- 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
- Donghwasa Temple
- In the southern foothills of the mountain Palgongsan, a phoenix roosting on her eggs…
You can sense a kind of pleasant familiarity as you enter the temple Donghwasa. The temple is located in the southern foothills of the famous mountain Palgongsan, which looks like a phoenix roosting on her eggs. The Foxglove (Paulownia) tree blooms in the middle of winter, and so the name of the temple reflects this auspicious symbol (Donghwasa means “Paulownia Flower Temple”). Donghwasa was founded during the reign of Shilla King Soji (493 C.E.) by Ven. Geukdal, and was originally called Yougasa Temple. Later during the reign of King Heungdeok (832 C.E.), a monk named Ven. Shimji enlarged the temple. He thought it was auspicious that the Paulownia Tree bloomed in mid-winter, so he changed the temple’s name to Donghwasa. Donghwasa has been expanded numerous times, so today it’s quite a large temple. The temple has many valuable cultural properties that are befitting its ancient history, but the most eye-catching by far is the gigantic Unification Medicine Buddha statue that was built in 1992 and is at least 17 m high. If you really want to have the sense that you’re going to a temple, instead of taking the newly built road, try passing through the Iljoomun (One Pillar Gate) and following the old road up to the temple. Along that road you can see the Buddha figure that was personally carved in a rock face by Ven. Shimji himself. In the evening light, the Buddha’s warm smile almost comes to life.Donghwasa’s Templestay ProgramDonghwasa Templestay runs two types of Templestay program called: A Green Light for My Body - Experiential Type & Relaxational Type. Experientail one is held on weekends, starting at 3pm on Sat. and ending at 13pm on Sun. Accoding to the schedule, you have an experience about Korean Buddhism Culture and traditional Culture including Seon Meditation. Relaxational one is open all year round, you just choose the days you want to stay(if you want to stay longer than 3days, please call 053-980-7978). You can stay freely in the templ area except keeping the meal time. There is also a one day Temple Life program, for several hours within a day, you can experience a temple tour, monastic formal meal, Dado(a tea ceremony) or meditation.
Templestaywrite what one experiences
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