‘Buddha’ goes to the hospital: A convergence of science, history and art

Emi Kolawole, Washington Post: The hospital admissions sheet simply read: “Name: Buddha; DOB: 1662.”

The 350-year-old patient’s visit started with a routine x-ray in the summer of 2008. But doctors discovered there were signs of an unknown mass inside his head and yet another inside his stomach – objects that his new caretakers were intent on identifying and extracting if at all possible. The x-ray wasn’t detailed enough to make a proper diagnosis, so doctors at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville cleared the schedule and ordered a CAT scan.

After a trip through the scanner, receiving a radiation dose higher than …

Read the original article »

‘World’s happiest man’ advocates meditation

February 18, 2011

Dubbed the “world’s happiest man,” best-selling author and master Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was in Korea for the first time last weekend, offering his take on how to be happy.

The Tibetan monk participated in a groundbreaking study of brain activity in 2002, where scientists found that advanced meditation increases mental happiness.

What is happiness to him?

“My idea of happiness is an experience of calm, peace and joy which is non-dependent on outside circumstances,” Rinpoche told The Korea Herald over a vegetarian lunch in Insa-dong, Seoul.

For 35-year-old Rinpoche ― who is to go on a three-year retreat in May ― solitary reflection develops inner happiness, unaffected by the stresses, temptations and complications … Read more »

101 Places Not To See Before You Die

August 28, 2010

An Overnight Stay at a Korean Temple

In theory, an overnight stay at a Korean temple sounds like the perfect activity for anyone struggling to escape the pressures of modern life. You’ll meditate, you’ll learn about Buddhism, you’ll go vegetarian. Concerns and cares will slip away as you drift into a blissful state of conscious awareness.

Unfortunately, that’s not what it’s like.

I signed up for one of these sleepovers through a program called Templestay. Created in 2002 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism — the largest Buddhist order in Korea — the Templestay program aims to allow visitors to “sample ordained lifestyle and experience the mental training and cultural experience of Korea’s ancient … Read more »

Get meditative with Korean Air

Maybe it’s because air travel has become so stressful: Korean Air is now offering meditation, chanting and a Buddhist temple sleepover as part of a new “Templestay” tour.

Korean Air and Hanjin Travel have teamed up to offer travelers a peek – the tour lasts 24 hours – into the traditional culture of Korean Buddhism and let them relax and rediscover their “true selves” amid peaceful surroundings.

Visitors will get tours of five Korean temples, live the strict life of a Buddhist monk — wakeup time is 4 a.m. sharp –- and take part in a formal monastic meal (no talking or wasting of food allowed) and ancient tea-sipping ceremony. There is also time allotted … Read more »

Sandra Sunnyo Lee: Self No Self – Meditation Paintings

March 20, 2003

A Korean-born artist gives visual expression to the Zen teaching of No Self, a meditation on the path to overcoming alienation between an individual and society or nature. Read more