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)

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