Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seonamsa Templestay - arrival

The highlight, and certainly most unusual part of my spring break, was the templestay at Seonamsa Temple. Located in the Jogyesan Mountain near Suncheon, the name Seonam means Heavenly Rock. According to a legend, a heavenly being once played a game of Go on the location. Origins of the temple are uncertain, but it is thought that the temple was built during the Unified Silla Period (676-935) or during the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC-AD 676).
Melissa in front of the Daeungjeon main hall at Seonamsa
The bus took us partway through the road leading to the temple complex, leaving us to walk the rest of the way that spring afternoon. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a taller monk who would be our guide during our stay. Each person was given a matching set of brown quilted baggy pants and vest, which, along with rubber slip-off shoes, would be our uniform. Posted was the schedule for our temple stay. Immediately comments were made about the 3:30 session the following morning, questioning the monk if that was correct. His smile said it all. After dropping off our backpacks in the room (four designated visitors in each) and changing into the uniforms, we were asked to meet back in the Main Hall.
Templestay schedule

Courtyard surrounding the rooms where visitors stay, four per small (ondol-heated) rooms

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