Temple Stay: Donghwasa Temple (Daegu)

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 The massive 30 metre tall statue of Yaksayore-bul at Donghwasa Temple in Daegu.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Introduction to the Temple:

On the northern part of Daegu, on Mt. Palgongsan, sits Donghwasa Temple (Paulownia Blossom Temple). Donghwasa Temple was first built in 493 A.D. by the monk, Geukdal-jonja. Other than the lavishly decorated main hall, the real highlight to this temple is the newer section to the temple and the long path that leads up to it. A massive 30 metre tall stone statue of Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha) stands in the centre of an equally beautiful enclave. The enclave is decorated with various shaman deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. In front of the massive Buddha stand equally massive stone lanterns and pagodas.

The Temple Stay program at Donghwasa Temple is called “Using Meditation in the Search for My True Self.” So it goes without saying that the central focus of this program is meditation. In fact, participants enjoy Seon meditation near stupas of ancient masters where auspicious energy resides. Other interesting features include making prayer beads and a Dharma talk.

For more information on Donghwasa Temple.

(Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website).

Directions:

From Seoul, take subway lines No. 1 or No. 4 and get off at Seoul Station. Get a KTX Express Train for Dongdaegu Station (about 1 hour 50 minutes), then walk 10 minutes to the front of Pamita Hospital, where you can take Bus No. 1 to Donghwasa Temple (45 minutes).

And from Daegu, from the Seobu (west) Intercity Bus Terminal in Daegu, you’ll need to take the subway, line 1, that heads towards Anshim and get off at Ahyanggyo Station. From here, take Express Bus #1. The ride will take you about 35 minutes, and it brings you right to the temple.


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General Schedule:

Donghwasa Temple runs three separate programs for their Temple Stay program.

A: Donghwasa Temple Regular Schedule: This program is a scheduled program that runs one night and two days.

Day 1:

13:00~13:30 : Registration & Orientation
13:30~15:00 : Temple Manners Opening Ceremony
15:00~16:20 : Self- Introduction
16:30~17:30 : Learn Traditional Buddhist Meal
17:30~18:20 : TBD
18:30~19:00 : Evening Service
19:00~20:30 : Make 108 Prayer’s Beads
20:30~21:00 : Ready for Sleep
21:00~ : Sleep

Day 2:
03:00~03:30 : Wake up & Wash
03:30~04:00 : Dawn Service
04:00~04:30 : 108 Bows
04:30~06:00 : Seon Mediation
06:00~07:30 : Breakfast
07:30~09:00 : Tour of a Hermitage
09:00~10:00 : Dharma Talk
10:00~10:40 : Community Work & Survey
10:40~11:40 : Tea ceremony or Conversation with monks with tea
11:40~: Lunch and closing

(Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website).

B: Donghwasa Temple Daytime Schedule: This program is run during the day and there are two different programs that people can enjoy.

1. [3~4hr program]

Temple tour and two special activities
– Optional: Seon meditation, Barugongyang, Tea ceremony, Making Lotus Lantern

2. [4~6hr program]
Temple tour and four special acitivities
– Seon meditation, Barugongyang, Tea ceremony, Making Lotus Lantern

C: Donghwasa Temple Rest Schedule: This program has no set schedule and participants can enjoy morning service, meditation, or temple strolls. Also, one can stay just one day or up to a week (depending on vacancies).

(Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website).

Donghwasa Temple Information:

Address : 35, Dohak-dong Dong-gu Daegu
Tel : +82-53-982-0223 / Fax : +82-53-985-0223
homepage : http://www.dhtemple.org
E-mail : saerom_suk@daum.net

Fees:

Adults: 80,000 won; Teens: 60,000 won; Under 13: 40,000 won (Regular Schedule)

Adults: 20,000 to 30,000 won; Teens: 0 won; Under 13: 0 won (Daytime Schedule)

Adults: 70,000 won; Teens: 50,000 won; Under 13: 40,000 won (Rest Schedule)

Link:

Reservations for the Regular Schedule at Donghwasa Temple.

Reservations for the One Day Schedule at Donghwasa Temple.

 Reservations for the Rest Schedule at Donghwasa Temple.

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 An up-close look at Yaksayore-bul.

Seonamsa Temple – 선암사 (Suncheon, Jeollanam-do)

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 The picturesque Seungseon-gyo Bridge that welcomes you to Seonamsa Temple in Jogyesan Provincial Park.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Seonamsa Temple, which means “Heavenly Rock Temple,” in English, is located on the eastern slope of Mt. Jogyesan on the west end of Mt. Jogyesan Provincial Park. Legend has it that the missionary monk, Ado, built a hermitage named Biroam Hermitage in the same location as the present day Seonamsa Temple in 529 A.D. Some 350 years later, in 861 A.D., National Master Doseon-guksa built a large sized temple and called it its present name, Seonamsa Temple. Seonamsa Temple played a central role in the development of Seon Buddhism in Korea. Also, many Buddhist masters have practiced and taught at Seonamsa Temple after attaining enlightenment. During the Imjin War, which lasted from 1592-1598, several buildings at Seonamsa Temple were destroyed. More recently, since 1992, restoration plans have been enacted to restore the temple to its original 11th century form. In total, Seonamsa Temple houses 19 cultural properties in its halls and museum.

To get to Seonamsa Temple from the parking lot, you’ll have to first walk a kilometer. Along the way, you’ll come across collections of ancient stupas. You’ll know you’re just about to arrive at the temple when you see two rainbow shaped bridges to your right. The first of the two is rather nondescript; but it’s from the first that you get a great view of the beautiful Seungseon-gyo Bridge, which lies a little further up the valley. This beautiful bridge was first constructed in 1713 by monk Hoan. It was built over a six year period, and it’s one of the most beautiful you’ll see in all of Korea. If you look carefully, you can see a dragon at the base of the bridge. This is meant to chase away evil spirits. You can get some great pictures from the base of the river that runs under it, but there’s no set of stairs, so be careful.

The next site you’ll see at the temple is a pavilion, the Gangseon Pavilion, which welcomes you to the temple grounds. Just to the right, you’ll see a beautiful oval shaped pond with an island of pink flowers in its centre.

A little further up, and up a pretty good incline of a road, you’ll finally come to the Iljumun Gate at Seonamsa Temple. The current gate dates back to 1719, after the original was destroyed by fire in 1540. After having passed through the Iljumun Gate, you’ll next come to the overly commercialized percussion hall. The walls are crammed with needless knick knacks that puts a bit of a bad taste in the mouth of a visitor to the temple. To the right, between the two gates, is the temple’s rather unassuming bell pavilion.

Finally making your way past the campy percussion hall, and to the right, you’ll suddenly find yourself in the main temple courtyard with the Daeung-jeon, the main hall, front and centre. In front of the main hall are two three-storied stone pagodas. Both pagodas date back to the 9th century and are simplistic in design. They are designated National Treasure #395. Being framed by the twin pagodas is the Daeung-jeon. The exterior walls of the Daeung-jeon at Seonamsa Temple are extremely plain all but for the dancheong paint patterns. Housed inside the main hall is a solitary seated statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is backed by a vibrant painting on the main altar.

To the right of the main hall is the Myeongbu-jeon hall, which is dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Sitting on the main altar inside this hall is a green haired seated statue of Jijang-bosal. He’s surrounded on all sides by ten statues and paintings of the Ten Kings of the Underworld.

Through a path that leads past the main hall and the Myeongbu-jeon hall, you’ll emerge on the other side on the upper terrace of the temple grounds. This treed and flowering area houses five shrine halls. The first, and the furthest to the right, is the beautiful and historic Palsang-jeon. The hall is believed to date back to sometime before the 18th century. There are ten Buddha statues on the main altar, centred by Seokgamoni-bul. These statues are backed by copies of the original Palsang-do paintings. The exterior walls of the interior hall are adorned with copies of the original Nahan paintings.

Next to the Palsang-jeon is the Buljo-jeon. Inside this hall are rows of both paintings and statues of the Buddha. Between these two halls, and up on a little ledge, is the Wontong-jeon, which is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). This hall was first constructed in 1660, and the statue of Gwanseeum-bosal inside this hall is beautifully ornate.

Next to the Buljo-jeon hall is the Josa-jeon hall, which houses eight paintings of monks who helped shape Seonamsa Temple. This hall stands next to a rather original lily pond. Past the shrubbery, and out on the other side, you’ll see the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall that houses a painting of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) and a cartoonish looking tiger to keep him company.

Admission to the temple is 2,000 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: First, you’ll have to get to the Suncheon Jonghap Bus Terminal (순천종합버스터미널). From the bus terminal, you’ll need to take either Bus #1 or #16 to get to the Seonamsa Temple bus stop. Once you arrive, you’ll need to walk a kilometre to the trail.



OVERALL RATING: 8/10. Just for the sheer number of cultural properties alone that can be found at Seonamsa Temple, it deserves this rating. But when you add into the mix the Seungseon-gyo Bridge, the original looking Wontong-jeon Hall, and the historic Iljumun Gate, well, you get the picture. In combination with the neighbouring Songgwangsa Temple, it can make for quite the day.

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 The scenic river valley that leads up to Seonamsa Temple.

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 Some of the stupas that greet you along the way.

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 The view under the Seungseon-gyo Bridge up at the Gangseon Pavilion.

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 A better look at the Gangseon Pavilion and ravine that runs beside it.

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 The beautiful oval shaped pond that welcomes you to the temple.

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 The first look up at the Iljumun Gate.

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 A better look at the historic gate.

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 The unassuming bell pavilion at Seonamsa Temple.

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 The Daeung-jeon main hall at Seonamsa Temple with one of the 9th century stone pagodas out in front of it.

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 A look inside the main hall at the solitary statue of Seokgamoni-bul.

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 The corridor that leads to the upper courtyard at the temple. To the left is the Myeongbu-jeon.

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 The main altar inside the Myeongbu-jeon hall with Jijang-bosal front and centre. He’s joined by the Ten Kings of the Underworld.

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 One of the paintings of the Ten Kings of the Underworld.

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 The somewhat forested upper courtyard at the temple.

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 The first hall to the right is the Palsang-jeon.

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 A look inside at the altar inside the Palsang-jeon hall.

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 One of the copies of the Nahan paintings that line the walls inside the Palsang-jeon.

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 The picturesque view from the Palsang-jeon out onto Mt. Jogyesan.

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 The highly unique Wontong-jeon hall.

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 Inside is this highly elaborate statue of Gwanseeum-bosal.

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The next hall to the left is the Buljo-jeon hall.

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 A look inside the Buljo-jeon at the walls of statues and paintings of the Buddha.

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The next hall is the Josa-jeon.

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 A look inside at just three, of the eight, paintings of historic monks that once lived at Seonamsa Temple.

Temple Stay: Woljeongsa Temple (Gangwon-do)

The snowy Woljeongsa Temple in Gangwon-do. (Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website)

Hello Again Everyone!!

Introduction to the Temple:

Woljeongsa Temple was founded in 643 A.D. by the famed monk, Jajang-yulsa; yes, the very same monk that also founded Tongdosa Temple, as well. And like Tongdosa Temple, Woljeongsa Temple possesses the partial remains of the Historical Buddha (Seokgamoni-bul). Other than these relics, Woljeongsa Temple has the nine story stone pagoda that stands out in front of the Jeokgwang-jeon Hall. And directly in front of the ornate pagoda is a seated stone Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha). This one is a new one, the old one seems to be locked away safely in a museum.

As for the Temple Stay program, it seems as though the program focuses on the entire Buddhist experience with Buddhist services, bell ringing, and a walk in a neighbouring fir tree forest.

For more on Woljeongsa Temple.

(Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website)

Directions:

From Seoul, take subway line No. 2 and get off at the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, then take a bus for Jinbu (about 2 hours, 10 minutes). After, take a local bus from the Jinbu Bus Terminal to Woljeongsa Temple or Sangwonsa Temple (15 minutes).



General Schedule:

Woljeongsa Temple conducts two types of programs. The first is an Experienced-Based Program, while the other is a Relaxation-Based Program.

A: Experienced-Based Schedule:

Day 1:
14:00~15:00 : Registration & Orientation
15:00~15:20 : Learn Buddhist Temple Manners
17:20 : Temple Dinner
18:10 : View of Ringing Buddhist Bell
18:20~18:50 : Evening Buddhist Service
21:00 : Go to Bed (Turn Off Lights)

Day 2:
03:50 : Wake Up & Wash
04:20~05:00 : Morning Buddhist Service
05:00~06:00 : Yoga or Make 108 Prayer Beads (OPTIONAL)
06:20 : Temple Breakfast
07:00 : Walking in Fir Tree Forest
10:30 : Tidying Up the Room
11:20 : Temple Lunch

B: Relaxation-Based Schedule:

Day 1:
14:00~15:00 : Registration & Check-in
15:00~15:20 : Learn Buddhist Temple Manners
17:20 : Temple Dinner
18:10 : A View of Ringing a Korean Traditional Bell
18:20~18:50 : Evening Buddhist Service
21:00 : Go To Bed (Turn Off Lights)

Day 2:
03:50 : Wake Up & Wash
04:20~04:50 : Morning Buddhist Service
06:20 : Temple Breakfast
10:30 : Tidy Up the Room
11:20 : Temple Lunch. The end of the program.

(Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website)

Woljeongsa Temple Information:

Address : 63, Dongsan-ri, Jinbu-myeon Pyeongchang-gun Gwangwon-do
Tel : +82-33-339-6607 / Fax : +82-33-334-6606
homepage : http://woljeongsa.org/templestay_index.php
E-mail : woljeongsa@templestay.com

Fees:

Adults: 80,000 won; Teens: 40,000 won; Under 13: 0 won (Experienced-Based Schedule)

Adults: 80,000 won; Teens: 30,000 won; Under 13: 0 won (Relaxation-Based Schedule)

Link:

Reservations for the Experienced-Based Schedule at Woljeongsa Temple.

Reservations for the Relaxation-Based Schedule at Woljeongsa Temple.

File:Korea-Gangwon-Woljeongsa Nine Story Pagoda 1743-07.JPG

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Temple Stay: Mihwangsa Temple (Jeollanam-do)

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 The view at Mihwangsa Temple in Jeollanam-do (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Hello Again Everyone!!

Introduction to the Temple:

Mihwangsa Temple was first established in 749 A.D., and it’s known as the southern most temple on the mainland on the Korean peninsula. The name of the temple comes from its foundation myth. One day, a boat appeared on the sea out in front of a village. People tried to approach it, but every time someone would get close, the boat would recede. When the monk, Uijo, heard this news, he started chanting and praying. Finally, and because of his efforts, the boat safely reached land. Inside the boat, besides numerous sutras and statues, there was a golden box. There was also a black rock, which they broke open. And when they did, a black cow leapt out from the black rock. That night, a golden man appeared to Uijo in a dream. This golden man told Uijo that the boat was from India and that Uijo should build a temple wherever the cow may stop. So the next day, the Buddha statues and sutras were loaded on the back of the cow, which started to climb Mt. Dalmasan. About halfway up the mountain, the cow mooed loudly and fell to the ground never to get up again. So purportedly, Uijo built Mihwangsa Temple where the cow lay. So the name of the temple comes from the cow’s moo (Mi) and the colour of the golden (Hwang) man that appeared to Uijo in a dream.

Besides the amazing views at Mihwangsa Temple, the temple also has a beautiful (and unique) main hall. Additionally, the Eungjin-dang was re-built in 1749. Also, on special ceremonies, the Gwaebul (large banner painting) is unfurled. This special painting dates back to 1727. Finally, the stupa field at Mihwangsa Temple, that houses the remains of prominent Buddhist monks, is one of the ten greatest Buddhist cultural properties in Korea.

As for the Temple Stay program at Mihwangsa Temple, the temple offers two types of programs. The first is the Freestyle Program, which pretty much explains itself. The second program is the Regular Schedule Program. This program is a balance between activities that introduce the participant to Buddhism, as well as actively engaging in Buddhist practices. Of note, the program runs 365 days a year.

For more information on Mihwangsa Temple.

(Courtesy of the Korean Temple Stay website).

Directions:

From Seoul, you’ll need to take subway line No. 2 to the Dong Seoul Terminal, or else subway lines No. 3, No. 7, or No. 9 to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, and then get a bus for Haenam. It takes about 5 hours 50 minutes from the Dong Seoul Terminal, and about 5 hours 10 minutes from the Express Bus Terminal. From the Haenam Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take a local bus to Mihwangsa Temple (40 minutes).



General Schedule:

Day 1:
13:00~13:30 : Registration & Orientation
13:30~15:00 : Temple Manners/Opening Ceremony
15:00~16:20 : Self- Introduction
16:30~17:30 : Learn Traditional Buddhist Meal
17:30~18:20 : TBD
18:30~19:00 : Evening Service
19:00~20:30 : Make 108 Prayer Beads
20:30~21:00 : Ready for Sleep
21:00~ : Sleep

Day 2:
03:00~03:30 : Wake up & Wash
03:30~04:00 : Dawn Service
04:00~04:30 : 108 bows
04:30~06:00 : Seon Mediation (in Silence)
06:00~07:30 : Breakfast
07:30~09:00 : Tour to a Hermitage
09:00~10:00 : Dharma Talk
10:00~10:40 : Community Work & Survey
10:40~ : Closing Ceremony

(Courtesy of the Mihwangsa Temple website)

Mihwangsa Temple Information:

Address : 247, Seojeong-ri, Songji-myeon Haenam-gun Jeollanam-do
Tel : +82-61-533-3521 / Fax : +82-61-535-2706
homepage : http://www.mihwangsa.com
E-mail : dalmaom@hanmail.net

Fees:

Adults: 50,000 won; Teens: 50,000 won; Under 13: 30,000 won

Link:

Reservations for the Mihwangsa Temple Stay program.

(Courtesy of the Mihwangsa Temple website)