- Seonunsa Temple
- A place where the spirit of practice is even brighter than the crimson Camellia Flowers…
When the Camellia Flowers are blooming at Seonunsa, the place is packed with people. Since the flowers usually come out at the end of a long winter, when there is still snow on the ground, they are called “Winter Tree Flowers.” However, the exact time when the flower blooms differs from shrub to shrub and from region to region. While the Camellias at Seonunsa do indeed bloom in the winter, they don’t reach their peak until around the middle of April. So some people joke that the flowers shouldn’t be called Dongbaek (Winter Flowers) but Chunbaek (Spring Flowers).
Seonunsa was built during the reign of Baekjae King Wideok (577 C.E.) by Ven. Geomdan. The monk reformed a thief who lived in the valley and taught him how to earn his livelihood by roasting salt. In order to repay the monk’s kindness, the thief sent some roasted salt to the temple. The temple really prospered towards the end of the Joseon Dynasty, with 189 temple buildings and 89 different hermitages.
These days Seonunsa has 13 temple buildings remaining, including the central Daeoongbojeon (Main Buddha Hall). The temple buildings stand in a long line, with the Camellia shrub forest as their background. One of the most notable buildings is the Manseru, which was made of left-over lumber after the other buildings were built. The tree trunks were just left as they were, not trimmed at all, and used to make the columns and crossbeams of the building. If you make it to Seonunsa, you should also make the extra effort to visit the hermitage Dosolam on Dosolsan, the scenery is really well worth it.
Seonunsa’s Templestay ProgramSeonunsa runs regular two, three and four day templestay programs, featuring monastic formal meals, Dado (tea ceremony), and making Lotus Lanterns. Most programs are run on the weekends, but people who wish to take advantage of the freestyle templestay program can come during the week. Participants in the freestyle program are only required to attend community meals and evening chanting services. They can also have tea and talk with the monks i
- Beomeosa Temple
- A temple which will purify your mind…
The original temple of the Seon sect
Busan is the only city in Korea that wasn’t affected by the massive destruction of the Korean War. The temple Beomeosa is located on the mountain Geumjeongsan in Busan, and during the war the passion for sincere practice didn’t wane at this temple. Among High Monks these days in Korea, there are many who have a strong karmic affinity with Beomeosa. Today Busan has become a city favored by the Buddhist laity, which may be a result of the merit which this area’s central temple, Beomeosa, has accumulated. Beomeosa was founded during the reign of Shilla King Munmu (678 C.E.) by Ven. Uisang (625-702 C.E.). There’s a story that a golden fish came down from heaven and enjoyed living in a well, which may be the source of both Geumjeongsan’s name (Gold Well Mountain) and Beomeosa’s name (Sutra Fish Temple). From the time of its foundation, many temple buildings were constructed at Beomeosa, standing like stars in the sky. However, like other temples, Beomeosa was repeatedly destroyed and then rebuilt. These days Beomeosa is considered one of three great temples in the Yeongnam area (the southeastern region of Korea). Together with Haeinsa, the temple has been revitalizing a sense of well-being, just like in the era of its foundation. Since Beomeosa is built on a mountain slope, the temple buildings are arranged on three elevations of the mountain, low, middle and high. As the result of this kind of geometric placement of the buildings, the temple has a certain coziness about it. The first thing that you’ll notice as you step into Beomeosa is the substantial Iljoomoon (One Pillar Gate). The gate is built upon four gigantic foundation stones, and with a majestic roof crowning the top, from any perspective it looks just like a practicing monk, standing with unmoving mind regardless of what appears. Once you set foot in the Daeoongjeon (Main Buddha Hall), you can really sense the devotion of many people over the years. It’s certainly true of the people you see ardently chanting and praying in the Buddha Hall, and it’s also true of the meticulously depicted wall paintings that cover every corner of the building’s interior. If you haven’t sat in the Buddha Hall and carefully examined the incredible details of the interior, you can’t really say you’ve been to Beomeosa. Visit Beomeosa Webpage for more information and sign up for your Templestay.
Beomeosa’s Templestay ProgramIn accordance with the temple’s status as the main Seon temple in the region, Beomeosa’s Templestay program has practice as its central focus. The standard program features chanting services, 108 prostrations, Dado (tea ceremony), and has a strong emphasis on Seon Meditation. There is also a freestyle Templestay program that consists of Seon Meditation and tea and conversation with the monks. This enables participants to sit meditation or rest as they like. Aside from these programs, there are hiking, making rice cake, and other special Temple pr
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