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Journey to South Korea for Finding Peace of Mind: New Year’s Templestay

December 19, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

“If you’d like to know who you are, you have to look thoroughly into your mind and what’s around you. If you carefully reflect on whom you hang around with, what you like to do, how you affect your neighbors and what you value most in your life, you can get a sense of who you really are.”

– Ven. Beopjeong (1932~2010), a revered Buddhist monk who emphasized a life of no possessions for Koreans

Looking for a new experience over the New Year’s holiday? The special Templestay in South Korea is available from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1.

Templestay allows participants to experience the daily life of a Buddhist monastic at historical temples in South Korea, which preserve the richness of traditional Korean culture and history. About one hundred and thirty temples throughout the country offer Templestay programs, most of which are classified into two types. The first is the experiential type in which participants can enjoy various activities, and the second is a recuperation type which participants can relax on their own schedule at a mountain temple. A huge highlight of these programs is Korean temple food, which has many fans around the world. Temple food is vegetarian ascetic food that contains no meat, fish or osinchae(wrong/prohibited vegetables), or the five pungent vegetables of green onions, garlic, chives, wild chives and heunggeo (a plant similar to a scallion).

The Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism is offering a new project, Let’s Join Templestay This Year, which will run at all Templestay-participating temples throughout 2018. Diverse and provocative programs for the entire family offered by 56 historical temples nationwide that preserve traditional Korean beauty are to be expected in this project. Programs including the lighting ceremony for New Year’s blessings, meditation, sunrise watching, conversation with a monk over tea, 108 bows to empty the mind and temple bell-striking experience. The temples such as Baekdamsa, Bohyunsa, Samhwasa, Sinheungsa (Sokcho), and Woljeongsa in Gangwon-do Province, in which the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be held, will host programs for watching the first sunrise of 2018 at the East Sea and Mt. Seorak.

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