So since yesterday (Friday) I have been ill with some kind of virus that causes you to have a fever, body aches and a headache. Today my symptoms are less but still time stopping, I feel hot and achy. I have been taking Korean Tylenol but it seems too slow to work so I have been using my American Tylenol stash instead, despite I know it is my only supply. However, I feel I can find affective Tylenol here just need to give it another try.
Anyways, I think I can manage to put up a post with pictures of my trip to the Buddhist temple.
On Tuesday July 29th 2008 from Iteawon Bo Kwan took me to Seo dal mountain where he led me to the Dalma temple.
This meant a few transfers on the subway and a bus ride. But it was really worth it to have to travel so far for something to remarkable. The area near the temple was a hilly part of Seoul that almost resembled the hilly parts of San Francisco, mostly because of the narrow streets and tree lined streets.
After we got off the bus we were at very high spot where you could see a vista view. Next, I followed BK until he found his way to the temple. We entered first on this dirt road where there were forests around us. If you have ever watched an Japanese anime movie or show then you may recall that familiar buzzing sound that they play when the characters our outside in the summer time. It is the buzzing sound of cicadas. Well they have that here in Korea and with full force. Sometimes this sound can be deafening, but I don't mind because it is a good reminder of nature. After walking through a little path we came upon another dirt road and the entrance to the temple. Next we made our way up some stairs and saw the gate to the temple grounds. Let me just say that it felt especially amazing to see a real Buddhist temple, because I had studied Buddhist artwork in my Asian Art history courses and always thought it would be best to see the artworks in their real environment. As you made your up to the temple grounds you first see a set of houses where the monks stay. We made our way to a tea house and sat and rested while we ate an ice dessert dish which was delicious. Inside the tea house it was wonderfully relaxing and you could see a lovely view out the window, but I enjoyed most the view from out the doorway. After our relaxation and rejuvenation session we took a look around the grounds. There were several temples set up around the grounds. Some of which were Buddhist statues outside with candles around them for prayers. Others were somewhat more sacred, one of which was inside a natural cave, which offered I think a truly inner perspective on meditation. Unfortunately I did not snap a picture of this one.
You know one of the aspects of Korean Buddhist architecture that I find especially fascinating is its painted decoration. The colors and geometric patterns are exquisite and almost seem to burst with optimism and energy.
Keep in mind that I did not take any pictures of the altars or interior of the temples in order to preserve their sacredness. Yet I did take pictures of objects I felt were interesting, like here are some lanterns:
We did do a little praying and BK taught me the proper way to do it, and I hope to do it again someday. After our visit to the temple we walked up a little path to a garden where you could see the temple grounds from a distance. This was all too comforting and I knew it was also temporary, due to that I knew I had a bus and subway ride home.
Yet thankfully as we made our way back to the bus stop we went through a path in the forest, which was pleasant and beautiful. And so as we took this path away from the temple I could not help but feeling a great sense of accomplishment but also eagerness to return someday. It would be a dream to be able to live on such a peaceful mountain and paint all day. But I suppose first I must live with the rest of the world and pay my dues.
Well I need to get back to resting. ;)