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Temple Stay at Woljeongsa

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작성자 월정사 연수국 작성일18-03-04 10:49 조회1,709회 댓글0건


Temple Stay at WoljeongsaUpdated: 2018-02-05 06:53:46 KST

Pyeongchang in Gangwon-do Province is the perfect location for winter Olympics with its high altitude and freezing temperatures. 
There are also many temples with long histories where visitors can experience a monastic lifestyle. It’s through the Temple Stay program.

This is Odaesan Mountain in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do Province. In the middle of the forested valley, we see a temple. It’s Woljeongsa Temple.
The snow presents breathtaking scenery. Every corner of the temple preserves its history dating back as far as 1,000 years, and this temple also runs its own Temple Stay program.

"Temple Stay allows participants to learn more about Korean Buddhism and its culture."

A total of 5 temples in Gangwon-do Province are set to run their Temple Stay programs for foreign visitors during the Olympics, and Woljeongsa Temple is one of them.

"Participants can have a conversation with monks over a cup of tea, make a Buddhist rosary of 108 beads, and meditate along the fir tree path and Seonjae-gil Trail during their stay. We try to offer a good mix of Buddhist cultural activities and meditation time."

At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, visitors arrive at the temple one by one. Then, what brings people to the temple and theTemple Stay program? Tosca and Chong are a married couple, and Tosca was the one who decided to take part in this Temple Stay program. She’s completely mesmerized by the natural beauty of Pyeongchang and the temple.

"My husband and I, were getting tired of air in Seoul. So we decided come to the mountains and its' close to the ski resort. And mountain temples in Korea are absolutely amazing." 

People come to this temple for their own reasons And they first learn how to bow to Buddha. 

“Kneel down, place your forehead on the floor and put your hands up and down."
(( ) , .)

Bowing, or lowering the body, is one of the most basic Buddhist principles.

At 5:30pm, everyone at this temple has dinner. Temple cuisine prohibits any fish and meat products, not to mention artificial additives. Therefore, it tastes very clean and healthy. More importantly, eating is part of practicing discipline and self-control in Buddhism.
Mendicancy is a very important practice in Buddhism. It refers to the act of begging alms and donations to survive, and monks should be thankful for whatever they are given.
With those principles in mind, the participants take their portions on their plates, feeling grateful for the food they are given.

"Before coming to the temple, I took for granted the food I ate. However, now I’m grateful for everything."

"I've learned a little bit about it. so I know..you don't ever leave any food behind. So it's very shameful to leave food on your plate. So now, when I am at the temple, I pick every last grain of rice and make sure to eat."

When the winter sun falls behind the mountain, the sound of a drum resonates lending peace to all living creatures. Now it’s time to get rid of the anguish in the heart. The participants perform 108 prostrations, repent, and roll the beads. The number refers to 108 sufferings we experience as human beings. However…It’s never easy for ordinary practitioners, not even for monks to be honest.
However, they can experience a moment of enlightenment when they overcome the pain.

"Our marrige is a spiritual path, so when we have difficulties to remember that we are each other, we are not fundamentally separate."

At 4 o’clock, at the break of dawn, a bell rings to announce Yebul. Yebul refers to a Buddhist ceremonial service to praise Buddha, and all the participants of the Temple Stay program must be present. Regardless of religious belief, they show their genuine respect for Buddha and his teachings.

"I woke up before dawn to attend the morning ceremony and could feel that the monk’s reciting of Buddhist scriptures was cleansing my soul."

This time, the participants are headed for a walk in the forest. Walking down the snowy mountain in silence, they’re connecting with nature and their inner spirits. Two days at this temple have been full of unique moments. How did the participants enjoy their time here?

"I enjoyed this unique experience, and the snow definitely made it more special. Some parts of the program were tough, but I will never be able to forget this experience."

"I learned so much from my 2-day stay at this temple. I’d love to come back here again in the future."

Away from hectic, daily life, Temple Stay offers the chance to discover one’s true self in the most peaceful way. How about grabbing the opportunity to participate in this unique experience after the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics?
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