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 »

Korean Monks discuss Buddhism, culture

August 6, 2010

In their traditional grey monk suits with shaved heads and wearing iPods, they’ve walked Park Avenue, listened to the concerts in Lincoln Park and played football in Lyndhurst—a part of their introduction in the Western world. The monks are a group of three Korean monks and four nuns from Donguk University in South Korea, and are staying at Felician College in Rutherford while studying English as a Second Language and learning about Buddhism in the Western world.

They live under a rule of 250 precepts. And on a typical day, they’re up at 4 a.m. for meditation, have breakfast at 6 a.m., and have university studies, chant three times a day and do agricultural work … Read more »