• Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – Geumseonsa Temple (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple Geumseonsa Temple, which is also spelled Geumsunsa Temple, is over 600 years old, and it’s beautifully situated in Mt. Bukhansan National Park in Seoul. Historically, Geumseonsa Temple was the place where King Jeungjo of Joseon (r. 1776-1800) prayed for the birth of a male heir. As for the temple itself, it specializes in Seon meditation. There are a couple highlights to this temple like the beautiful stream that passes under the Hongyae-gyo Bridge (Nirvana Bridge) inside the temple grounds, as well as the natural beauty that surrounds the temple. As for the Templestay programs, the Relaxational Templestay program focuses on meditation, touring the temple, and on Buddhist…

  • Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – Hwagyesa Temple (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple Hwagyesa Temple was first founded in 1522 A.D by the monk Sinwol. Tragically, the temple was destroyed by fire in 1618. It wasn’t until 1866, through financial support from royal elders, that the temple was rebuilt. There are numerous buildings at the temple to enjoy like the Daeung-jeon Hall, the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, and the Samseong-gak Hall. In addition to these buildings, a visitor can enjoy a small spring to the rear of the temple and Hwagye-gol Valley. The spring water from the Oktak-cheon stream is said to have curative properties for skin and stomach ailments. In total, Hwagyesa Temple offers two distinct Templestay programs. The first is…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Cheonjangsa Temple – 천장사 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Cheonjangsa Temple is located in southern Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do on Mt. Yeonamsan (440.8 m). In English, Cheonjangsa Temple means “Hidden by Heaven Temple.” The reason for this name is that Cheonjangsa Temple is hidden so deeply in the mountain that both the sky and the earth can’t find the temple. Additionally, the temple is classified as Traditional Temple #42. Purportedly, Cheonjangsa Temple was first built in 633 A.D. by the monk Damhwa during the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.). However, there are no records or relics of the monk Damhwa. What is more likely is that Cheonjangsa Temple was first established some time during the Goryeo Dynasty…

  • Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – Jogyesa Temple (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple Jogyesa Temple is located in Jong-no, Seoul. The name of Jogyesa Temple might sound familiar. It’s the headquarters to the largest Buddhist Order in Korea: the Jogye-jong Order. Jogyesa Temple has a bit of a unique history. The original building that took up residence at Jogyesa Temple was actually transferred from a temple named Gakhwangsa Temple in neighbouring Susong Park in 1938. Gakhwangsa Temple was first founded in 1395. This original structure no longer remains; but during Japanese Colonial Rule from 1910-1945, the temple would grow in importance in its resistance towards the Japanese efforts to suppress Korean Buddhism. It was in 1937 that the resistance movement was…

  • Seoul,  Templestay

    Templestay – Bongeunsa Temple (Seoul)

    Introduction to Temple Bongeunsa Temple is conveniently located in the posh neighbourhood of Gangnam-gu, Seoul. The temple was first established in 794 A.D. by Yeonhoe. There are quite a few unique features to this large sized temple including the large stone statue of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) to the rear of the temple grounds, as well as the beautifully situated and adorned Daeung-jeon Hall. Bongeunsa Temple does two types of Templestay programs. The first is the more traditional one night and two days program that focuses on a temple tour, sutra writing, meditation, and morning prayers. On the other hand, the other program that Bongeunsa Temple conducts is a two…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    The Rock-Carved Buddha Triad in Yonghyeon-ri – 용현리 마애여래삼존상 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    The History and Design of the Rock-Carving The Rock-Carved Buddha Triad in Yonghyeon-ri, or the “Smile of Baekje” as it’s unofficially known, is located in eastern Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do up a long valley on the northern side of Mt. Gayasan (678.2 m). You first make your way up a side-winding set of stairs that both span a stream and climb the side of a mountain, which makes it easier to visit the historic site. The Rock-Carved Buddha Triad in Yonghyeon-ri, which stands 2.8 metres in height, is comprised of a triad that consists of the central image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This image is joined on either side by two…

  • Gangwon-do

    Bohyeonsa Temple – 보현사 (Gangneung, Gangwon-do)

    Temple History Bohyeonsa Temple is located in western Gangneung, Gangwon-do in the foothills of Mt. Daegungsan (1,008.3 m). Purportedly, Bohyeonsa Temple was first established by Jajang-yulsa (598-658 A.D.) in 650 A.D. However, it was while the temple was headed by the monk Nangwon (834-930 A.D.) that the temple began to grow and prosper. Nangwon was a disciple of Beomil-guksa (810-889 A.D.), who first founded the Sagulsanmun Sect of Seon Buddhism in Korea. It was while Nangwon was the head of the temple that it was named Jijangseonwon, and the temple grew to become the head temple of the Sagulsanmun Sect. Eventually, Nangwon would become the State Preceptor during Unified Silla…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Sinwonsa Temple – 신원사 (Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Sinwonsa Temple is located in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. More specifically, Sinwonsa Temple is one of three major temples located in Gyeryongsan National Park alongside Donghaksa Temple and Gapsa Temple. Sinwonsa Temple is situated in the western part of the park. Sinwonsa Temple was first established in 651 A.D. by the monk Bodeok-hwasang, who was also the founder of Yeolban-jong (The Nirvana Sect). Eventually, the temple was left in disrepair and eventually rebuilt by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.) at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). The temple was later rebuilt in 1298; and then again in 1393 by the monk Muhak-daesa (1327-1405). After this rebuild, the temple was destroyed in…

  • Gangwon-do

    Deungunsa Temple – 등운사 (Yanggu, Gangwon-do)

    Temple History Deungunsa Temple is located in southern Yanggu, Gangwon-do on the eastern arm of Mt. Samyeongsan (1,198 m). Deungunsa Temple is a modern temple some 21 km from the DMZ. The temple is run by a very friendly nun that did her training at Naewonsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. The temple is also home to an equally friendly dog named Gwaneum (named after the Bodhisattva of Compassion). Temple Layout From the temple parking lot, you’ll make your way up a set of uneven stairs to the right of the nuns’ dorms. You’ll need to pass to the right of the unpainted Yosachae to gain entry to the main temple…

  • Gangwon-do

    Sutasa Temple – 수타사 (Hongcheon, Gangwon-do)

    Temple History Sutasa Temple in Hongcheon, Gangwon-do is located to the west of Mt. Gongjaksan (887.4 m). Sutasa Temple is located in a bend in the Deokchi-cheon River up Sutasa Valley. Purportedly, the temple was first founded in 708 A.D. by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (625-686 A.D.). However, since Wonhyo-daesa died in 686 A.D., it’s kind of hard to believe that he would found a temple after his death. And originally, the temple was called Ilwolsa Temple. The temple was renamed in 1568 to Sutasa Temple. The reason for this change is that it’s believed that where Sutasa Temple is located along the foothills of Mt. Gongjaksan that it resembles…