Buddhism

Buyeo-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, 16 May 2016, 4:45pm. The sun is still hot as we arrive at our destination. We walk slowly, as there is little shade, past the ticket office to where is a wide, flat open space in the middle of which is National Treasure #9: the five storey stone pagoda of Jeongnimsa Temple. Is one allowed […]

{ 0 comments }

2016 travel diary 2: Buddha’s Birthday

by Philip Gowman 14 May 2016
Thumbnail image for 2016 travel diary 2: Buddha’s Birthday

Jongno, Seoul, 14 May 2016, 9am. Coffee with the Drawing Hand My first appointment of the day is at 9:30am with Kim Jieun, aka The Drawing Hand: I am due to pick up the original of her 2015 Christmas Card design for LKL – and also I am due to pay her the balance of […]

Read the full article →

침묵 Silence, A Day at the Temple — at Asia House

by Events Editor 20 June 2015
Thumbnail image for 침묵 Silence, A Day at the Temple — at Asia House

An interesting day of dance, tea and meditation at Asia House: 침묵 Silence, A Day at the Temple Monday 13 July 2015, 12:00 – 8:30pm Asia House | 63 New Cavendish Street | London W1G 7LP Admission free but registration required: register here. Join us to recreate a day in a temple with performances by […]

Read the full article →

2015 Travel Diary day 9: Yeongsanjae and Seodaemun

by Philip Gowman 6 June 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 Travel Diary day 9: Yeongsanjae and Seodaemun

Myeongdong, Seoul, Saturday 6 June Bongwonsa temple and the Yeongsanjae rituals Today is the second UNESCO-listed item of intangible cultural heritage of my brief stay. I am tagging along with a small group of American summer students who are getting course credits by having a whale of a time in Seoul. How this works from an […]

Read the full article →

Book Review: Robert E Buswell, Jr — The Zen Monastic Experience

by Philip Gowman 21 August 2014
Thumbnail image for Book Review: Robert E Buswell, Jr — The Zen Monastic Experience

Robert E Buswell, Jr: The Zen Monastic Experience – Buddhist Practice in Contemporary Korea Princeton University Press, 1992, 259pp A curious tourist visiting one of the popular Korean temples will admire the architecture of the buildings; will poke their nose into the main shrine, nervously wondering whether they’re allowed in and if so what is […]

Read the full article →

2014 Travel Diary day 7: the concubine, the eunuchs and the gisaeng

by Philip Gowman 12 June 2014
Thumbnail image for 2014 Travel Diary day 7: the concubine, the eunuchs and the gisaeng

Another literary lunch and a visit to the tombs of the trusted palace servants. Eulji-ro, Seoul, Thursday 12 June, 9am. I decide to take it easy today, and have a bit of a lie in. I pop outside to the subway station to pick up a coffee and pastry, and then pay a quick visit to […]

Read the full article →

2014 Travel Diary day 5: 타종식 — New beginnings

by Philip Gowman 10 June 2014
Thumbnail image for 2014 Travel Diary day 5: 타종식 — New beginnings

In which we hike to Beopgyesa to cut the ribbon at the 타종식: the ceremonial first ringing of the highest temple bell in South Korea. Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Tuesday 10 June. We wake up at 5:30, dilute our espresso with boiling water from the kettle and carefully eat the cake. I have a dull feeling […]

Read the full article →

2014 Travel Diary day 3: 사십구재

by Philip Gowman 8 June 2014
Thumbnail image for 2014 Travel Diary day 3: 사십구재

The 49th-day ceremony (사십구재) for Sena Lee, who died in Seoul on 22 April 2014, held at Anjeoksa, Sancheon-gun, at which family and friends said farewell to her. According to dharma master Tim Lerch,  Traditionally, the period of 49 days after someone dies is seen as a time for that person to check their consciousness and digest their […]

Read the full article →

2013 Travel Diary #20: The temple of a thousand pagodas

by Philip Gowman 11 September 2013
Thumbnail image for 2013 Travel Diary #20: The temple of a thousand pagodas

Unjusa, Hwasun-gun, Wednesday 11 September, 3:45am. My phone wakes me up at 3:45 am, and I struggle into my trousers, splash some water onto my face, and make my way to the main shrine. I’m the first one there, and soon Kyung-sook arrives, then Wonsan himself. Later, a couple of the temple women join us. […]

Read the full article →

2013 Travel Diary #19: Mosquitoes at Unjusa

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2013
Thumbnail image for 2013 Travel Diary #19: Mosquitoes at Unjusa

Suncheon-si, Tuesday 10 September, 12:30pm We head back to the hotel for a quick shower and change of clothes, before lunch at a nearby eatery – a deliciously delicate clam noodle soup. The soup is brought in a large bowl full of a light broth. At the bottom of the bowl is a mound of […]

Read the full article →

2012 Travel Diary #21: Seong Cheol’s birthday, Park Chan-soo’s museum and Gaya period tombs

by Philip Gowman 26 November 2012
Thumbnail image for 2012 Travel Diary #21: Seong Cheol’s birthday, Park Chan-soo’s museum and Gaya period tombs

Sancheong County, Gyeongsangnam-do, Saturday 31 March 2012. The impact of the love shots is still fogging my brain when Mr Yoon arrives at 9:30 in the morning. Today, he is accompanied by his wife, who is to join us for the morning. It is, after all, a Saturday, so Mr Yoon is working overtime on […]

Read the full article →

2012 Travel Diary #19: Beopgyesa Temple and those Japanese feng-shui stakes

by Philip Gowman 16 October 2012
Thumbnail image for 2012 Travel Diary #19: Beopgyesa Temple and those Japanese feng-shui stakes

Beopgyesa Temple (법게사) is the highest in Sancheong County and at least the third-highest in Korea. The good people of Sancheong believe that Beopgyesa is the highest temple in South Korea, a claim which is supported by Beopgyesa’s entry on the Cultural Heritage Administration website, where the following text is to be found: “It is […]

Read the full article →

Cute photos of a Buddha’s Birthday ceremony in Seoul

by Philip Gowman 14 May 2012
Thumbnail image for Cute photos of a Buddha’s Birthday ceremony in Seoul

Some great pics of some young monks getting their head shaved for the first time this Buddha’s birthday at Jogye Temple, Seoul, in today’s Metro. Some of them don’t like it! Links: Children become Buddhist monks as tears flow during ceremony, Metro, 13 May 2012 Buddhist monks caught gambling, smoking and drinking at party, Telegraph, […]

Read the full article →

Hi Dharma! at the International Buddhist Film Festival

by Philip Gowman 11 April 2012
Thumbnail image for Hi Dharma! at the International Buddhist Film Festival

Head-to-head with the excitement of the Terracotta Far East Film Festival comes the equally compelling International Buddhist Film Festival, showing at the Apollo Piccadilly April 11–15, 2012 (the same place the KCC is holding its big monthly screenings this year). There’s plenty of interesting Asian films showing (the full programme can be found here), and […]

Read the full article →

Exhibition Visit: An Eternal Cycle at Mokspace

by Philip Gowman 8 November 2011
Thumbnail image for Exhibition Visit: An Eternal Cycle at Mokspace

In a hectic London Korean exhibition calendar which often seems biased towards installations and video art, we should welcome an exhibition which features well executed paintings which you would happily hang on your wall. Mokspace’s current exhibition, An Eternal Cycle – Paradise and Purgatory, is doubly unusual in featuring Buddhist-inspired paintings. Such work is rarely […]

Read the full article →

Buddha’s Voice – The Bell of King Seongdeok

by Matthew Jackson 26 October 2011
Thumbnail image for Buddha’s Voice – The Bell of King Seongdeok

People sometimes take a jaundiced view of Korea’s estimation of the importance of its cultural heritage. In the case of the Sacred Bell of King Seongdeok, however, it was foreigner, Dr. Otto Kummel, a director at the National Museum of Germany, who suggested that the museum’s description of the bell as ‘the best in Korea’, […]

Read the full article →

Haeinsa celebrates 1,000 years of the Tripitaka Koreana

by Philip Gowman 17 October 2011
Thumbnail image for Haeinsa celebrates 1,000 years of the Tripitaka Koreana

Haeinsa Temple is hosting its first contemporary art exhibition, involving 34 artists from 10 countries, to commemorate the millennial anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana, which UNESCO has designated one of the “most important and most complete corpus of Buddhist doctrinal texts in the world.” The exhibition’s title — 通 | 통 | Tong — uses […]

Read the full article →