Location: Korea (South)Buddhist temples are common among Korea but one of the things we really wanted to do was a temple stay and learn some more. We went for the weekend and had such an incredible time. It was great finally hearing just birds singing and bees buzzing around you.
The view from our room looking out to the main hall for meditation.
Take your shoes off before you come in.
This temple only had 4 monks and was quite small. We also learned that it has been a temple location for over 1600 years. Obviously having upgrades along the way. Also it was completely destroyed when the Japanese invaded South Korea.
This is the main building where they do meditating 3 times a day here. Only monks enter through the front doors. When you enter you must place your hands together and bow towards the gold Buddha statue (paying respect to Buddha) and then you grab your prayer mat and set it down in front of you. After that you have to do a series of 3 bows. Bow starts of with the initial hands together and bow to Buddha, then you go to your knees, then go on all fours placing your hands down shoulder width apart, then place your forehead on the mat, raise your hands (palms up) above your ears and then return to your knees, hands together and then stand up. The whole time clearing your mind of everything. Buddhism is interesting as it's not a relationship with Buddha but more of paying respects to a dead god. Whereas Christianity is a relationship with God.
The mountains that we hiked in the early morning on Sunday. By 10 am we had already hiked a mountain, finished the morning ceremony, sat doing Zen meditation (which I will explain further) for half an hour, ate breakfast and had 4 naps! That's what happens when you wake up at 4 in the morning.
Zen meditation happened at around 5am in the morning where we had to sit cross legged with feet folded up onto our legs, straight back and stare 1 meter ahead on the floor, clearing your mind of everything, and not closing your eyes. Remembering it is 5 am and Jon can't even sit through an entire movie without squirming the whole time. Erin was in the zone sitting cross legged when G monk hit his stick to snap everyone out of meditation and I think she jumped so high she almost landed standing!
Tea time. Which green tea is suppose to be served at exactly 70 C so G told us. Consisted of pouring the tea back and forth from tea pot to bowl and then when ready pouring into small shot glass sized clay tea cups.
Chore time..... Erin's principal was concerned as he told us a monks life was difficult with very hard chores to do in the morning. I think they let us off early with only having to do 15 minutes of sweeping. I found a cute little worker sweeping with a stick broom while doing chores.
G monk took us for a hike. The temple is down to the right.
Can you find Waldo? I almost gave Erin a hard attack when moving out on this part of the mountain.
Brings a new meaning to Men's a Women's toilets. You should be able to tell which one is for who by position of the plunger, seat never being put back and the position of the waste basket.
Our room also came with this beautiful little tea set. I enjoyed this moment so much as Erin was in her happy place. Pouring green tea with a home made clay pottery set, floor heating looking out to the lush grounds of the temple court yard.