SUDDENLY I'M BUDDHIST

Autumn at Beopjusa Temple near Boeun, South Korea.

I got to experience staying at Beopjusa Temple, located on beautiful Mt. Songnisan, with around 80 other Guest English Teachers in my region this past weekend. Chungbuk’s Provincial Office of Education sponsored the event. It was my second time to overnight at a Buddhist temple in Korea. Definitely try it sometime if you get the chance.

Korea’s Temple Stay program gives guests the opportunity to learn about all aspects of temple life by participating in traditional activities alongside monks and nuns. You eat together. Chant together. Meditate together. Bow together. Wake up at 3:30AM together. What better way to spend a weekend?

A walking meditation on a cliff near Beopjusa Temple in South Korea.
Walking meditation at Beopjusa Temple, October, 2012.
For nearly 10 years I've been intrigued by Buddhism. I grew up Christian, and am so grateful for that upbringing, but it's just not me. Living in Korea, and learning more about Buddhism through staying at temples, has really helped clear my vision. And this past weekend put a lot of things into very simple perspective. Just what I needed!

I enjoyed spending time with other English teachers from around my area. Most I hadn't met before, so it was great to make new friends. We even got on the local news. A bunch of foreigners wearing unpretentious temple attire is quite the story.
 

Sunset at Beopjusa Temple near Boeun, South Korea.
Around Beopjusa Temple, South Korea. October, 2012.
Suddenly I'm Buddhist, but it doesn't really matter. I simply appreciate the Buddhist philosophies and way of life. It’s not about religion. It's not about what's after. It’s about how you live, now. You have the power within, the power to do anything. I was reminded of this powerful truth during my time at the Beopjusa Temple. Now I'm reminding you.

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Teacher Field Trip

RELATED LINKS:

Here’s a SLIDESHOW featuring some of the photos I took throughout the weekend. Audio is of monks doing the morning chant around 3:30AM.

Also, WATCH how good I am at bowing 108 times on KBS News.

RELATED SITES:

KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION: Beopjusa Temple
TEMPLESTAY PROGRAM: Temple Stay

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