Frequently Asked Questions about the Templestay

Q. Are you looking for good meditation programs?+
A. The International Seon Center or the Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center would be an excellent choice.
Seon is what we call Zen in Korean. At International Seon Center, you have the opportunities to experience the ‘Ganhwa’ Seon practice. Ganhwa Seon is a Korean Buddhism meditation practice that allows practitioners to focus on only one topic, ‘Hwa-du.’ Hwa-du means the ‘head of the phrase’ and the most famous ones are ‘What is this(yourself)?’, ‘Who was I before I was born?’.
The Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center is a temple widely open to non-Koreans with excellent meditation courses. One of its major programs is an intensive meditation course which is offered once a month and lasts three nights and four days. Dharma talks are also provided in the form of interviews so that each participant could check their progress.
Q. If you want to find temples with a good location?+
A. There are seven temples located in Seoul so that you can quickly get to by bus or subway: Bongeunsa, Geumsunsa, Hwagyesa, Jinkwansa, Jogyesa, Myogaksa, and International Seon Center. These temples surrounded by mountains in the middle of the big city would give you not only traditional but also modern impressions.
Q. For those who want to see beautiful scenery and take a rest in nature?+
A. If you want to see trees and mountains, Woljeongsa, Jikjisa, Naesosa would be the perfect for you. For those who want to experience both mountains and sea, Naksansa is the best place. If you want to look down the panoramic view of the sea and Islands, go to see Mihwangsa, located at the end of the peninsula.
Magoksa is surrounded by thick, fragrant forests and rushing rivers. If resembles the woods and gives a tranquil atmosphere. Guinsa, embraced by rows of mountain ridges give visitors a magnificent and majestic impression. Its structures are ingeniously placed on natural terrain among steep hills, giving an exotic and mysterious feeling.
Jeondeungsa located on Ganghwa Island, surrounded by old castle has a beautiful view, and Yongjoosa is always peaceful and tranquil.
Q. Which temples are famous for Korean temple food?+
A. Recently, thanks to the Netflix program ‘the chef’s table,’ Baekyangsa where Jeongkwan resides now became the most famous temple for Korean temple food. At her cooking templestay program, Jeongkwan gives a lecture of both recipes and philosophies of Korean temple food.
Jinkwansa, where only nuns reside, has always been famous for its delicious Korean temple food for decades. It offers various kind of temple food like fine dining that has fascinated many Koreans.
At Bongsunsa, you can make steamed rice wrapped with lotus leaves for your lunch. Jujube, gingko nut, chestnut, walnut are added for better flavor and nutrition. Lotus leaves help to prevent the rice from going stale, this is what old Korean monks did for preservation.
Q. If you are interested in exciting experience?+
A. Visit Golgulsa for acting meditation! Golgulsa is the world’s only temple for practicing ‘Seon-mu-do.’ Seoun means meditation, Mu means martial arts, and do means how to train. Sunmudo is an active meditation of the ancient Buddhist monk’s, which has been secretly handed down through centuries. In Korea, It started during the Chosun Dynasty by monks to protect the country from war.
Sunmudo is a method of cultivation to attain ultimate enlightenment. It combines our body and mind through breathing and moving. It will help you relieve your stress and get renewed energy.
Q. Are there any temples near the mountains so that one could go hiking or trekking?+
A. Of course. There are many temples near the national park or mountains: Seonunsa, Hwaeomsa, Seoraksan Sinheungsa, Donghwasa, Yakchunsa, Beomeosa, Geumsansa. At these temples, you could experience the natural beauty of Korea.
Q. If you want to visit UNESCO world heritage listed temples?+
A. Nine temples are listed as UNESCO world heritage. Among them, Beopjusa, Bulguksa, Magoksa, and Haeinsa offer English templestay programs for foreigners.
Q. What to bring to the temple?+
A. Towels, toiletries, underwears, socks, a change of clothes, hair dryer, and anything you might need. Commonly most of the temples only provide soap, toothpaste, and temple uniform(vest and pants). Make sure to bring warm clothing like a jacket, sweater or pullover in the wintertime as mountain monasteries can be much colder than you might expect.
Q. May I stay in a private room with my friends or family?+
A. The temple life is based on communal living. So all the monks in the temple live, eat, sleep and practice together sharing the same space. It is also a way of practice, and through this kind of life, a monk could have a better understanding of both himself and others.
Templestay is to experience the life of a monk, so you are welcome share your room with others. Some temples offer private rooms for 2~4 people by ‘Option pay.’ With the ‘Option pay,’ you can stay in a private room with your friends or family, and a fee will be added per person.
Q. Can I stay with my boyfriend or girlfriend in the same room?+
A. As the temple is a holy place for practice, it is not allowed for men and women to stay together in the same room.
Q. Should I participate in all the programs during the stay?+
A. If you do not feel well or too tired, you can relax in your room. Please tell the templestay staff that you do not want to do some of the programs.
Q. I did not receive my confirmation letter from the temple.+
A. Some temples may not send confirmation letters. If you want to check your reservation, please send a confirmation request email directly to the temple or email us: support@templestay.com
We need the booking name, date of participation, the name of the temple to find you on our reservation list.
Q. Do I have to bring my confirmation letter to the temple?+
A. Every temple has its reservation list, so you do not need to bring your confirmation letter.
Q. I would like to cancel or change my reservation.+
A. Contact the temple you booked directly or email us: support@templestay.com
There are some unavailable dates due to the temple’s schedule, so in case of changing the date, please first check the calendar on our website before contacting us.
Q. Can I stay as much as I can?+
A. By choosing both experiential and freestyle programs, you can stay longer than two days. The maximum of stay varies by the temples but usually lasts ten days, so if you want to stay longer, please check the schedule on our website and contact the temple directly, or email us: support@templestay.com