Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buddhist Temple

There are numerous temples in this country.  Mark and I visited one last weekend.  It is located in a park in the middle of Gwangju.  It was built in the 70s for the military. 

We were able to sit in on a ‘service’ of sorts.  Simple chanting of the Buddhist text, lead by a monk.  It was beautiful, peaceful, loving, and meditative.  Quite a refreshing experience for both of us in the middle of this crazy, busy city.


This structure houses 4 large statues

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Beautiful decorative sides and eves.


The ceiling

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Each statue has a man under foot – dominating and suppressing the enemy. 



A bell tower



The largest bell in the Gwangju area

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The following photos were taken inside of the temple.


Decorative lanterns covered the ceiling, a paper hung down from each one.  The floor is wood and shoes are left at the door.  Floor cushions are available to sit on.  The rectangular building has an alter all along the wall opposite the entry. Three Buddha sit in front of murals.  Candles, incense, platters of fruit and rice and other food items are placed along the alter.  A monk is in the middle of the photo above, he was preparing to preside over the service.  The two women in the middle right were preparing a second (smaller) alter for the service.

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Apples, tomatoes, bananas, watermelon, rice cakes, pears, grapes, and more that I could not identify were placed on this alter. 


The big picture you see on the far left is the former president who just took his own life.  I am uncertain who the other pictures are. 

We heard two different chanting services – it was a fascinating and beautiful experience.

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