• Artwork

    Geumgangmun – The Diamond Gate: 금강문

    Geumgangmun Gate Design The Geumgangmun Gate is one of five entry gates that can potentially be found at a Korean Buddhist temple. The Geumgangmun Gate is the second of these entry gates, and it’s placed between the Iljumun Gate (the first entry gate) and the Cheonwangmun Gate (the third entry gate). The name of this gate, Geumgangmun, means “Diamond Gate,” in English. The name is Hindu in origin. Geumgang means “diamond,” in English, which is the hardest substance on Earth. It can’t be harmed or broken by any other matter, but it can cut through or break other material. As such, it’s a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings. The Dharma…

  • Artwork

    Iljumun – The One Pillar Gate: 일주문

    Introduction So we’re going to be starting a new series here on the blog. We’re going to be talking more about Korean Buddhist temple architecture. What does it mean? What does it look like? Why is it there? And first on the list is the first gate, which is also typically the first structure that will greet you at a Korean Buddhist temple, is the Iljumun Gate. Iljumun translates into English as the “One Pillar Gate.” Iljumun Gate Design The Iljumun Gate is very simple in its design. It consists of a tiled roof that’s supported by either two or four pillars that stand in a straight line. A wooden…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Haeinsa Temple – 해인사 (Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Haeinsa Temple means “Ocean Seal Temple” in English. The name of the temple is in reference to the “Ocean Seal” samadhi (meditative consciousness) from the Avatamsaka Sutra, or Flower Garland Sutra in English, or Hwaeom-gyeong in Korean. The reason for this reference is the idea that the mind is like the surface of a perfectly calm sea. And it’s from this that the true image of our existence is clearly reflected and everything appears as it is. Alongside Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do and Songgwangsa Temple in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, Haeinsa Temple forms the Three Jewel Temples (삼보사찰, or Sambosachal in English). Tongdosa Temple represents the Buddha, Songgwangsa Temple…