• Jeollabuk-do,  Templestay

    Templestay – Geumsansa Temple (Gimje, Jeollabuk-do)

    Introduction to Temple Geumsansa Temple is located in Gimje, Jeollabuk-do, and it was first built in either 599 A.D. or 600 A.D. When it was first built, it was rather unassuming; however, in 762 A.D., and under the guidance of the monk Jinpyo (8th century), Geumsansa Temple was rebuilt and expanded over a six year period. Geumsansa Temple underwent numerous changes during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Then during the Joseon Dynasty and the Imjin War (1592-1598), Geumsansa Temple was destroyed by the invading Japanese after the temple was used as a training ground for the Righteous Army. The restoration of Geumsansa Temple began in 1601, and it was completed over…

  • Gyeonggi-do,  Templestay

    Templestay – Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center (Incheon)

    Introduction to Temple The Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center, much like Jeondeungsa Temple, is located on Ganghwa-do in Incheon. It’s located near the foothills of a low lying mountain and near rice fields. The center was first founded in 1997 by the monk Wonmyeong (1950-2003). Wonmyeong was a monk that spent many years abroad teaching Buddhism. So it was from this that Wonmyeong first founded the Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center. The Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center Templestay program is entitled A Lotus Flower-Lantern in your Heart!, and it focuses on meditation and chanting services. Directions From the Gimpo Goldline, which includes the Gimpo International Airport station (G109), you’ll need…

  • Jeollanam-do

    Gucheungam Hermitage – 구층암 (Gurye, Jeollanam-do)

    Hermitage History Gucheungam Hermitage is located in Gurye, Jeollanam-do on the Hwaeomsa Temple grounds to the north of the main temple courtyard. In fact, Gucheungam Hermitage is one of eight hermitages on the Hwaeomsa Temple grounds. Based on artifacts discovered on the hermitage grounds, it’s believed that Gucheungam Hermitage was built at the end of Silla (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). As for the name of the hermitage, which means “Nine Levels Hermitage” in English, it’s either a reference to a nine-story stone pagoda that once stood on the hermitage grounds or the nine grades associated with Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). However, a detailed history of the…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Bowonsa-ji Temple Site – 보원사지 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple Site History The Bowonsa-ji Temple Site is located in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do in the village of Bowon to the south of Mt. Sangwangsan (309.5 m). The exact date as to when the temple was first built is unknown. However, it’s presumed to have first been built either at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.) or the early Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Rather interestingly, the Gilt-Bronze Standing Buddha from the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.) was discovered in 1968 at the temple site, and it’s now housed at the National Museum of Korea, which suggests that Bonwonsa Temple was first established during the Baekje Kingdom and not later. Rather…

  • Gyeonggi-do,  Templestay

    Templestay – Jeondeungsa Temple (Incheon)

    Introduction to Temple Jeondeungsa Temple is situated on Ganghwa-do Island. Jeondeungsa Temple was first established in the 4th century by the monk Ado, and it was formally called Jinjongsa Temple. It received its current name in 1282. It’s believed by some that Jeondeungsa Temple is the oldest temple on the Korean peninsula. The temple helped defend against the invading Mongols during the 13th century. In fact, the Goryeo royal family temporarily took up residence at the temple after the capital of Gaeseong had been overrun. From 1719 until 1910, Jeondeungsa Temple was in charge of protecting the ancestral records of the Joseon Dynasty royal family. As a result, senior monks…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Samseonggung – 삼성궁 (Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Shrine History Samseonggung, which means “Three Sages Palace” in English, is located up a 28 km long valley in Cheonghak-dong (Azure Crane Village) in Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do. The Taoist shrine was first built in 1983 for the three mythical founders of Korea: Hwanin (King of Heaven, Jeseok), Hwanung (Hwanin’s son), and Dangun (a half-human and half-divine being and the son of Hwanung). The leader and founder of the organization and shrine is Hanpul, who claims that his family based Taoist lineage that occupies this specific part of Mt. Jirisan stretches back 400 years. According to Prof. David Mason, Hanpul is a Taoist priest and martial arts teacher, who is called by…

  • Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – Jingwangsa Temple (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple Jingwangsa Temple is beautifully located in northern Seoul on Mt. Samgaksan. The temple grounds are large and they have beautiful temple shrine halls like the Daeung-jeon Hall that’s framed nicely by the backing mountain peaks. Also, you can enjoy the stream that flows next to the temple. Jingwangsa Temple is a harmonious blend of both nature and Buddhism found in the capital of Korea. Jingwangsa Temple offers just one Templestay program. This program focuses on a temple tour, relaxation, and a tea ceremony. It’s a perfect program for those wanting to have a little time to themselves. Directions On the Seoul subway system, you’ll need to take…

  • Jeollanam-do

    Yeongoksa Temple – 연곡사 (Gurye, Jeollanam-do)

    Temple History Yeongoksa Temple is located in Gurye, Jeollanam-do, and it was purportedly first constructed in 543 A.D. by the the Indian monk Yeongi-josa, who also founded neighbouring Hwaeomsa Temple in 544 A.D. According to legend, Yeongi-josa discovered a pond while reading about the land. While he was looking out at the middle of the pond, a swallow flew out from a whirlpool of water. After that, the pond dried up and the place where the pond used to inhabit was used for the temple grounds. As a result, Yeongoksa Temple means “Swallow Valley Temple” in English. The temple was later renovated in the 9th century by Doseon-guksa. During the…

  • Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – International Seon Center (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple The International Seon Center first opened its doors on November 15th, 2010. The center was opened so that both Koreans and ex-pats could enjoy and experience Korean Buddhism. In total, the center consists of nine floors. The first two underground floors are reserved for parking, while the final underground floor is reserved for the Education and Culture Hall. The first floor of the building houses the center’s office and restaurant. The third and fourth floor, respectively, house the Event Hall and the Dining Room. The fifth floor, and the floor you’re probably most interested in, is reserved for the Templestay program; while the sixth and seventh floor…

  • Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – Myogaksa Temple (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple Myogaksa Temple is located in downtown Seoul in Jongno-gu. And it’s situated at the base of Mt. Naksan, so you get a great view of the entire city of Seoul. Myogaksa Temple is a relatively newer temple. Myogaksa Temple was first established in 1930 by Taeheo. The reason that he built the temple where he did, and according to geomancy, was to put the city of Seoul at ease. The temple grounds themselves are rather small; however, the temple buildings are beautifully arranged both among themselves and with nature. The true highlight to this temple is the beautifully carved image of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). Myogaksa…