- Myogaksa Temple
- Stay in a temple where you can look down over Seoul city….
Myogaksa Temple is located in downtown Seoul, in the Sungindong area of the Jongnogu district. The temple is situated in the foothills of Naksan Mountain, so you can see the entire urban area of Seoul at once, and feel both the busy city below and the leisurely temple environment. Myogaksa was founded in May, 1930 by Ven. Taeheo. It has been said that, according to the rules of geomancy, constructing a temple in this spot would put the city of Seoul at ease. The temple area is not very large, but the Daebulbojeon (Main Buddha Hall) and other smaller Dharma Halls are all situated very harmoniously together. The figure of Gwanseumbosal, carved into the natural stone of Naksan Mountain, looks ready to reach out and grasp the hands of those who pass by the stone ledge.
Myogaksa’s Templestay ProgramMyogaksa runs two kinds of Templestay programs: an overnight program and a daylong temple cultural program called Laying Down My Mind. The best feature of Myogaksa’s Templestay program is being able to get a taste of traditional temple life, even while still in the city. At this neighborhood temple, leave the chaotic world behind and experience Yebul (chanting services), Seon Meditation, Communal Work Period, 108 prostrations and the power of noble silence. In particular, there is the unforgettable experience of looking down over Seoul at dusk while ringing the great temple bell. In the early morning, try taking a walk in the nearby Naksan Park. It is a great way to reflect on yourself and turn your attention within. According to your age, personal preferences, and how much time you would like to spend here, we have a variety of programs available for everyone, including video presentations, making lotus lanterns, and taking a walk through the Cheonggye-cheon stream par
- 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
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