Tuesday, July 17, 2007

SEOUL SEARCHING AT BONGEUNSA ...!

I had some free time this morning so I decided to check out the Bongeunsa Temple complex across the street from my hotel in Seoul.  Founded in 794, this Buddhist temple commemorates 1,200 years of Korean history and is said to be the ideal place to "find oneself," a practice known locally as Chamseon, which means "to purify the mind from unnecessary thoughts and return to one's true character."  While I didn't exactly find myself at Bongeunsa, I did notice quite a few interesting architectural details, including dozens of historic Swastikas adorning everything from temple murals to decorative candles.  Long before Hitler came to power, the Swastika was known as a symbol of Buddha's heart.  Ironically, the heart of the Bongeunsa complex contained what appeared to be a symbol of Buddha's wallet -- an ATM machine and gift shop -- and that's where I finally "found myself."  I promptly withdrew enough cash to pay 5,000 Won for a Grande Drip at the Starbucks down the street...!   

5 comments:

gazker said...

I was horrified to see Dunkin Donuts in Korea, I mean it's bad enough Americans eating that crap but the Koreans too!
Gaz ;-)

acoward15 said...

At least you've found a starbucks.
http://journals.aol.co.uk/acoward15/andy-the-bastard

frankandmary said...

I am quite the admirer of Buddhist Art, & the swastika thing threw me at first, years back, when I first saw some related things. ~Mary

tenyearnap said...

Again...ignore that Gaz! I like DD waaaaaaay better than Starbucks. Sorry. Originally from New England. And I'd like some kimchee with that Dunkin Donut. --Cin

beckiepainton said...

very interesting !! Beckie