Experience a Cultural Temple Stay while in Korea
If you are interested in getting to know buddhism or just trying to escape Seoul’s busy pace, a weekend getaway at a Temple stay might be the perfect place for you!
So what exactly is a Temple Stay? In a short sentence we can say that it’s a cultural experience program designed to enhance the public’s understanding of Korean Buddhism. Therefore, it is open to everyone regardless of religious belief.
A typical temple stay program involves an overnight stay at a Buddhist temple, and participation in such Buddhist rituals as yebul (ceremonial service), chamseon (Zen meditation), and barugongyang (monastic meal). Other activities may include dado (tea ceremony) with monks, outdoor meditation, lotus lantern and prayer bead crafts, painting, folk games, hiking, etc.
Devotional Chanting at Yebul, Ceremonial Service (Yebul)
Yebul is a ceremonial service to praise Buddha. This solemn ceremonial service is held 3 times a day; in the morning, midday and evening helping to clear one’s mind.
Zen Meditation (Chamseon)
Zen is known as Seon in Korean.
Chamseon is a form of meditation that allows a person to reflect on oneself.
There are two forms of this meditation:
– Jwaseon: a sitting-style meditation
– Haengseon: a walking-style meditation.
Communal Buddhist Meal Service (Balwoo gongyang)
Balwoo gongyang is a unique and special way of eating in Korean temples. At this communal meal practice the meal is eaten in total silence, and not a single grain of rice is wasted.
Tea Ceremony (Dahdoh)
Making and enjoying good tea is one of the practices of the Buddhist religion.
Koreans say that there are several ways to enjoy good tea. One should start off by enjoying the sounds of water boiling, and then relax with the soothing aroma of tea and seeing its soft and subtle colors. Lastly, one can feel the warmth of the tea radiating through the cup as they slowly savor the taste.
There are many other activities to participate in such as lotus lantern making, impression making with ink and paper, and folk games available at Korean temples.
And some words on etiquette:
In general, visitors to temples must refrain from:
- Speaking loudly, shouting, running, singing, or playing music;
- Physical contact between men and women;
- Eating and drinking in undesignated areas or while walking;
- Chewing gum;
- Drinking alcohol;
- Eating meat or fish;
- Stealing; and
- Taking photos inside Buddha Hall or other buildings without permission.
For more details and reservations please check the following website:http://eng.templestay.com/