Monday, March 31, 2014

Seonamsa Templestay: Etiquette basics

In our Templestay orientation, we were reminded of some of the etiquette basics (with those pertaining to eating being revealed in the dining hall). There were more, but the decorative nature of the temple hall interior commanded my attention. Here are some of them:

  • Practice Noble Silence. In areas where the Buddha is enshrined, refrain from idle talk; instead, use the time for introspection.
  • Sit in designated areas in the temple and follow the signals of the moktak (wooden handbell)
  • Always take off your shoes before entering buildings. Line them up neatly and carefully.
  • Wear your temple uniform, don't drink or smoke, and no rowdy behavior.
  • Walk in a gentle heel-to-toe style, not shuffling or making noise. Try to keep your hands in a folded  "namaste-style" gesture up by your chest.
  •  When passing someone, smile and perform a hapjang half-bow; do the same when passing by or entering a room with a Buddha statue in it.
  • When eating, try to maintain silence and eat quickly. Don't slurp or make noises with your utensils. Give thanks for your food, placing the bowl up by your eyebrows. Don't complain about your food and avoid waste.
  • Actively participate in communal work.
  • Don't bother others in the rest areas.

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