- Bongeunsa Temple
- History of Bongeunsa TempleBongeunsa is a 1,200 year old temple located in Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Built in 794 C.E. during the reign of King Wonseong by National Teacher, Ven. Yeonhoe, Bongeunsa became the head temple of the Seon sect during the Joseon Dynasty, when the government supported Confucianism, while oppressing Buddhism. Due to the efforts of Ven. Bowu, who devoted himself to the revival of Korean Buddhism, by official recognition Bongeunsa became a stepping stone for this development. In addition, through the national examinations for recruiting monks, it produced great masters such as Master Seosan and Samyeong, who revived the lineage of Seon (Zen) practice in Korea. In the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty, Ven. Younggi built the Pan-jeon to store and preserve Buddhist scriptures, as well as eighty-one engraved volumes of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Jeonghee Kim, at that time a great scholar and calligrapher, resided here and developed his own unique writing style, known as Chusache. More recently, when Bongeunsa was experiencing a period of decline, Ven. Youngam gradually gathered land and laid the foundation for a huge temple compound in present-day Gangnam. In the 1960s, the Dongguk Translation Institute was established at this temple to spearhead the translation of Buddhist scriptures from Chinese to Korean. This temple was also the birthplace of the Buddhist youth movement. Today, Bongeunsa is writing a new history for Korean Buddhism, establishing itself as the center of Buddhist practice. Monks apply themselves to chanting, monastic meals, communal work, and Seon meditation. The administration opened its financial records to the public, and allowed the laity to be part of management. The lay people are not only engaged in religious activities including prayer, meditation and Buddhist services, but also participate in volunteer work and other social work to help modern-day Buddhism reach out to the community. Moreover, more and more Buddhists are studying scriptures to stay on the right track as followers of the Buddha. With this drive from all parts of temple, Bongeunsa is moving ahead to become a haven of practice and compassion.
- Geumsunsa Temple
- With 600 years of history as a traditional Korean Buddhist Temple and the Great King Jeungjo’s place to pray for the birth of a prince, Geumsunsa is famous for its beautiful surrounding nature in the Mt. Bukhansan(Mt. Samgaksan in the old days)National Park, and it is a branch of Bum-eo sa Temple, the 14th parish of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It specializes as a concentrated SEON(Zen) meditation temple. Geumsunsa is located in Gukidong, Jongnogu, in front of Mt.Inwangsan, near the Blue House and Gyeongbokgung Palace, and only thirty minutes away from Gwanghwamoon Square. A mountain stream flows from Beebong Peak and Hyangrobong Peak in the Mt.Bukhansan National Park, passes under Hongyaekyo(Bridge of Nirvana) at the temple, and gives you the feel of the natural beauty of our temple, yet it is still located in the center of Seoul. With palms together
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