- 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 is a hiking, a New Year’s Morning, and other special Templestay programs.
- Jeondeungsa Temple
- The oldest temple in this historical region …
Jeondeungsa Temple is located on Ganghwa Island, which has been a historically significant place from the time of ancient Joseon (i.e. the birth of the Korean people), until the present day. So naturally, the atmosphere is quite different than other places as you make your way up to the temple. After you get out of your car and start to make your way up the mountain, you’ll notice that it’s totally encircled by a fortress. This is the Samnang Fortress, which was designed to help protect the land from foreign invaders. You should pass through the fortress gate to enter the temple, as these days the entrance to the temple is actually what was once the old fortress gate. It’s been said that Jeondeungsa was founded in the Goguryeo Period, during the reign of King Sosurim (381 C.E.) by the Ven. Ado, who called it Jinjongsa Temple. If it’s true, then Jeondeungsa can be considered to be the temple having the oldest history in all of Korea. During the Goryeo Dynasty, Jinjongsa fought against the invasion of the Mongol hordes, and helped bring about the revival of Buddhism. The Goryeo Royal Family set up their temporary court on Ganghwado Island after fleeing from the city of Gaeseong, and constructed a temporary palace within the temple grounds, which was a great boon for Jinjongsa. When the royals returned to the capital city of Gaegyeong, during the reign of King Chungryeol (1282), the name of the temple was changed to Jeondeungsa after the Queen made offerings of sutras and a jade lantern to the temple. During this period of the Joseon Dynasty, when Confucianism was worshipped and Buddhism largely suppressed, Jeondeungsa didn’t lose its position as a significant temple. In the reign of King Sukjong (1678), the temple was charged with protecting the ancestral records of the Joseon Dynasty royal family, so from 1719 until 1910 Jeondeungsa’s senior monk always held the highest position of any monk in the Joseon Dynasty. Jeondeungsa currently has a Daeoongbojeon (Main Buddha Hall), Yaksajeon (Medicine Buddha Hall), and giant temple bell, among other cultural treasures. One interesting story is that on one of the eaves of the Main Buddha Hall there is the figure of a naked woman, presumably carved by the broken-hearted carpenter whom she had scorned.Jeondeungsa’s Templestay ProgramTemplestay offers a unique opportunity to gain peace of mind and new cultural experiences by participating in the daily life of Buddhist monastics at a traditional Buddhist temple set in beautiful nature. Participants can choose either to follow the daily routine of monks by joining Buddhist services, communal work, formal monastic meals, meditation and dialogue with the monk, or just relax and choose whatever activities one fancies in order to have a restful time.
Blog: http://jeondeungsa.wordpress.com Twitter:@jeondeungsa Email: email@example.com Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/jeondeungsa Website: http://www.jeondeungsa.org (Korean) http://eng.templestay.com (English)
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