Summer can be a busy, exciting time, full of outdoor adventures and high energy. Now that it is just a memory, and before winter clamps down for a shivering spell, take advantage of pleasant, calm-inducing temperatures with serene activities like a temple stay. The best part is you do not need to venture too far afield to find a temple stay program to suit your needs and interests.
The sound of moktak (wooden percussion instrument used for chanting by Buddhist clergy) wakes the sleepy temple amid the deep calm and quiet of the mountain. Does this sound like a great way to find some peace this season?
Public awareness for temple stays has reached a fever pitch in recent years. It’s no wonder people are seeking out avenues toward calm. In our hectic modern lives, many seek ways to make sense of all the noise. A few days or, if you have the time, longer participating in a temple stay program might be the answer.
Busan has several options available right here in the city. Beomeosa Temple is perhaps the most well-known, among both Koreans and foreign residents and visitors. But, there are other temple stay programs for you to explore, as well. These programs include temple tours, Buddhist culture and etiquette classes, meditation, wish making and balwoo gongyang (communal Buddhist meal service). Participants can also have friendly conversations with monks and learn about tea ceremonies during some temple stays.
For many, leaving the steel and concrete of the city for the delicate wooden and tiled temple buildings puts them at ease as soon as they arrive. Participants can also enjoy calm, serene forest and garden walks, absorbing the peace such things bring. Fresh air will clear your head when you walk along a dirt path while wearing simple and comfortable clothes that are provided by the temple.
Learn about bowing etiquette and immerse yourself in meditation with incense burning practice. This unique experience will help you focus during meditation. The balwoo gongyang meal service will serve as a humble reminder to not leave even a grain of rice after taking only the right amount of simple and wholesome vegetarian temple food and rinsing the remaining rice in the bowl. This meal service helps people realize how valuable food is.
Beomeosa Temple has offered a temple stay program for so long that it has become synonymous with temple stays in Busan. The copious autumn-tingled leaves found around this mountain temple frames the fulfilling experience. Some might recognize Hongbeopsa Temple for the gigantic Buddha statue that dominates their facility. But, this Geumjeong-gu (district) temple located a short drive from Nopo Station on metro line 1 also offers a great temple stay for families or groups of friends as private rooms can be provided. Busanjin-gu’s Sangwayngsa Temple, best known for its massive annual lantern festival, has extensive and colorful temple grounds. The temple runs various themed programs for children as well as programs that focus on reflection and meditation. Seonamsa Temple, in Buam-dong (neighborhood), Busanjin-gu, recently completed its new temple stay building, offering a modern facility. Participants sit around a monk at the center, talk and participate in meditation practice.
A temple stay can really be a great opportunity to find a little respite in what is too often a chaotic modern world.