Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Temple Stay!

One of my Korean coworkers is planning a temple stay in January.

She just wants to get away for a week, clear her head, and meditate.

Her main focus is finding a small temple in the middle of nowhere that hasn't been overly commercialized.  I recommended she stay away from all the big temples of course.

I can get her feeling.  I've been on two temple stays.  One was a great experience, with the monks involving me in every aspect of their daily lives.  I stayed at a very small temple not too far outside of Wonju.  They didn't force me to do a lot of hard labor, just basic stuff like cleaning and maintenance, and we always shared our meals together.

I came outta that one feeling great.

The second one was not so good.  I ended up digging away in the dirt for a good chunk of the day.  I didn't really have much time to meditate.

One day while walking back from a jaunt in the mountains, I saw one of the head monks drive up in his Equus.  What is it about that car that seems to attract an unhealthy number of asshole owners?

He couldn't cross the bridge because a bus containing handicapped people was trying to cross from the other side.  He drove right to the middle of the bridge and began berating the driver in a very condescending manner for not waiting for him to pass.

He forced the driver of the van to back up so he could cross the bridge, all this despite the fact that the bus had been on the bridge first.

Very un-monk-like.  I didn't end up staying the whole week.

Moral of the story:  do your homework before you go, and I would recommend staying away from the bigger temples.  Visit the temple at least once before you decide to commit for a temple stay.  And check to see if there is an Equus in the parking lot.

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