Melissa Enderle's travelblog on her travels to Mali, Tunisia, Serbia, Eastern Europe, India, and South Korea.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Seonamsa Templestay: 108 Prostrations and Dinner
Following the etiquette orientation, we followed the monk into another hall. Large heaters that reminded me of barn fans provided some warmth, as we each sat on our mats, stringing up our 108-beaded strand. Using the cue of a projected PowerPoint indicating each of the 108 "sins" (such as ingratitude, not caring, wastefulness) we were to practice the 108 prostrations. The slapping of a juk-bi (an instrument made from a single bamboo piece, slit down the center) would be our cue as to when to get up or to begin the next prostration.
With the grueling prostrations behind us, we headed to the dining hall for a well-deserved dinner. Reminded about maintaining silence, we ate our simple vegetarian-style meal consisting of white rice, cooked greens, and a watery soup with more greens and small pieces of tofu. Many of the young hogwan teachers who were part of the temple stay scrunched their noses and later supplemented with chips or other junk food, but I found it to be satisfactory.