A visit to Jogyesa Temple

Posted: 26/08/2011 in Korea
Tags: , ,

This last weekend I visited one of the most popular places in Seoul with a friend.  It was the famous Jogyesa temple.  Jogyesa Buddhism is Korean version of Buddhism.  Someone like me is far to much of a lay person to understand that nuances of differences between the various types of Buddhism, so beyond it being Korean, I do not know the difference.

Which was part of the strange feeling you might get if you visit a temple like this.  How exactly do you conduct yourself on some one else’s holy ground?  I was there with a friend and people were chanting and bowing as we were exploring the temple grounds.  It was not that we did not feel that we were welcome, it was that neither of us really knew what was going on.

Still though, the temple ground were beautiful and yet still fairly minimalist and simple.  This temple was a little fuzzy on the definitions of “inside” and “outside” since most of the walls were open that day.  I said “walls” not “doors.”  Giant golden Buddha statues were at the center of the temple and it was here that many of the Korean Buddhists were all bowing in rhythm with the chanting and the clacking of their leader.  Outside the temple, they had a huge bell tower.  The bell had one of those huge, horizontal, swinging logs next to it ready to strike it.  It was exactly what you’d see in a National Geographic except for a very stern “please don’t touch” sign on it.

I really, really, wanted to ring it.  Even in my ignorance of Buddhism, I know that’s a no no.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s