- Golgulsa Temple
Sunmudo translates literally into the way of doing meditative martial arts. It emphasizes the harmony of body and mind through the awareness of one's breath. It is a traditional Korean Buddhist martial art that traces its origins back over a thousand years.
Soft and meditative Qi Gong movements that cultivates an awareness of our own internal energies, while leading us towards a greater sensitivity of the external energies flowing all around us.
A nurturing yoga sequence that opens the body while relaxing the mind.
The profound stillness of sitting meditation.
It's all Sunmudo, and at Golgulsa, you can savor a little bit of all of it.
At Golgulsa, we combine Sunmudo with all of the special moments of temple life: the unforgettable tones of early morning chanting; practicing walking meditation as the sun rises in the sky above you; exalting after finishing the 108th bow; the pleasantries of having a conversation with a Sunmudo master over tea; and the healthy simplicity of temple cuisine.
Golgulsa’s Templestay Program
Golgulsa is located amid the natural beauty of Hamwol Mountain, which is situated just outside of historic Gyeongju City.
We offer Templestay 365 days a year. Participants can stay for an afternoon, a night, or for many nights. It is also possible to stay for a month or more.
For more detailed information regarding our Templestay Program and Schedule, please see our English site (listed below).
- Woljeongsa Temple
- Feel the unlimited freedom on the fir tree lined forest!
The temple Woljeongsa is located on the mountain Odaesan, and is a mere two hours from Seoul. High above the temple is the legendary Jeongmyeolbogung, the “Jeweled Palace of Stillness and Extinction”, which holds some Sarira (true relics) of the historical Buddha. One route that visitors love to take when they hike on the mountain is the path through the temple’s Fir Tree forest. Especially if you hike the nine kilometer unpaved path from Woljeongsa up to the temple Sangwonsa, you can really get a feeling for the area’s natural surroundings.
Woljeongsa was founded during the reign of Shilla Queen Seondeok (643 C.E.) by the Precepts Master Ven. Jajang (590-658 C.E.) While practicing Buddhism in Tang Dynasty China, the Ven. Jajang had an encounter with Manjushri, and received transmission of some Sarira of the historical Buddha. As soon as the monk finished his training in China and returned to the Shilla Kingdom, he came to Odaesan, where Manjushri was said to reside. He then proceeded to build a hermitage to house the relics, and continued his practice. Later during the reign of Joseon King Cheoljong (1856 C.E.) the temple was greatly enlarged. However, during the Korean War, due to its strategic importance, the temple was completely destroyed, and then later rebuilt.
Woljeongsa’s best known cultural property is the octagonal, nine storey stone pagoda directly in front of the Jeokgwangjeon (Hall of Stillness and Light). It was said to have been erected by the Ven. Jajang, but the pagoda’s style suggests that it was actually from the Goryeo Dynasty. Directly in front of the pagoda is the figure of a seated, stone Bodhisattva, with two hands outstretched together, making offerings to the Buddha. This is the so-called Bodhisattva Heegyeon, who appears in the Lotus Sutra as someone who burned his own body in pursuit of Enlightenment.
Towards the end of the Goryeo Dynasty, while he was practicing at the hermitage Bukdaeam, the Ven. Naong (1320-1376) used to offer Biji (bead-curd residue) to the Woljeongsa Buddha every single day. However, one day some snow which had built up on a pine branch fell down and struck the offering for the Buddha. So the monk scolded the pine tree for failing to recognize the Buddha’s kindness, whereupon the mountain god drove pine trees away from Odaesan and made Fir Trees the lords of the mountain.
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