Temple Stay: Spring Cleaning for the Body and Mind
There are times when you just need a quiet place to rejuvenate and get away from everyday stress. Such a place can be difficult to find, especially for those living in a busy city. This is why temple stays are becoming very popular in Korea. While many Koreans often go on temple stays, there are now more international visitors that come for this great experience.
As spring is a fresh start to new things, I thought it would be perfect to introduce the average temple stay program and share what you can do and learn there.
Upon arriving, cell phones are taken away as phone calls and text messages can distract from deep thinking. In the smartphone era, it may not be an easy feat for many people to be apart from their device. However, taking a short break will help to let you immerse yourself in your thoughts and to concentrate.
A temple stay will also help you to appreciate many things we take for granted every day. For example, you must eat everything on your plate during meals. Not a single bite is left to waste. You may also find yourself actually noticing nature and being amazed at how nice trees and flowers can be.
At many temples, you will wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Around 4 or 5 a.m., monks begin to chant and pray. Despite the early hours, many say they feel more refreshed compared to sleeping more. You may also do 108 bows, depending on what temple you visit. This part is usually the hardest for those not familiar with the bowing process (or in really good shape).
Photo Courtesy: The Age
I’ve heard from many of my friends and colleagues that a temple stay was a fantastic experience and that it was “just what they needed.”
Make sure to check out a temple stay if you visit Korea. Even if it’s not a temple stay, I hope you all are able to find some time to relax and take a break. Remember, our houses aren’t the only things that need spring cleaning!