime..

XOXO dan