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Refresh your inner spirit with the Korean Templestay program

The Buddhist Channel, September 26, 2008

Seoul, South Korea -- Whether you’re weary of the world or just looking for a very different experience the Templestay Korea program offers a unique environment to reinvigorate both body and soul and refresh your inner spirit.

Templestay Korea offers a two day experience staying overnight in one of Korea’s stunning Buddhist temples and a chance to relax and revitalize your soul and learn first-hand about a monastic lifestyle passed down for well over 1,000 years.

The Templestay Korea program was first launched in 2002 during the FIFA World Cup with only a few temples offering the overnight experience and it has become so successful that there are now eighty-seven temples participating in the Templestay program.

Templestay Korea programs allow visitors to experience Korean Buddhist culture. Guests have the chance to participate in many of the same activities as the Buddhist monks including meditation, meal offerings and homage services.

You can also learn how to make a lotus lantern, prayer beads and make a woodblock print.  Other activities include temple tours, tours to hermitages, tea ceremonies, Buddhist martial arts and the opportunity to have a once in a lifetime experience in a perfectly pristine natural environment.

Most temples provide a Templestay uniform for adults and visitors should bring their own towel and travel kit.  Accommodation is usually in same sex shared accommodation.  During fall and the winter warm clothing is a must.

You can use public transportation to get to your selected temple.  Some temples will meet participants with reservations at the nearest train or bus station and escort them to the temple.

The basic two day program (including an overnight stay) costs from US$50-US$80 depending on the temple and can be extended to three or four days for a deeper experience. A half day Temple Life program is also available for participants with little time on their hands.

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