Temple Stay At The Myogaksa Temple – Laying Down My Mind
This past October, I got a chance to visit the Jogyesa Temple through the Cham Education and Culture Center in Korea. After getting the information we needed regarding the temple stay program we were planning on participating in, we headed towards the Myogaksa Temple located on Naksan Mountain in Suning-dong, Jong-ro.
Myogaksa Temple was first established in 1930, but was burned down in a fire in 1997. However, thanks to the long reconstruction that took place over the course of the next seven years, the beautiful Myogaksa Temple was restored once again.
After walking out of Exit 2 of Dongmyo Station on Line 1, we came face to face with the magnificent Myogaksa Temple. Surprisingly, despite the temple being located in the center of a loud and busy city, we were surrounded by an all-encompassing peace and silence once we entered the temple
After a brief orientation, we started the “Laying Down My Mind” program. For this program, we had to do 108 prostrations after learning about the meaning behind each one, while threading 108 Buddhist prayer beads, called Yeomju, into a string to create a rosary. I was surprised with the sunim’s acknowledgement of “the diversity of religion” throughout the entire activity, excusing those who didn’t feel comfortable participating in the activity or those who faced the other direction. As for me, seeing the sunim understand their views on religion in a genuine manner gave me an understanding of what it meant to be a clergy.