- Lotus lantern International Medition Center Temple
- A place for people from all over the world to practice…
The Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center, located on Ganghwado Island, is supported by low mountain foothills in the rear, while out in front the temple embraces neat, tidy rice fields. The center was founded in 1997 by Ven. Wonmyeong (1950-2003), a Korean monk who spent years teaching Buddhism abroad, on the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Center. These days the center functions not just as a practicing place for Korean people, but also for international visitors. The center is close to Seoul and has several resident international monks, so many visitors from around the world have joined the Templestay Program here. The center offers a standard two day program, also a freestyle program where you can stay as long as you want to take a rest, and a longer five day program entitled “Yeomhwa Miso Hyanggi” (When Buddha picked up a flower on Vulture’s Peak, no one understood, only Mahakasyapa smiled. What is the fragrance of that smile?)
Lotus Lantern’s Templestay ProgramThe center offers a standard two day program, a freestyle program where you can stay as long as you want to take a rest, and a longer five day program entitled Yeomhwa Miso Hyanggi (When is the Fragrance of Mahakasyapa’s Smile?). The two day Templestay program includes lectures on Buddhism and Hwadu meditation. It also includes tea with the monks and copying the Buddhist sutras by hand. The freestyle program does not have a set schedule. Participants are free to read books, take walks, do practice, or engage in communal work periods, according to their personal situations. Finally, the Yeomhwa Miso Hyanggi program includes the regular practice schedule, as well as offering cultural activities in the region, such as touring the temple Jeondeungsa, visiting historical sites, or climbing the mountai
- Mihwangsa Temple
- A beautiful temple in the village at land’s end…
Mihwangsa is an elegant temple located at the southernmost tip of the Korean Peninsula, in the so-called “Land’s End Village.” You can see at one time both the beautiful mountain Dalmasan and the cool, refreshing West Sea.
Mihwangsa was founded during the reign of Shilla King Gyeongdeok (749 C.E.), and the story of its foundation is quite interesting. One day a stone boat appeared in the sea in front of the village. People tried to approach the boat, but it would recede, and then when they pulled back and stood there, it came closer. When Ven. Uijo heard this news, he started chanting and praying, and the boat reached land safely. Inside the boat was a box made of gold and a black rock. The monk found a Buddha statue and sutras inside of the golden box, and when he broke open the rock, a black cow leapt out. That night, the monk saw a golden man in his dream, who told him that the boat had come from India, and that he should build a temple wherever the cow stopped.
The next day, the Buddha statue and sutras were loaded on the back of the cow, which started to climb up the foothills of Dalmasan. About halfway up, the cow loudly mooed, fell down and didn’t get up again. So the monk built a temple in that place and called it Mihwangsa. The name of the temple was taken from the cow’s beautiful (Mi) “Moo” sound, and from the golden man’s enchanting color (Hwang).
Mihwangsa is a temple as beautiful as its name. The rocky ridge of Dalmasan surrounds Mihwangsa, as if the landscape is from a panel on a folding screen. Also the glow of the setting sun, as seen at dusk from the temple, has been a wondrous sight for many people, since long ago. If you continue to walk towards the Budojeon (field of relic pagodas), you’ll find a good chance to look inside at yourself.Mihwangsa’s Templestay ProgramMihwangsa’s Templestay program is always open, 365 days a year, and offers a variety of special activities. For example, in the freestyle program called Sound of Silence, participants can enjoy tea and conversation with the monks, mountain hiking and, at any time, they are free to take a rest in nature. However, another program, called The Spirit of a True Person, is more systematically designed with practice as its central focus. The eight day schedule of this program gives the participant some experience of Seon Meditation. There is a Chinese character program that enables kids to make good use of their school holidays by learning about Chinese characters and the culture of a mountain temple. Also offered is a program called the Hwaeom Hwesang, which is designed for groups. Other programs, such as The Glow of the Evening Sun, Walking the Path of Dreams, display Mihwangsa’s beauty and feature the camellia flowers of winter and the azaleas in the spring. Every year in October, on the fourth Saturday of the month, a gigantic painting of the Buddha?only shown in public once a year?is displayed during a festival. This highly attended event also features a musical concert. Mihwangsa has prepared separate room facilities for people who are not used to commun
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