Published: April 19th 2006February 23rd 2006
Myo kyung Sunim and I
This is the Buddhist monk who taught us how to meditate and invited us for tea.
ON Saturday I had the pleasure of seeing an old friend of mine Ji hyang. She came to Maryville College to study about 2 years ago and graduating Yonsei on Monday. She took me out to sushi and we talked of new times and old ones. It was so good to see her. We walked around and checked out the night life, then had coffee.
I saw her again on Tuesday and she took me to some really nice places. We met up at 2 to go down to a more secluded part of the city SamcheongGak. It was origionally built in 1972 as a banquet place for confreneces between the North and South. It was opened up only a few years ago to the public. We were practically the only ones there, and it was silent and peaceful with backdrops of mountains on all sides, not skyscrapers. Also they had traditional music playing that was so relaxing. We had coffee in a small pavilion where there was a table that you sit down at. It was so nice with polished wood and the views of the mountains, stream, and village.
We then went walking on the side
of Gyongbok Palace. Through the tall buildings and shrubs of trees, Ji-hyang spotted these huge Buddha statues. When we went down the alley, we found an outdoor temple. We ended up meeting this monk named Myo-kyung in the bookstore, which was right next-door. He asked us why I was interested in Buddhism (He spoke very little English so Ji-hyang translated for me). After we told him, he said that there was a temple for meditation up stairs on the third floor and he would teach us how to meditate. It was a gorgeous temple with 5 large golden Buddhas. Right after he showed us and we were in the positions, he quickly got up and left without a word.
On our way down, we ran in to Myo-kyung sunim and he invited us to join him for tea and rice cakes. We sat in a small, quaint room with over 10 teapots and a small table with pads for sitting and drank a Chinese tea that he brewed in front of us. He told us the four steps to drinking tea. The first is: you drink in the color of the tea with your eyes; second, you take in
Isn't she as cute as ever?!
the aroma of the tea; thirdly, you taste the tea and the final step is you then take in the soul and knowledge of the people whom you are drinking with.
It was like an adventure one only expects to experiences through television; it was unbelievable. When we were having tea with him, he asked me when I arrived. He said that I was lucky, and meeting him was not a coincidence for me. He thought that it was meant to be since he too had arrived only 1 week ago in Seoul.
He welcomed us to come and meditate whenever we wanted and said that he would be happy to answer any questions that I have. He then invited us to stay for the ceremony at 6:30, where a monk rings the bell for 10 minutes. The bell was huge and they used a large piece of swinging wood to ring it. When the bell rang I could feel the vibrations of the sound through out my entire body. It was an experience all it’s own. When we went back down to the bookstore, we found that our friend had already left.
We then went and got some
Ji hyang "playing" a traditional instrument
Korean food in Insa-dong. After dinner, Min-woo met us at the restaurant! It was so good to see her. She is doing really well (also a student that came to MC). She is such a cute and sweet girl. So, after dinner we went and got coffee and caught up.
I ended up visiting the temple and having tea with Myo-kyung again today. He speaks some English so he answered some of my questions as best as he could.
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( I couldn't get them to upload on this site)
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