Bongeunsa Temple

Although South Korea is the second most Christian country in Asia, Buddhism remains an important cultural and spiritual tradition. Last week was Temple Stay week in Seoul, which means that thousands of people spent their weekends living as Buddhist monks do. Since my dad was visiting and it’s below freezing, spending a weekend in silent reverence was not an attractive option.

On Saturday we visited the Bongeunsa Temple located in the middle of the bustling Gangnam district. The site dates back to 726 CE, and it is currently undergoing restoration to its main temple. Even so, it was stunning:

bubbhaThose little black figures at the bottom are people, that’s how enormous this statue is!

"just hanging out, attaining enlightenment, the usual Thursday"

“just hanging out, attaining enlightenment, the usual Thursday”

The detail, the artwork and the scenery was all serene and breathtaking:

mid-city serenity

mid-city serenity

Although the temple site itself seems to be ripped from another century, the looming skyscrapers acted as a reminder of the time period.

peek a boo I see you giant building

peek a boo I see you giant building

There were also tiny treasures hidden throughout the site. I have no idea if they were offerings or relics.

teeny buddha tea party

teeny buddha tea party

 

 

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