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The Guardian selects Korean Templestay programme for the best fancy holiday doing in the world.
Pagoda shaped lantern Lighting ceremony for coming Buddha`s birthday (17th May) was held yesterday at
The ceremony means the starting of the Lotus Lantern Festival from 10th May to 12th May.
People were gathered to see the moment when the lantern lighted and they can see the beautiful light at the Square.
Moreover small lanterns are hanging at Jongro, Cheonggyecheon and other areas in Seoul.
The Templestay center is holding an activity for 'Woodblock printing'.
What is 'Woodblock printing'?
The Tripitaka Koreana is the archive of the teachings of the Buddha.
When there was no printing machine like today, the Buddhists could not help but make wooden plates of sutra
with which they printed the sutra by hand to study and distribute.
Distributing sutra to others was regarded as one of the greatest virtuous offerings when even a word of
Buddha was hardly heard.
You are able to get this fantastic experience at the first floor in the center from 11am to 3pm.
- Vegetarian delights in the city(2013-02-18)
Published : 2013-02-15 21:32
Updated : 2013-02-17 09:21
Vegan dishes at GAROBEE in Gangnam. (GAROBEE)Once thought to be found only in secluded temples in the mountains, healthy and tasty temple cuisine is now available in the heart of Seoul.
Baru, a temple cuisine restaurant run by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, opened in 2009 to promote Buddhist culture and its palates.
At the Templestay Information Center, located between Jonggak and Anguk stations, there are Baru restaurants on the building’s second and fifth floors: the lower floor serves casual meals and mini-buffets with side dishes such as bean croquettes and radish kimchi while the upper floor serves a variety of full-course meals.
The chef of both Baru restaurants is Buddhist monk Ven. Daeahn, chief monk at Geumsuam Temple in Sancheong, South Gyeongsang Province. Ven. Daeahn lectures on temple food at Dongguk University.
Baru is located in Gyeonji-dong, Jongno district. Prices for course meals range from 25,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, visit www.baru.or.kr or call (02) 2031-2081.
For more modern vegan tastes, Garobee is situated amid high-end shops on the trendy Gangnam Boulevard. A portmanteau of “garden” and “bee,” Garobee offers a vegan buffet that brings strictly eco-friendly dishes to the table.
Located on the back street near CGV Gangnam, a green signboard welcomes vegetable lovers to the “Well Being Buffet Garobee.” The interior of the restaurant feels like a cozy cafe. Soft music plays, creating a warm atmosphere as people savor their meals.
Lunch and dinner offer 30 different items from appetizers to desserts, including bean meatballs, Vietnamese noodles, soya ham sandwiches and plum tea. None of the foods contain animal fat, additives or preservatives.
“Garobee is one of the few restaurants in Seoul that provide vegan dishes,” said owner Park Hae-soo. Park said one of the reasons she runs a vegan restaurant is to popularize the vegan diet.
“Our foods have a stronger taste than typical vegetarian dishes to attract non-vegetarian customers. I hope many people will fall in love with vegan cuisine,” she told The Korea Herald.
Lunch and dinner are available for 13,000 won and 15,000 won, respectively. Garobee is located in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam district. For information, call (02) 566-7545.
With many stylish shops and restaurants clustered in Seoul’s Hongdae area, Cook and Book, a vegan cafe located on a narrow street, may not be one of those in vogue. But it does have its own uniquely simple yet warm atmosphere.
Cook and Book is a vegan bakery cafe that serves more than 20 kinds of mouth-watering desserts. The cafe uses canola oil as a replacement for butter and substitutes soy milk for milk in baking. It uses organic agave syrup instead of sugar to draw sweetness.
The owner of Cook and Book, Jeon Su-mi, is a vegan cuisine expert in Korea and a publisher of vegan baking cookbooks. When she visited the U.S., she was introduced to vegan baking which lured her so strongly she quit her job.
The cafe holds a baking class every week to share vegan baking tips. In a medium-sized cooking studio inside the cafe, four preregistered students can bake vegan cookies, cakes, breads and more. Prices for the baking class range from 50,000 won to 70,000 won.
Cook and Book is located in Seogyo-dong, Mapo district, near Hongdae. The bakery cafe is open from noon until 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.cookandbook.co.kr or call (02) 325-1028.
Other places to visit:
■ New Start Restaurant
2F, Namgok-building 897-13, Daechi 4-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
■ Loving Hut, Sinchon
33-10, Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
■ Smile Jo’s Restaurant
2F, 105-54, Juam-dong, Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province
30-9, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
983, Daechi 2-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
■ Oh Se Gae Hyang
59, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul* Source: The Korea Heraldhttp://khnews.kheraldm.com/view.php?ud=20130215000759&md=20130218003250_AN
By Park Sui, Intern reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Meditation at the Seon Center(2013-02-13)
Finding your ‘lost cow’ through meditation just the cure for urbanites
A small boy realized that he had lost his cow. He looked for the animal everywhere, before finding it and putting a rope around its neck so he could lead it wherever he went. But soon after, he became confident ― he didn’t need the cow around him all the time. He could tie it to a stump and fetch it whenever he pleased.
This is an analogy for finding one’s inner self. The boy is the person, the cow the missing inner self. Once you realize you have lost your inner self, you are desperate to find it. Once you find it, you are never anxious again.
Ven. Hye Yeon at the International Seon Center of the Buddhist Jogye Order in Mokdong, Seoul, explains the importance of emptying oneself before a meditation session on Dec. 6. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
“Unfortunately, some people are not even aware that they have lost or do not know themselves anymore,” said Ven. Hye Yeon at the International Seon Center of the Buddhist Jogye Order in Mokdong, Seoul.
“But if you do not know yourself and have lost your inner self, you are torn apart and under extreme stress. You don’t get the energy and will to live on when you are weary, frustrated with your rutted life,” she said.
And that’s probably why so many people hail Templestays as “healing camps,” staying for a night or two at a Buddhist temple and following the lives of the Buddhist monks.
For those who cannot spare the time to visit mountainside temples, the daily Templestay programs held at the International Seon Center in western Seoul are an ideal alternative. Situated in a bustling residential area of high-rise apartments, the building housing the Buddhist Temple on the fifth floor and several meditation rooms and lodges are frequented by office workers who want to drop by for about two to three hours on weekday evenings and find their “true me.”
The visitors are given a uniform and learn the basic etiquette of the temple ― when coming across monks in the temple, put your palms together as if praying, put them outward about 30 degrees and bow.
They also learn the three prostrations. For the first, gently kneel down with your left foot overlapping your right. Bow down and place your palms and forehead to the floor, hold the pose for a second or two, then turn your hands over so that your palms are facing the ceiling and slowly raise them above your head before putting them back on the floor. Slowly stand up. Repeat the process three times. On the third bow, while you are still in bowing position, place your hands together and put them between your forehead and the floor before you stand up.
“When you are going through special training or wishing for something special, you repeat this set 800 times or 30,000 times,” she said. Sometimes people drop their palms down to the floor and slide their body down on the floor, stretching the body as much as possible.
Then you learn the meditation.
“Meditation is emptying oneself. Therefore it is important to think about nothing,” she said.
Sit on the floor and straighten your back. Breathe in deeply until you feel very full, then breathe out until you run out of breath. Repeat three times before you start regular inhaling and exhaling. Count the number of the sets of breathing in and out. Try to clear your mind of everything other than the counting. When you reach 10, go back to zero and start again. If you feel that you have been distracted, just go back to zero again. Repeat the process for about half an hour.
It’s definitely hard to maintain concentration ― with the serene atmosphere and the soft lighting, all kinds of earthly thoughts enter the mind.
“It is hard to advance to four, right? Even when you are determined to empty your mind, thoughts linger in the mind and the head for a long time,” the monk said, smiling. “So sometimes the best way to practice meditation is to do it right before going to bed, lying down on the bed and closing your eyes. But I know it is exceptionally difficult ― you fall asleep most of the time.
“I think you need to devote at least 30 minutes a day for a year to meditation to finally take a look into your inner self,” said Ven. Hye Yeon, adding that there are differences among people. “What is really important is to be consistent. Let’s hope that everyone finds his or her cow!”
* Source: The Korea Herald
By Bae Ji-sook 2012-12-12 19:52