What To Expect
Your tour guide will meet you in your hotel lobby in Gyeongju and transport you to Golgulsa temple where you will get to study and experience the Korean tradition and Seonmudo. Although the temple is relatively small, Gogulsa is famous as being the only temple in Korea to house a Seonmudo or Zen Martial Arts training center.
18:00 - Dinner
19:00 - Evening Yebul
19:30 - Seonmudo Training
22:00 - Bedtime
Golgulsa is the head temple of Seonmudo, where the Silla elite youth corps Hwarang used to train in the martial arts. Seonmudo Training is composed of two kinds of training. One is still training; Zen-yoga or Zen-gigong. The other one active training: Zen-gymnastics or Zen-martial arts. In general, it is common to have a still-training in the morning and active-training in the evening. The warm Ondol floors (heated from below) of the temple are clean and large enough to accommodate a small group of visitors.
Today, you will experience a temple meal, perhaps first time in your life. The food doesn't have spices and is neither hot nor salty. It is another mysterious experience for you to try. Rooms are sparsely furnished with mattress, quilt and pillow. The slight inconvenience is more than compensated by the tranquil and introspective atmosphere of the temple.
04:00 - Wake up
04:30 - Morning Yebul
05:00 - Sitting and walking Meditation
06:30 - Breakfast
08:30 - Seonmudo Training
10:10 - 108 Prostrations, Meditation, Tea time
12:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Meditation, Archery
15:00 - Community work / Ulyeok
Early-morning Buddhist Dharma Ceremony. Every monk and people in the temple will gather at the Main Buddha Hall and perform the ceremony. This magnificent Dharma Ceremony will clear all dust from your minds and all stray thoughts from your heads. During the Yebul, you will offer 108 prostrations to the Buddha, along with the monks. By doing this, Buddhists believe that people will be freed from the 108 passions and delusion that disturb and pollute their body and mind. You will have a chance to drink tea with monks or masters.
The community work agenda includes farming or upkeep. However, if there is no particular agenda, one normally does ordinary sweeping of court yards or cleaning the buildings. This is not just physical work, but should be seen as another way of practicing, developing patience and discipline. You should join Ulyeok with pleasure. It is a good way to express gratitude to your hosts. Practitioners also find themselves refreshed through Ulyeok. (Absent from morning Yebul to deserve 3,000 prostrations punishment).
1 night accommodation based on small group sharing Korean-style room in the temple
Full coverage of transfers and transportation as per itinerary
Meals as per itinerary
Optional activity costs
Tips and gratuities
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