Temple stay is more than simply stay in the temple. For me, it was the opportunity of surrounded by a majestic mother nature: Jirisan (Mt.Jiri) and putting myself in the solitude. Nothing was familiar in the temple life, quietness was deeper than the dark night sky, and the sound of moktak was peacefully spreading to the woods. Recommended bed time was 9:00 pm, and the morning prayer session was 3:30 am. Trainees (that’s what they call to temple stay guests) and all the people in the temple are living with the different time zone.
Surprisingly, temple stay is not about religion. Yes, we have to attend the praying, three times a day, and yes, we are sitting with monks but it’s more of meditating, learning and respecting. It was enlightening. The night was freezing cold, but the entire time, I felt like getting a warm hug from mother nature, or Buddha, possibly.
Here are photos from my Temple Stay at Haweomsa, in Jirisan. Hwaeomsa was constructed in Silla dynasty in the year 544, has lots of National Treasures of Korea.