- Magoksa Temple
- Magoksa TemplestayHow is your mind ? The Buddha often compared himself to a doctor, using the metaphor of a makeshift raft for river crossing to describe his teaching. A hundred diseases have as many medicine and it would be most unwise to insisit only one medicine for the treatment of a wide assortment of ailments. During its 1,700 some years of history, Korean Buddhism has enriched itself by adapting to a multitude of different practices and sutras. However, it has always been faithful to the Mahayana goal of achieving Buddha nature for the benefit of all beings, and all its methodologies have been consistently directed to the cultivation of moral conduct, meditative concentration and wisdom. No matter what medicine or treatment the doctor prescribes, they all have the same goal of removing harmful toxins from the patient's system and protecting the healthy cells, designed to fully restore the health of the patient. The Budda was the happiest being in the world because he was enlightened to the true reality of existence in its entirety, completely free from all compulsions and delusions. He was no longer fuelled by desire, nor did he tremble with fear, neither was he choked with misery and he was never burdened with sleepless nights. Having transcended al agonies and aches, the Budda was serene, gentle, pure and generous being. He did not lament the by-gone past, nor was he troubled by the future yet to come. Human actions can be largely divided into three categories: actions committed by body, speech and mind. All actions give rise to consequences. Good actions result in desirable outcome, bad actions lead to evil conclusions. If we wish to protect ourselves from unbearable pain and suffering, we must discontinue right here and right now, and get into the habit of refraining from such activities. Act with discipline and moderation, speak gently and honestly and think calmly and carefully. In Buddhism, applying such principles to all our actions is called the practice of the precepts or sila.
- 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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