Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chuseok Plans

Originally I was going to do some international traveling in Southeast Asia, but surprise! Those things cost money! More money than I can responsibly spend with just one paycheck in the bank! So finally, tonight, I came to grips with the sad realization that I will be spending my second long-haul vacation in Korea. At first I was groused at having to keep my Chuseok domestic—not because of Korea, but because it's Chuseok and therefore domestic travel will be packed and things to do will be closed.

Then I remembered: I hadn't done a temple stay the first time around. What better time than Chuseok? I nosed around a few places which all seemed okay except I wanted more than a two-day stay (since I have four days off). Then, I found a winner: a special "just-for-Chuseok" retreat at Golgulsa Temple that starts Saturday evening and finishes around lunchtime on Tuesday. Check out this schedule:

Sunmudo? Archery? Tea ceremonies? This the closest thing I'll ever get to training at a shao-lin temple!

The only downside is that Golgulsa is in Gyeongju. Remember that time I went to Gyeongju? Part of me feels that going to a place I've already been to is a waste of a vacation, but I'm convinced that the experience will be worth it, since I will be doing something entirely different. Plus, my trip was in January before; it'll be nice to see the landscape in the late summer/early fall greenness. The tricky part will be making sure I can get to Gyeongju.

I've also heard people grouse about the temple stays: "Why pay money to wake up early and do work?" Granted, certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Fortunately, I've been to equivalent retreats in the US and so I know exactly what it entails. Plus something about it speaks to the part of me that still wishes she could be an old-school monk. (Though, I guess technically I would be a nun.)

If you're interested in doing this with me, send a message on Facebook or leave a comment.

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