It was cold day when an autumn rain fell down. I was heading forward ‘Kilsang-Sa’(the temple of Kilsang) where I had applied Temple-stay program. Though the midterm exam was only three days left, I entered the temple with so much worry. Temple-stay is a program that you could experience temple life, rest your mind and learn traditional culture in temple.
You can take participate in this program by on-line application. If you search for information about Temple-stay on a portal site, you can find some temples region by region. You only need to register on the website of the temple where it is near your house or where you want to go. The entry fee of Kilsang-Sa where I had applied was 50,000 won. And period of Temple-stay was from 12 o’clock on Saturday to 10 o’clock on Sunday. There was something I need to prepare before you took part this program. I had to take toiletries, a towel, socks, outer clothing, clothes, sneakers comfortable to wear and a personal cup.
<First day in Temple-stay>
① Learning courtesy in temple
I entered the training center at 12 o’clock. After I checked my enrollment, I came into the long-large Buddhism Sanctum. Then, I watched the video about temple courtesy for 30 minutes. How to bow in temple and courtesy are main contents of the video
Participants took entering ceremony for learning and experiencing a lot during two days. We (participants and I) went through simple entering formalities with three monks who would lead us.
③ Take a look around the temple.
Kilsang-Sa I went was near the city and surrounded by the nature. Though there is road in front of main gate, temple looks like being in the heart of a mountain. There were dense forest and small stream. And a silence covers them. Kilsang-Sa was composed of many buildings such as Geungnakjeon main sanctuary building, Seolbeopjeon building for Temple-stay, Seonyeoldang where eating, and the Silence House anyone can come and use to meditate. The color of the buildings is almost plain but corresponds with the nature and Korean traditional emotion pursuing harmony with the nature.
Dado means ceremony of drinking tea. In Dado class, we learned how to boil water down, tea-courtesy and history of Korean tea. The way to boil down water is as in the followings.. Pour boiled water into water kettle and cool down it. Then, open a cap of tea kettle. Put tea leaves into the tea kettle. Finally, pour boiled water that poured into the water kettle into the tea kettle. Pour tea in three cups. The later you pour the tea into the cup, the deeper flavor of the tea is. So you should pour each three cup in tea about amount of a third, and do it again two times more. And then, make three cups of tea.
Courtesy about drinking tea isn’t hard to follow. Hold teacups and kettle with your right hand. With your left hand, support the bottom of teacup and kettle from below. It can be stable.
⑤ Gongyang in the evening
It was Gongyang in the evening that I waited this schedule so much. In Gongyang time, we moved to Seonyeol-Dang and are given meals one after another in line. Also at this time, we learned table manners. All of the participants had to wait until all people were served the meal and took their seat. Anyone couldn’t start eating. Then, we had ceremony time when we thanked for eating. After this ceremony, we had a meal but had to be silence during the dinner. It was also same way after meal. We had to wait until all members ended their meals. And then, we had ceremony for finishing meal.
⑥ Meditation lecture.
In meditation lecture, we learned how to meditate and position. The chief-monk directly taught us the way of meditation. And it has seven-order as follows. First, sit with correct position by gathering legs. Second, straighten your back. Third, bend your both shoulders back. Fourth, throw out your chest. Fifth, pull your chin as possible as you can. Sixth, roll up your tongue by half, and make your tongue touch palate slightly. Then finally, look to your front a little.
It was very hard for me to straighten my waist and sit because I usually bend my back and shoulders on walking or sitting on chairs. However, I could feel sitting comfortable and have a state of balance after 30 minutes. I also could have times when I thought myself during this meditation class. I thought my present, past, future, worry, parents, friends, school calmly and deeply.
⑦ Bedtime and light-out
Bedtime was 10 o’clock. It was quite early for me because I usually go to bed late. But I so was tired of experiencing new cultures. We slept at Seolbeopjeon where Temple-stay was held.
<Second day in Temple-stay>< 저작권자 © 광운미디어위원회 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
①Waking up at 3:30
It was first for me who are student-reporter to get up at 3:30. It was still dark outside. At dawn everyone slept over, temple only brightened in the dark. I got up and folded my blanket. Then I wash my face to prepare next schedules.
② Baekpalbae (bowing 108 times)
Baekpalbae means it is practicing asceticism to control men’s 108 kinds of anguish and agony by bowing 108 times. It was the hardest practicing but very impressive for me. Because when bowing one time, I reflected on myself so that I could calm my body and mind. It wasn’t easy but I didn’t give up. So it never could be forgotten
③ Gongyang in the morning
It was really taste for me because of waking up early and baekpalbae. All participants didn’t leave their food. We ate all over. As gongyang in the evening, gongyang in the morning began with ceremony and ended with it.
④ Seon-Chaejoe (gymnastics, 禪體操)
In seon-Chaejoe class, we learned stretching that corrects our wicked posture and breaking fatigue. Motion was easy and rhythmic so that anyone could easily not only follow it but also do it as usual. Seon-Chaejoe was consisted of three things: Standing motion, sitting motion and ling motion. When I learned ling motion, I was so tired that I got a sleep. And then, it happened a participant near to me awoke me.
⑤Question and answer with the chief monk
With the chief monk, we got question and answer time. Participants asked questions about Buddhism or temple-stay. There are many curiosities such as what is Buddhism, what do you think of difference between religion. And then, he sincerely answered them. I could find lots of enlightenment through it. It was really valuable time for me to talk with him.
⑥ Writing about temple-stay and returning
Participants wrote about temple-stay they took part in during two days and answered the survey. After this, returning ceremony began with three monks included the chief. At the ends , all participants and three monks left memorial photographing.
Daily lives, cities and modern society are fast, fast and fast and full of noise, machines and stuff. In contrast, there is some place silent, traditional and belonged to nature. You can experience Korean traditional beauty, learn courtesy and take a trip to. It is just temple-stay. At temple-stay, we are also able to get a time we look back on ourselves we couldn’t do in daily life. How about taking part in temple-stay to escape from complicated-troubled daily life and get peace of your minds?